Lowcountry private chef Graham Calabria is launching La Perla Raw Bar at Edmund’s Oast on Aug. 24 from 6-9 p.m.
La Perla Raw Bar is the latest project to come from Calabria after a June collaboration with Palmira Barbecue’s Hector Garate. Calabria has 17 years of cooking experience on three continents, with Charleston stints at Magnolia’s, Barsa, Darling Oyster Bar and CudaCo. Calabria currently helms catering business Calabria’s Fine Food, offering private cooking and event catering.
The idea for a mobile raw bar came to him in the spring after working with Lowcountry Oyster Farm. The oyster farmers at Lowcountry Oyster donated oysters to several of Calabria’s events this year, including a pop-up with chef Ramon Taimanglo of Park & Grove. According to Calabria, Lowcountry Oyster shifted its focus from events to growing and producing oysters.
“So we struck up a partnership between the oyster farm and Calabria’s,” Calabria said. “And as part of that partnership, I wanted to add a service to Calabria’s Fine Food’s event catering business, which is like a mobile raw bar for weddings, for corporate events, for whatever you may have.”
The mobile raw bar isn’t mobile in the traditional food truck-sense, but more like a pop-up, Calabria explained. He and his team will bring coolers and raw bar tables with drop-in cold wells then set up at indoor spaces for events. The goal, he added, is for La Perla to be in multiple locations at once.
Being “mobile” isn’t the only unique thing about La Perla’s, though.
La Perla will only be serving one variety of oyster — the crassostrea virginica, or the Eastern Oyster.
“There’s a lot of things that we’re doing with the oysters that you won’t see in other raw bars in town since we are working with just one variety of oyster,” Calabria said. “We’re doing a lot more stuff with that specific oyster like adding different techniques, a little bit of molecular gastronomy and adding a bunch of different flavor combinations.”
The oyster, Calabria added, comes from “the most pristine waters in South Carolina, the ACE Basin. It truly shows the spirit of what South Carolina oysters should be [and] it makes for a great canvas for me to put whatever I want on it.”
Guests can expect wild creations with La Perla’s dishes, including a salmon bagel oyster, made with whipped cream cheese foam, house-made lox and everything bagel seasoning, or an oyster with coffee caviar. Yep, coffee caviar.
“We’re pushing the envelope in Charleston for sure,” Calabria said.
The event is open to the public at Edmund’s Oast 1081 Morrison Dr.
Stay cool. Support City Paper.
City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.