As if we didn’t already know, the South is getting its moment in the culinary spotlight. The September issue of Food & Wine is all about the “New South” with plenty of recipes and profiles. Chef Sean Brock of McCrady’s gets tapped for his pulled pork recipe with three versions of Carolina barbecue sauce (mustard, vinegar, and ketchup, of course). Cookbook authors and boiled peanut salesmen Matt and Ted Lee stage a fabulous party at milliner Leigh Magar’s place where they eat ricotta-filled squash blossoms and a citrus-glazed pound cake made by the guys from Sugar Bakeshop. In a sidebar, Leigh gives a shout out to three of her favorite places to eat: Lana Restaurant & Bar, FIG, and Hominy Grill — each of which gets its own special hat.
Local wine rock star Harry Root of Grassroots Wine gets a small plug, giving his top wine spot — Baan Sawan in Columbia, where he says you’ll find “an incredibly surprising wine list.”
In a piece about restaurants getting personal, Southern writer Julia Reed gives a nod to Peninsula Grill whose chef Robert Carter wooed her with a hot biscuit:
“It was in the bar that I fell in love — specifically the moment when Carter sent out a hot biscuit loaded with seared foie gras and duck confit with peach jam.
“It was one of those transcendent experiences that, to me, defines hospitality — hosts taking pleasure in coming up with something mind-blowingly delicious, and then sharing it in a place where they’ve worked hard to make you feel utterly at home. That place could be Doe’s, where the flatware doesn’t match, or even a Manhattan restaurant like Le Bernardin, where the mackerel tartare with osetra caviar has more than once moved me to tears. The difference is that after my Peninsula biscuit, I’m pretty sure I hugged the waiter, and at Le Bernardin, I wouldn’t dare.”
Of course, a Southern food issue wouldn’t be complete without at least a mention of Glenn Roberts’ Anson Mills “Pencil Cob” grits.