Dish Dining Guide
Dish Dining Guide Winter 2012

When it comes to predicting trends, Dish is usually pretty good. Our food writers ponder the big picture, stroke their chins, and make their observations. This time around, we decided to do something a little bit different. Instead of looking at the food scene from the eater’s perspective, we thought we’d go inside and look at it from a chef’s point of view. To that end, we turned to James Beard Award-winning chef Mike Lata of FIG to serve as the guest editor of this issue. —


The Atlantic Wreckfish might get wiped right off the plate by regulations
The Atlantic Wreckfish might get wiped right off the plate by regulations Endangered Catch

If you are an Atlantic wreckfish, Sam Ray is not a man you want to meet. Neither is Micah LaRoche, who offloads Sam's boat The Lien Machine at his Cherry Point seafood dock at the far end of Wadmalaw Island. Chances are, if you have eaten wreckfish in Charleston, it most likely surfaced on the end of Ray's commercial line. — Jeff Allen


From Ireland to Le Bernardin to Hank's Seafood Restaurant
From Ireland to Le Bernardin to Hank's Seafood Restaurant A Seafood Story

I grew up on the west coast of Ireland, where it wasn't difficult to find fantastic seafood. Back in the 1960s and '70s, fish was always eaten on Fridays, as Catholics made up 99 percent of the Irish population. As a child in Limerick and Clare, on the rare occasion that the sun would shine and the temperature would rise above freezing, we would hit the beach for the day. I have fond memories of the ubiquitous street carts selling bags of steamed seaweed and periwinkles. The adults normally ate the seaweed, and the kids went mad for the periwinkles. I'd have a bag of them in one hand and a pin needle in the other so as to retrieve each little sea snail from its home. — Chef Frank McMahon


Charleston's greatest ingredient is the bounty of its waterways
Charleston's greatest ingredient is the bounty of its waterways Fish is Good

I have always been an ingredient-driven chef. My formula is simple: find the best ingredient, apply my thousands of hours of practiced craft, and deliver it to the customer in the best version of itself. What I have learned from "ingredient" cooking is that the success of the dish solely relies on the quality of the ingredient; for example, perfect arugula, in the right hands, can produce a perfect arugula salad. Anything of lesser quality will produce an undesirable result and seem foolish or careless. So for my style of cooking, to have a successful career you must find the best product. — Mike Lata


Mark Marhefka connects chefs to the local waters
Mark Marhefka connects chefs to the local waters From Hook to Plate

When Jeremiah Bacon moved to town and took over as executive chef at Carolina's in 2007, the first thing he did was look around and try to ascertain where all the fishermen were. He'd been working at Le Bernardin in New York and took it for granted that there'd be a direct market in Charleston. — Stephanie Barna


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