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On Muscadines, with Inez Ribustello, On the Square Restaurant & Wine

Inez Ribustello is one hell of a storyteller. When she talks I see the hammock-shaped branches of her parents’ scuppernong tree. I feel the headiness that only a humid summer in Eastern NC can produce. I taste the sweetness of the muscadines. Her approach to wine is fun, accessible, and above all, perso

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On Tomatoes with Chef Kevin Gillespie, Gunshow

Kevin is a thinking man’s chef. Every which way you could think about food, he’s thought about it. And then some.  That organic intellectualism came from his Georgia mountain homeplace, where his close-knit family ate the food they grew. His family's ways of cooking, and his strong sense of identity as a Southe

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On Pork with Chef Sam Jones, Skylight Inn

The preacher of pork; the porcine professor; the prince of barbecue—whatever you call him, Sam Jones makes some damn good Q: whole hog, no sauce, cooked open-pit over wood fire for hours and mixed with plenty of hand-chopped cracklin. His barbecue is one of the best history lessons you'll ever learn;

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On Sweet Potatoes, with Chefs Ben & Karen Barker, Magnolia Grill

If I have any culinary regrets, one would be moving to the Triangle too late to eat at Ben and Karen Barker’s legendary Magnolia Grill before they closed their doors forevermore. Fortunately an award-winning cookbook survived to tell the tale, along

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On oysters with Matt Lee, The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen

Matt Lee is one of those lucky people who call Charleston home. He and his bespectacled brother, Ted, grew up in one of the city’s fabled homes along Rainbow Row, fishing in its waters for crabs and shrimp, and learning the names of the edible flora and fauna of their region. Food talk—especial