I promise you Jean-Paul Bourgeois makes some mean barbecue at his wildly popular restaurants, Blue Smoke, in NYC. I promise. But when I sat down with him at a conference table in the Embassy Suites hotel, steps from the Marion Square hub of the Charleston Wine + Food Festival, I was all about getting the lowdown on frying. This Louisiana-born chef is a master at many things, and frying chicken is near the top of the list. If you know me, you know we are talking about my favorite food. So I did what I could to get the secret from a man who has helmed multiple kitchens, from Napa Valley to St. Thomas to Gramercy Park, and in the process learned more about why he got into cooking, why he doesn’t use peanut oil, and why he loves Tabasco. He’s an enthusiastic ambassador for his home state, and he’ll make you want to visit, and eat a few meals there too.