Jason Stanhope, FIG (Charleston, SC)
When people find out what I do and where I live, usually this is the next question: What’s your favorite restaurant in Charleston? Well, while that answer varies, and I never can choose just one, FIG is consistently part of that list. I might as well confess that now because after you listen to this conversation with Jason Stanhope, FIG’s executive chef, it will be obvious! Jason’s skill in the kitchen is also obvious; he was awarded the Best Chef: Southeast James Beard Award only one year after taking the executive reins after Mike Lata, and this restaurant was one of the early adopters of the eat local movement that’s so vital to the current Charleston restaurant culture. However, what makes Jason’s work and the restaurant so exceptional, and it is exceptional, is its tone, this unmeasurable X factor that we to delve deep into in this interview. FIG is a closed kitchen but Stanhope lets us behind the door for this one.