Amy Mills, 17th Street Barbecue, Murphysboro, IL (Live from Firebox BBQ)

photo: sherry reichert photography

photo: sherry reichert photography

Many restaurants in America are a family business. But how do you be “you” in a business that you didn’t build? For that discussion, we keep the BBQ train going again this week with Amy Mills of 17th Street Barbecue in Murphysboro, IL. We met up at the recent Firebox BBQ event on St. Simons Island, GA, and although it’s often that we see each other on the road, she doesn’t stop much these days, between appearances on The Food Network’s BBQ Brawl to book publicity for Praise the Lard to getting a bbq sauce factory up and running. Beyond the Bon Appetit’s Best Ribs in America, I think she makes the best baked beans I’ve ever had, and she’s highly aware of the weight of a legacy yet also feels the creative urging of a natural communicator. We always enjoy talking.

Episode 159 >

Geoff Rhyne, Red Clay Hot Sauce (Charleston, SC)

photo: colleen burdett

photo: colleen burdett

I’m not a spicy food wimp, but neither am I competitive spicy food  eater (you know the type, right?), so I love a little kick on my scrambled eggs or in my chili,my collard greens, or my noodle bowl. Through the last few years, Red Clay Hot Sauce, made right here in Charleston, SC, has become more and more my go-to for just that. This company, which began when Geoff Rhyne was chopping chiles in the kitchen at The Ordinary is now growing and showing up in way more spots than just my fridge, so I wanted to go beyond the bottle and learn more. What I discovered was a family man with a passion for creativity who is carving (and cooking) his own path. 

Episode  160 >

Mike Lata, FIG & The Ordinary (Charleston, SC)

photo: gately williams

photo: gately williams

After this interview, I looked up if I’d written that The Ordinary, one of Chef Mike Lata’s restaurants in Charleston, S.C., is a “temple of seafood.” I had, but so had T Magazine of the New York Times, years before. I don’t think I read that article, but it just goes to show how something seeps into a culture nevertheless. The same goes for Lata’s approach to local seafood -- what he does here in Charleston influences chefs across the region, and his focus on sustainably caught, perfectly fresh seafood has helped elevate the culinary conversation, even if he’s not the only one focusing on fresh, local, and seasonal. We dive into what inspires him about fresh caught food, and we also get a glimpse of the drive, focus, and crafted talent that has made him one of the most recognizable chefs in the South. 

Episode 161 ›