Ep. 77: Quintin Middleton, Middleton Made Knives

photo: middleton made knives

photo: middleton made knives

Have you ever wondered why chef’s knives cost so much and why a knife roll is such a no-touch item in a professional kitchen? Then listen up. I took the long drive out from Charleston, past suburban strip malls then past country roadhouses to arrive in deep, wide, Lowcountry farmland to visit Quentin Middleton. It was about a million degrees and the cicadas were blasting almost as loud as my car radio as I pulled up to his home in Saint Stephen, SC., behind which was a workshop where all the magic happens. That workshop was open to the heat, filled with gospel music, the whirring of a grinder, and the man himself, bent over his work until the last minute I arrived. Middleton Made Knives are famous -- but then again I probably don’t have to tell you that -- since you’ve seen these custom made knives in the hands of everyone from Sean Brock to Robert Irvine. Quentin himself seems somewhat of a quiet man, but you get him talking about Conan the Barbarian or the technical details of knife making, and he goes there and more, riffing on thoughts of passion, determination, and dreams. He’s living his dream, deep in a part of SC that most tourists never trespass, but as he tells it, he’s just getting started.

Episode 77 >

Ep. 78: Angie Mosier, Placemat Productions

photo : ben fink

photo : ben fink

You may not know Angie Mosier’s name, but chances are, you’ve seen her photographs. From cookbooks by Eric Ripert to books authored by John T Edge to spreads in Coastal Living and Food & Wine, Angie’s been behind the lens for years in the culinary scene, sometimes shooting, sometimes styling, sometimes doing some writing or even singing on occasion. I first met Angie at a little afternoon party a few years ago, and we chatted it up for a good while. I asked her what she did, and she offhandedly said “a little bit of everything, but these days, I’m doing a lot of photography and really enjoying it.” I went home and looked up the photographer with the red hair and about fell out of my desk chair. But that’s Angie. She isn’t falsely humble but she’s not needing to honk her own horn either. She’s kind, warm, real, and really fun. She hasn’t had a master plan in her life, she’ll be the first to tell you, just a curiosity for the next thing, and keeping that curiosity has kept her opportunities flowing. Angie shares her stories about magic magazine pages, some tips on taking good food pics, and gives us all permission to transition to the next great thing.  

Episode 78 ›

 

 

Ep. 79: David Wondrich, Author and Cocktail Historian

Photo: Danny valdez

Photo: Danny valdez

I have one final interview from my recent attendance at the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, and I've been saving it until now. While visiting the ATL, I was thrilled to have the chance to sit down with author David Wondrich, and since he is about to visit Charleston as part of BevCon in a little over a week, it seemed perfect timing to talk about tipples. David Wondrich is the The Daily Beast’s Senior Drinks Columnist and the James Beard Award-winning author of Imbibe! and Punch, and is one of those people that, frankly, I professionally stand on the shoulders of (although sometimes shakily, as you'll notice in my George Washington comment). He is a master researcher and can take that dusty research and weave it into a hell of a story, all the while sliding a cocktail to you across the bar, in real life or virtually in recipe form. He has a twinkle in his eye most of the time, maybe because he left a job he hated so much and found one that fascinates him, but through his fascination we have gained volumes of knowledge about the often hazy history of cocktails. And he's a New Yorker, but without him, I wouldn't know the background of the mint julep, or the punches of the port cities, or so many other iconic beverages of the South, stories I find intriguing and delicious. If you might find those interesting too, then settle in for a bit of a "seance with a cocktail shaker," as David so deftly explains. 

Episode 79 >