Located at the forefront within the heart of Seaside’s New Urbanism community along the Gulf of Mexico’s edge is Bud & Alley’s Waterfront Restaurant. And at the helm, running the kitchen and overseeing the restaurant group’s sister operations, Taco Bar and Pizza Bar, is executive chef Dave Bishop.
Bishop has spent his lifetime growing up along the Emerald Coast, and has in turn developed an affinity for seafood paired with a focus on organic and locally sourced ingredients. “If it wasn’t swimming this morning, I don’t want it!” Bishop quips.
Enjoying the fast pace and camaraderie of the kitchen, Bishop began cooking at the age of 15, and honed his culinary skills in restaurants in New Orleans, Atlanta, Aspen, and at Café Thirty-A in South Walton, before joining the team at Bud & Alley’s in 2007.
“When I started out in this business most chefs were trained in classical French techniques,” explains Bishop. “My cooking today is focused on fresh coastal cuisine. I serve food you can recognize and don’t need a dictionary to explain. It is simply prepared and simply delicious.”
With so many return customers, Bishop often gets to know them by name as well as their tastes, and says, “It’s difficult to change the menu as patrons come to expect their favorites, like the no-filler crab cakes and the Seaside Shrimp. But, we do change our menu seasonally, and we enjoy getting creative with our specials.”
It goes without saying that the people who work at Bud & Alley’s make it special, and Bishop is no exception. “I can’t say enough about his steady leadership and creativity,” says Bud & Alley’s founder and owner, Dave Rauschkolb. “He has been a solid rock for us during the last 10 years. I thank Chef Dave for helping us to carry on the seafood culinary tradition we forged 32 years ago.”
Much of Bishop’s success in the kitchen comes with getting employees involved in the bigger picture. “If someone in my kitchen has an idea, I try to implement it,” he says. “Their opinion does matter. We want people who work here to have a passion for this business. That feeling doesn’t just happen; it’s created.”
When not at his workspace overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, Bishop likes to fish every chance he can get. “It’s neat to be on the rooftop taking in the view, and to see our guests’ reactions to the marine life,” he adds. “I really enjoy fishing, and do like to cook at home as well. Working, fishing and cooking. That’s my lifestyle.”
After all of the accolades and rave reviews, Bud & Alley’s mantra still holds steadfast: Good Food-Good People-Good Times. Bishop says, “I am just honored to be here.”
Susan Benton is a food and travel writer with published articles, recipes, and photography in many local, regional and national publications. Her website is 30AEATS.com where she writes about the secrets of Gulf Coast food.
Bud & Alley’s Seaside Shrimp
Shrimp, rosemary, andouille and garlic make up the signature Seaside Shrimp that chef Bishop created for Emeril Lagasse when Bud & Alley’s was showcased on “Emeril’s Florida” TV show. “Leave the heads on for flavor and presentation. The sauce is the beauty on the dish. Go heavier on the wine and don’t overdo the seasoning,” Bishop explains.
Seaside Shrimp - Courtesy Chef David Bishop, Bud & Alley’s Waterfront Restaurant
8 large head on shrimp (bodies peeled, head and tail intact)
1 tsp. fresh chopped rosemary
1/2 tsp. fresh thyme
1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1 tbsp. chopped shallot
2 ea. roasted Roma tomato (peeled, seeded, & rough chopped)
½ oz. lemon juice
2 oz. white wine
4 oz. shrimp stock
2 oz. cold butter
Kosher salt to taste
Canola oil, for cooking and marinade
Combine rosemary, thyme, garlic, shallots, black pepper, and shrimp with one ounce canola oil. Let marinate for one hour. Heat a medium skillet to med-high heat; add two ounces of canola oil and sauté shrimp for about one minute until they start to turn color. Deglaze pan with white wine, add lemon juice, tomatoes, and shrimp stock. Reduce by about half. Shrimp should be cooked by now, about three to four minutes cooking time. Remove them from the pan and place in serving bowl. Then add butter to the pan and stir until butter is incorporated and sauce has thickened slightly. Season with salt and then pour sauce over shrimp and garnish with a slice of grilled bread.
Bishop said, “Don’t be afraid to experiment, but do try to follow the recipe. Season, but don’t overdo it. Let the food speak for itself. Sometimes failure is inevitable. Just try and learn from it. Some of my best dishes came out of failure.”
With its rich and flavorful Seaside history, it’s no wonder that Bud & Alley’s Waterfront Restaurant has garnered numerous awards, including Florida Trend magazine’s Golden Spoon Hall of Fame Award, an honor only reserved for 30 Florida restaurants. Bud & Alley’s is located in Seaside, Florida at 2236 East Highway 30-A.
For more information, call (850) 231-5900 or email email@example.com. Visit budandalleys.com to make reservations and to view the live webcam of Seaside beach and Bud & Alley’s Rooftop Deck.