Ep. 57: Maneet Chauhan, Chauhan Ale & Masala House

photo : chauhan ale & masala house

photo : chauhan ale & masala house

In case you are wondering, it can be hard to interview a celebrity such as Maneet Chauhan in the middle of a busy food festival. Not only is she a judge on Food Network’s Chopped, and a past chef on Iron Chef America, last Sunday when we spoke she was dressed in a powder blue tunic that sparkled with gold thread under the afternoon sun. So, we stole away for a few minutes to a quiet parking deck and chilled out in my 2005 Kia Sportage. That’s right. Fancy. And that’s how laidback and kind Maneet is, at least until the Iron Chef clock comes out. The mastermind behind Nashville’s Chauhan Ale & Masala House, she is a powerhouse in the kitchen, fusing flavors from her Indian childhood with new influences, including the hot kitchen of Nashville. She’s opening another Music City spot any day now, and I’ll be there to celebrate soon. But we took the time -- despite my wrecked voice -- to dig deep into a curry discussion and went from there.

Episode 57 ›

 

 

Ep. 58: Patrick Emerson, Curated Selections & Communion Wine Club

Photo: curated selections

Photo: curated selections

Are you ready for an all day rosé discussion? This wine varietal has taken the hot and humid South by storm, and just so we you don’t get mixed up thinking it might be that “other pink wine” that comes in a box, I invited Advanced Sommelier Patrick Emerson to talk about it. He’s been a fixture on the Southern bev scene for years, spent a long tenure as beverage director of Slightly North of Broad and its family of restaurants, served as the beverage director for Charleston Wine + Food Festival in 2015, been in Southern Living and Food & Wine, and he’s even won the Bombay Sapphire national cocktail challenge. These days, he’s focusing on his two companies, Curated Selections and Communion Wine Club, and when it comes to Curated Selections, his rosé portfolio is definitely a bright star. All that fancy talk aside, he’ll tell you that wine is just grape juice that’s going bad, and that it’s not meant to be something used to impress others with your knowledge. It’s meant to be enjoyed, so this Friday, Patrick and I go rosé all the way.

Episode 58 >

Ep. 59: Vinson Petrillo, Zero George Restaurant + Bar

photo: christopher shane

photo: christopher shane

There are places in Charleston where sometimes I’m still stopped by how beautiful and unique Charleston can be. One of those “I actually live here” moments was the first time I visited Zero George a few years ago. Turning from the street into the gates of the bricked courtyard, the quiet oasis feeling enveloped me; here was a private getaway in the middle of the city. While I’ve never made my dreams come true with a staycation, I have spent a good deal of time at tables and in the kitchen as Chef Vinson Petrillo’s vision for ultra-modern food in an antique space took shape. I can attest that every time I visit the food is better and better, and yet I’m amazed it comes from a 100-square-foot kitchen in the lobby, run by a chef who all day is on display. Although he’s used to the public eye -- he’s been on Top Chef and Top Chef Masters -- it still feels so private to see him leading a team in nightly 9-course tasting menus that might have salmon poached in butter one night and tamales wrapped in toasted nori another. He is an intensely creative and quiet individual but there’s lots of thinking going on behind that quiet facade. Just listen.

Episode 59 >