Buying seasonal produce from local growers is much in the news these days, and the so-called Slow Food Movement has come to Charleston too. Not that it ever truly left. Fresh-from-the-water seafood has always formed the cornerstone for the city’s Lowcountry fare, but homegrown produce and meat products were impossible to find on menus.
All that’s changing, thanks in large part to Mike Lata of FIG (Food Is Good) Restaurant. Virtually no one was using local growers when he arrived here in 1998. “It took awhile for some of the chefs to get onboard,” he admits. “Now I see it as part of the fabric of our cuisine here in Charleston. My peers inspire me daily with how they are buying locally and cooking locally.”
Word of mouth is still the best way to find restaurants that feature a fresh, seasonal approach. Peruse online menus, Mike says, or ask your concierge. Then feel free to quiz your server about where your fish was caught or where your greens were grown. You’ll satisfy your hunger to support the local economy and get a great meal too.