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Reading the Classics

May 2018
Reading the Classics

West Ashley’s Glass Onion celebrated its 10-year anniversary by releasing an updated cookbook of comforting favorites

PHOTO: The newest cookbook from Glass Onion owners Chris and Suzanne Stewart features beloved down-home recipes. (Right, from left to right) Chris with original partners Charles Vincent and Sarah O’Kelley

In 2008, two couples in the food-and-bev industry—Chris Stewart and his future wife, Suzanne; and Charles Vincent and his then-girlfriend, Sarah O’Kelley—decided to dive into the perilous waters of restaurant ownership, opening the Glass Onion in a former 7-Eleven on Savannah Highway. The eatery had a challenging agenda: to only serve dishes made from all-natural ingredients. “We opened our doors in March, and the economy tanked a few months later,” Chris remembers. “We worked all the time, morning to close. But we loved it.”

Diners—who fell for the fried green tomatoes and pimiento cheese, po’ boys stuffed with crispy shrimp, gumbo studded with okra, and bread pudding soaked in whiskey sauce—reciprocated that love. Ten years later, the Glass Onion crew has changed (only Chris and Suzanne remain from the founding partners), but much of the menu has stayed the same. In More Glass Onion Classics (CreateSpace, February 2018), the restaurant’s second cookbook, the owners share their recipes from day one to now. “Certain things we haven’t messed with, like the fried catfish and gumbo,” says Chris. Along with these classics, recipes for newer favorites, like falafel made with butter beans, are also included. “The falafel was my favorite dish to shoot,” notes Allston McCrady, who photographed, designed, and edited the book. “I’ve enjoyed it at the restaurant before, but never imagined it was something I could make myself.”

The book guides home cooks in recreating Glass Onion’s signature appetizers, soups, salads, mains, and desserts—but the key component to the recipes, Chris emphasizes, is ingredient quality. “Finding the freshest ingredients that are grown the closest to you is so important,” he says. “I’d encourage anyone who picks up our book, whether they live in Charleston or New York, to shop at their local farmers market or natural foods store.” Several of the farms Glass Onion sources from—including Keegan-Filion, Kurios, and Green Grocer—are pictured throughout the collection.

While the recipes speak for themselves, the passion and commitment behind the dishes are worth noting. “I admire Chris and Suzanne because they’re not ego-driven chefs,” McCrady says. “They cook because they love good food and love serving people who enjoy really good food.” You can purchase the book at the restaurant or online through Amazon.

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Photographs by (Glass Onion original partners) Peter Frank Edwards & Courtesy of

(cover) Allston McCrady