Robert Stehling, Hominy Grill (Charleston, SC)
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.