I know it’s been a minute since I’ve done a featured foodie, but I really feel like Charleston has so many awesome foodie people and I love them all so much and want you, my readers, to love them, too! This month’s Featured Foodie is fellow food writer, host of The Southern Fork podcast, former Pecha Kucha speaker, and all around awesome person, Stephanie Burt!
What inspired you to start taking writing about food?
I have been interested in “food media” since I was a child. I started reading Kathleen Purvis in the Charlotte Observer around middle school, and I watched Yan Can Cook and Julia Child all the time on PBS. Yep, really. I don’t have an explanation I’ve always been fascinated by how food connects us, the history of something, and how fun it is to learn about it, so although I never “planned” to make a living writing about food, looking back, I see that in many ways it was inevitable.
What was the scariest thing about starting your own podcast?
The technology! I had to learn something completely new. Yes, mics are plug and play these days, but editing, mixing, uploading, all that stuff and metadata too! I stretched my brain learning new skills.
What’s one of your biggest “Wins” you’ve accomplished in your food writing / Southern Fork career?
Hm. Well, somehow the timing worked out that the week I debuted my chat with Steven Satterfield, he won the JBF Best: Chef Southeast award, so that was great! And I was so happy!
For writing, I had a similar serendipitous moment this January when an essay in defense of feminine appetites came out on Extra Crisp the Monday after the women’s March on Washington.
What are some of your favorite spots in Charleston (restaurants/bars/etc)?
Now, it’s hard to choose, and you should know that! But I love Edmund’s Oast, The Grocery, FIG, and Wild Olive unequivocally. I’ve also had some great meals recently at The Macintosh and La Farfalle, and the Husk fried chicken makes my heart sing. The amaro selection is fab at Farfalle too, as well as at the Belmont, and if I am fancy, there is nothing like a drink at The Dewberry.
What is something you wish more people knew about the F&B scene in Charleston?
That’s it’s hard to work downtown, although that’s where the money is. Most places don’t pay for parking, so there’s that constant challenge, and the tourists can be rough on a restaurant, both front and back of house. Every week, I get to visit inside restaurants when they are not serving food and chat with the people about what they do. The feeling that I more often than not leave with is a sort of reverence for the calling when it’s done right. That’s why I’m excited about the FAB Workshop coming up, since it really is about helping industry women go to the next level.
Be sure to go listen to Stephanie’s podcast, The Southern Fork, and give it a great rating on iTunes so she can keep making it (and I can keep listening to it).