Although the leaves may not change color in Hilton Head, fall is still in the air. Crisp mornings, cooler days and people gearing up for Thanksgiving are subtle indicators that autumn is in full swing, but that doesn’t mean the fun stops. Insert Geist Ussery: a highly sought after private chef, boutique caterer, and master entertainer located in historic Bluffton. He recently hosted a fall outdoor gathering at Pineland Club Plantation and I would be doing a disservice if I didn’t brag about it.

Geist Ussery – To Know Him is To Love Him

Before we get into the event, let’s talk about Geist Ussery. If you visit his website, his tagline is “Making others happy while doing what I love”; a perfect representation of who he is and a peak into the passion he has for his craft. Geist is a Bluffton native with a Latin/Caribbean background providing him a diverse culinary heritage. Mixing his upbringing in Bluffton and Caribbean background, Geist is known for experimenting with latin and southern ingredients, including Bluffton’s resources and seafood, to create the perfect recipes.

Not only is Geist a Lowcountry staple for his flavorsome food, he’s also a great person. “To know him is to love him” is how I often describe Geist. His positive energy and passion for delivering top notch dishes is contagious – you can’t help but feel better about yourself when you’re in his presence. He has a flare for everything that he does and there’s a reason he’s known around this community.

It’s All in the Details

Just like every event Geist is part of, no detail (no matter how insignificant) was missed at this year’s fall outdoor gathering. From the location, to the food presentation, to the drinks, everything was perfect and right on par with the season’s energy.


Considered to be one of the prettiest places in South Carolina, the party was hosted at Pineland Club Plantation. The striking beauty of the grounds is noticed immediately upon arriving as visitors enter through a gate then drive down a long, tree covered road to get to the lodge. I’m telling you, it’s straight out of a fairytale. They are then greeted by a lodge with a wraparound porch which dates back to 1867 when it was built over the foundation of the original plantation house. Based on the description of the entrance, I’m sure you can imagine how breathtaking the lodge is.

Outdoor Setting & Decor

Pineland Club Plantation set the stage for an amazing event setting. If you thought Geist wasn’t going to utilize the beautiful grounds and immaculate wraparound porch, you were wrong. Fit for a true southern party, the cocktail hour was hosted on the porch providing the best views of the property. To stay true to the season, Geist decorated the porch with pumpkins and big leafy greens with pops of sunflowers and tulips. It may not sound like these items go together, but believe me – Geist can put his decorating touch on anything and make it look good. Pops of wood and metal accents could be seen throughout, pulling everything together.

The porch party would have been more than enough, but Geist had to outdo himself with a perfect dinner setting underneath mature trees right off the porch. The beautiful wood dinner table was complete with candles, various chair styles, antique runner and a floral centerpiece that was to die for. In addition, the table was topped with beautiful, fall inspired dinnerware and each place setting had a delicate, rich colored leaf placed on top. Talk about details!

Food & Drinks

Let’s get down to what Geist is really about – putting together yummy food and drinks for his clients. The porch hangout included cranberry cocktails beautifully garnished and hors d’oeuvres served on rustic wood trays featuring another right colored leaf. My favorite of the hors d’oeuvres was the artisan bread topped with cheese, pecans and a light sauce drizzle. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stick around for dinner, but there’s no doubt it hit the spot for the guests. 

We can all agree that Geist really showed us how fall entertaining is done with this outdoor gathering at Pineland Club Plantation. There’s no reason to put your party hosting on hold because of the slightly chillier autumn. Take a page out of Geist’s book – pick a beautiful location, decorate accordingly, then hire Geist to cater your event 🙂 Or if you can’t do that, have a gathering at your home and include a few subtle fall touches throughout, such as a fall inspired drink or Thanksgiving themed decorations. Fall entertaining is possible and SO MUCH FUN! There’s still a little bit of time left, so I suggest you get on it!

What are your favorite ways to entertain in the fall? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!