[image-1]We strolled the red carpet, ate all the delicious food, and partied into the wee hours of the New York night.  The results are in.  Congratulations to Robert Stehling and the whole crew over at Hominy Grill, now the “Best Chef Southeast” winner for 2008!   

Out of two possible winning categories, Charleston took the medal in one, bringing the Best Chef Southeast to its rightful home in the Holy City.  What most didn’t expect is that dark horse candidate Hominy Grill would best favorites Five and Ten from Athens and our own Mike Lata at FIG, a finalist in the category for the second straight year.  Victory for Lata and Sean Brock, nominated for the uber-prestigious “Rising Star Chef” award will surely come, but the disappointment among fans of the two was palpable after the event. [image-2]

The awards, hosted by Food Network’s Bobby Flay and Kim Cattrall of Sex in the City fame, were followed by a gala reception focused on artisanal food in America – and a virtual who’s who of American culinary culture.  Between stealing bites of roasted pork belly and gawking at celebrity chefs, we bumped into Best Chef New York winner and red hot restaurateur David Chang, who recently cooked with Sean Brock and McCrady’s crew during this year’s Food + Wine festival, and partied way too late on the unofficial “after-party” circuit — more pics to come when we sober up a bit…