Mike Davis of Terra : A perfect springtime dinner for two

June 15, 2012
By William Thrift
Photography by John Wrightenberry

The finished plate is an edible work of art.

One of Mike’s goals is to get better every day at what he’s doing in his reach for perfection with every plate of food.  One way he achieves this is by encouraging his staff to dine at other restaurants and explore and eat new things.  This is one small way in which he’s trying to make Columbia more of a food destination where people “live to eat, instead of just eat to live.”

Another extension of Mike’s philosophy comes in the form of the dish he suggests for the home chef to try.  One of his trusted suppliers, Mark from Abundant Seafood in Charleston, delivered a triggerfish that Mike visualized grilled, with blood orange, and sitting atop a bed of English pea and blue crab orzo with avocado coulis.  This recipe makes a perfect springtime dinner for two paired with a zesty white wine like the Austrian Gobelsburger.



  • 2 Triggerfish filets
  • 2/3 cup cooked Orzo
  • 1/4 cup English Peas
  • 4 med to large mint leaves chiffonade
  • 5 Tbsp picked domestic lump blue crab
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • One pat of butter
  • One Blood Orange supremed (flesh of orange cut from pith)
  • 2 dashes of orange juice
  • Chicken stock (enough for coulis)
  • Canola oil (enough to just heat the orzo mixture)



The chef prepares avocado coulis.

Avocado Coulis 

One Avocado, flesh pulled from skin, pureed with 2 dashes of orange juice, add enough chicken stock until it resembles a sauce, season to taste with salt.  Reserve

Grill two filets of Triggerfish (careful not to overcook).

In a saute pan heat canola oil, add peas and stir, add orzo, stir, add crabmeat, butter and salt and pepper.  Once combined, add chiffonade of mint.  When ready to plate, add blood orange supremes and gently toss.

Mike Davis plates the orzo and blood orange supremes

Put pasta on plate, top with fish, and spoon warmed coulis around pasta.  Enjoy.

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