The writer visited last fall, and the photographer followed this winter, and now, finally, the feature story on Charleston in Gourmet magazine has arrived.
Pretty much every major player is mentioned in this overview of Charleston's food scene, and the writer makes an interesting assessment:
Indeed, the elements are in place to make Charleston a great food town, not least because of the serious competition between the city’s top chefs, two of whom are suddenly pulling way ahead. Sean Brock, a 31-year-old Virginian, took over the kitchen at McCrady’s in 2006 and has since attracted the attention of New York luminaries Wylie Dufresne, of WD-50; Johnny Iuzzini, of Jean Georges; and Momofuku’s David Chang, who calls Brock “the real deal. ” They’re drawn by the chef’s wizardry in the kitchen (he uses liquid nitrogen to make a powder of olives and Maldon sea salt, for example) that is second only to his true passion and reverence for food.
Mike Lata, chef and co-owner of FIG, a chic, spare restaurant on Meeting Street, is a Yankee, originally from Massachusetts. In a manner of speaking, though, he’s been repatriated as a southerner. The turning point may have come many years ago when he charmed his way into a fully booked Alain Ducasse restaurant in Paris with a bag of stone-ground grits. ...
Like Brock and his colleagues, Lata works very closely with his purveyors (just look at the bright orange hue of his egg yolks) and wholly appreciates the array of ingredients available to him. And like Brock, he has hit his stride. “Charleston,” he says, “has been good to me.”
Good deal. Now all we need is a couple more Beard Awards and it will be complete.