I just ate my way through Charleston, SC, and was able to go to one of America’s hottest restaurants, Husk, with a menu by the media’s newest chef darling, Sean Brock, pictured. I met him, too. Nice guy, all about local Southern food.
I was in Charleston for the annual Association of Food Journalists conference and pretty much spent four days eating at some of the best restaurants the city has to offer. Even local chefs are wowed by Brock. Before I went, I talked to Chris “Squints” Becker, who will be opening TEN TEN and Fleet Street Kitchen soon with co-chef Mark Davis. He recommended I visit Brock’s other restaurant, McCrady’s, a swankier version of Husk.
To give you an idea of what Brock is doing in his kitchens, here’s my lunch menu at Husk:
Snacks for the table: fried green tomatoes with pimento and country ham, pictured, rattlesnake beans with guanciale vinaigrette, smoky chicken wings with peach BBQ and benne, BBQ glazed TROUT ribs (yes, trout the fish, an amazing dish), and, a crowd pleaser, Southern fried chicken skins with hot sauce and honey.
There was more.
Lunch: shrimp and grits, cornmeal-dusted catfish with cornbread purée, chicken (was the cover photo of a recent Bon Appetit magazine, and, drum roll, the most wonderful cheeseburger you may ever have. Chef Brock puts ground bacon into the beef and cooks the patties in a wood-burning oven. Only American cheese is allowed on top.
Also at the lunch was Matt Lee, back of his head pictured in the photo with the chef. He and his brother, Ted, are James Beard Award-winning cookbook authors. They were at the Baltimore Book Festival in 2010.
No dessert was offered after lunch. I didn’t need it. I was only hours away from a Madeira tasting at McCrady’s and a multi-course dinner and seven-layer coconut cake at the four-star Peninsula Grill in Charleston.
Great food. But there’s no place like home.
Photos by me