Steve Palmer, The Indigo Road Hospitality Group & Ben’s Friends (Charleston, SC)
Restauranteur Steve Palmer has long been part of Charleston, SC’s food scene, but when Oak Steakhouses and O-Ku Restaurants started popping up in other cities in the South, this dynamic leader of The Indigo Road Hospitality Group landed on a bigger stage. It’s something he’s embraced, seizing the opportunity to bring to life his ideas of hospitality and his role to define and shift industry culture, including as a mentor to many through Ben’s Friends, a food and beverage industry support group for those who struggle with substance abuse. Still, the nuts and bolts of all of this has to be good restaurants, and Steve knows how to build them. It’s a mix of brain and heart, and he has an abundance of both.