Serving Coastal Cuisine With A Southern Twist
The Blue Mountain Beach culinary scene became much more delicious when Executive Chef Adam Yellin decided to settle in South Walton and open Local Catch Bar & Grill with longtime college friend, Jimmy Hasser. Chef Yellin hails from New Orleans, and quickly moved up the ranks in the culinary world after attending the University of Alabama. He was in pre-med, but switched to restaurant and hospitality management, as he could work in food establishments and get credit for school. While in Tuscaloosa, he began in dishwashing at Depalma’s, a popular Italian restaurant, but rose to other positions, learning the back of the house, as well as the front.
Yellin drove to San Diego, where he went on to manage restaurants with the Catalina Restaurant Group, before becoming the manager of World Famous, serving California coastal cuisine by the water’s edge. It was there that he decided his passion was in cooking food, rather than managing, so he pursued his dream by graduating at the top of his class in 2009 from Le Cordon Blue, Austin, Texas.
Chef Yellin has held positions in South Walton at the former Restaurant Fire location at Gulf Place, The Old Florida Fish House, and Commander’s Palace in New Orleans. His style has unfolded to be one that specializes in traditional seafood techniques and West Coast creations, mixing Baja Mexican flavors with classic Southern cuisine. “By studying different cultures, I’ve put together a fusion of flavorful food,” Yellin says.
It has been four years now that Adam and Jimmy have been in Blue Mountain beach at Local Catch Bar & Grill. They wanted a locals place, where their friends worked alongside them, serving fresh local food, with local art showcased on the walls, and local bands playing live music for their patrons. “It’s fine food on a casual level, and I pride myself on sourcing the best raw products and ingredients we can find. All food is made in house and from scratch, even the smoked meats and Andouille.” Yellin says.
The restaurant space allows for patrons to cozy up to the bar for lively conversation and to watch sports on one of several televisions situated throughout the restaurant, but family–friendly dining is offered tableside inside the restaurant, as well as outside on the covered porch. Yellin says, “The goal at Local Catch Bar & Grill is to serve high quality cuisine, in a relaxed casual atmosphere, at affordable prices.”
One of the most popular appetizers on the menu, (and my favorite) is Yellin’s slow roasted pulled pork nacho’s, piled high on fluffy flash fried flour tortillas chips, and topped with fresh Pico de Gallo, house-made pickled jalapeños and Monterrey Jack cheese. Yellin says, “ It is a favorite dish of mine too, and that of our loyal followers. I prefer to use flour tortillas over the corn, as it lends a better flavor to the overall dish.”
Other popular items include the Caribbean shrimp tacos, which are marinated twice and caramelized with Caribbean vinaigrette. The seafood can be ordered grilled, blackened or fried, and the Mile Marker 4 Fish Salad that was recently showcased in Southern Living Magazine allows you to really appreciate the great produce Florida has to offer. And of course you can’t forget their most popular dish- the Fish Tacos. Yellin is a master at creating his own unique and incredible sauces, like his house white sauce that many customers are asking him to bottle which combines his southern roots with fresh coast flavor.
“Being in the restaurant business for years, we are just honest and straightforward. We treat our guests and employees how we would expect to be treated. We are locals serving locals!” he said.
Local Catch Bar & Grill is located at 3711 West County Hwy 30A. It is open seven days a week, serving lunch and dinner from 11am to 11pm. Sunday Funday is from 4pm-7pm, featuring live music by Forrest Williams Band. For more information, call (850) 622-2022.