Best chefs in the South?
Chris Hastings (Credit: Jason Wallis)
This morning’s post on Sean Brock at McCrady’s in Charleston got me thinking: Who are today’s Southern chefs worth driving for? Which are the restaurants outside of Atlanta that are worth planning a weekend around?
Here are my recommendations from the ones I’ve tried.
- Chris Hastings at Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham. I love eating at the bar in front of the open kitchen, and the heirloom tomato and butterbean salad is still something I dream of.
- Mike Lata at Fig in Charleston. Such a smart, casual spot, and the menu changes so frequently that you always want to check in on every visit to Charleston.
- Frank Stitt at Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham. This restaurant does such an amazing job of tying together French country cooking and Southern cooking into something that makes perfect sense. Again, the bar is an awesome stopover if you’re dining solo.
- Adam Cooke, Joseph Lenn and Josh Feathers at Blackberry Farm. This Great Smoky Mountains inn in Walland, Tenn., isn’t for the weak of wallet. But it’s worth looking for special off-season rates. The trio of chefs here do spectacular work with the farm’s veegetables, sheep’s milk cheeses, eggs and honey.
I’ve never tried the cooking of Ben and Karen Barker at Magnolia Grill in Durham, NC, Andrea Reusing at Lantern in Chapel Hill, NC or Karen Urie Shields and John B. Shields at Townhouse in Chilhowie, VA, but I hear great things about all of them.
Who else did I miss?