Johnny Caldwell & Taneka Reaves,
The Cocktail Bandits (Charleston, SC)

photo: kim craven photography

photo: kim craven photography

I first met Johnny Caldwell and Taneka Reaves, known in the biz as The Cocktail Bandits, more than four years ago in Charleston at a tequila event, of course. Since then, we’ve sipped and cheered glasses many times in Charleston and beyond. They came out to cheer me on when I was nominated for best food podcast at The Saveur Blog Awards a couple of years ago. I’ve watched with awe as they have become a force in the national cocktail scene, soaking up knowledge about spirit history and mixology while making a place for more diversity in the spirits world. Last year they published a book about the Charleston beverage scene, the first cocktail book produced in this country by African-American women. They promote female empowerment through advocacy for the food and beverage community, from a feminine, urban perspective, and they do it through straight hussle to show up and be present, interacting both online and in person. There’s a lot more behind their story than swizzle sticks and slices of lemon

Episode 126 >

Bonnie Benwick,
The Washington Post (Washington, DC)

photo: courtesy of the washington post

photo: courtesy of the washington post

You know, you never know what can happen over a good dinner. Over some seriously delicious food and cocktails at The Dabney in Washington, D.C. this past December, I asked Bonnie Benwick, deputy food editor and recipe editor of The Washington Post, if she’d like to be on the podcast. And just like that, she agreed. Bonnie joined the staff of the Post in 1989 and worked on the desks in Style, Metro, News and Outlook. The Food section was where she always wanted to be, and in 2004, she moved to that department. She writes the weekly Dinner in Minutes column and the monthly One Pan column for The Washington Post Magazine, and in short, through her tenure has not only documented trends in food, but has really shaped the nature of food writing for the American palate. She is a master of testing recipes for the home cook, and that’s why readers love her -- they can trust when they see a recipe in print, Bonnie has done her best to make sure it will work in their kitchen. She is approachable, knowledgeable, and very smart, and a great dinner companion to boot.  

Episode  127 >

John Currence, City Grocery Restaurant Group, Oxford, MS (Live from 30A Wine Festival)

photo: stephanie burt

photo: stephanie burt


Since opening his restaurant City Grocery in Oxford, Ms. more than 20 years ago, Chef John Currence’s name has become synonymous with Southern cooking. He’s received the Southern Foodways Alliance Guardian of Tradition Award, he’s won the James Beard Foundation award for Best Chef South, and he’s often a sought after writer -- just ask Garden & Gun, his book editors, or Esquire. City Grocery Restaurant Group now encompasses Snackbar and a growing number of Big Bad Breakfast locations, including the one I visited in Rosemary Beach that had a line out the door on a Saturday morning. Beyond the kitchen, he’s someone who speaks his mind on just about anything, and when I caught up with him at the 30a Wine Festival for a chat, he did just that.

Episode 128 ›