Robert Stehling, Hominy Grill (Charleston, SC)

photo: hominy grill

photo: hominy grill

I used to have a postcard of the Hominy Grill mural on my fridge when I first moved to Charleston. That image reminded me of why I’d been drawn here -- which was the city itself and its culture -- and that’s what the artwork by David Boatright on the building and the food inside it represented to me. It was very Charleston at a particular time. I am not alone. Earlier this year when Hominy’s Robert Stehling announced that his restaurant would soon close its doors for good, there was a community outpouring, and people pilgrimaged for a last biscuit, slice of pie, or bite of chicken. But I’ve had the pleasure to spend time asking Robert questions a few times before, and I knew that this James Beard award-winning chef is at heart a creative, and so he would have thoughts about where he’s been, why he stopped, and how to see the path ahead. Here, in his first interview since shutting the Hominy Grill doors, he gets behind the mic with me. 

Episode  142 >

Nick Melvin, Doux South All Natural Pickles (Atlanta, GA)

photo: Stephanie Burt

photo: Stephanie Burt

Just like many a person who often spends more time in restaurants than she does cooking, my fridge can have bare shelves, but the door is always filled with condiments. And there are always pickles. Chef Nick Melvin makes some of my favorite storebought varieties under the Doux South brand out of Atlanta, Ga., a family-run company that just keeps getting bigger and better. But Nick’s like a lot of us -- he is pursuing his dream while working another job at Fox Bros. BBQ he loves too, and although I’ve seen him a lot through the years, sweating behind grills or handing out sample after sample at a food festival, I’ve never missed seeing a sincere smile wash over his face in greeting. His passion is work, as you’ll hear, and he’s always working to make sure that the people who cross his path are well-fed, with a side of pickles, of course. 

Episode 142 ›

 

 

Dana Cowin, Speaking Broadly Podcast, NYC (Live from FAB Charleston)

photo: speaking broadly

photo: speaking broadly

You know, I was probably one of those people who at one time just assumed that Food & Wine’s former editor extraordinaire Dana Cowin was a dash of Meryl Streep in Devil Wears Prada mixed with someone who would never stand over the sink to eat a ripe tomato sandwich. I was so  wrong. That was before I got to know her through FAB Charleston, a women’s conference focused on education and inspiration for the hospitality industry. Dana was open, engaged, she laughed easily, and basically is exactly the sort of person I’d love to have dinner with, and she’s returned to the conference every year since, getting to know those of us who do as well. You, of course, can hear her on Speaking Broadly on Heritage Radio Network, but this week, I get the distinct honor to ask her the questions, and she illustrates how a blend of curiosity, focus, and having a happiness intention can keep you afloat even when you’re floating away from a dream job to your next calling. 

Episode 144 >