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Best Chef on a Shoestring 

Chef Robert Carter, The Early Show’s Chef on a Shoestring competition

Staff Pick

Give a Southern boy a $35 budget and tell him to feed you well? No freakin’ problem. Bob Carter might oversee one of the swankiest dining rooms in town at the Peninsula Grill, but he’s a true Southerner. And Southerners know how to eat just fine on limited resources, thank you very much. For $35, he made a kick-ass brunch with eggs benedict and shrimp and grits, and became the one to beat in The Early Show’s Chef on a Shoestring competition. But what won it for him was the coconut cake, a standard at every Southern grandma’s Sunday supper table. As the winner, Carter was brought back in December to make a $75 Christmas feast. Again, no problem. His holiday spread included root vegetable soup, sweet potato ravioli, squash and wild mushroom casserole, green beans, crown pork roast, Hoppin’ John, peach tea vodka cider (giving a shout-out to Firefly), and pecan pie. Now that’s a feast that will wipe out the competition, don’t you think?

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