TBT: On the Line at SNOB

27 Feb

Here’s a throwback Thursday to an afternoon in 2011, spent hanging out with the inimitable Chef Frank Lee. He’s one of Charleston’s founding food pioneers, and his Slightly North of Broad is one of my favorite restaurants. Here are some photos I took during a lunch shift. Bankers and power players are out on the dining room floor, but the real action is in the open kitchen.SNOB1Lee got his start leading an organic kitchen called 221 Pickens during the late 1970s, making a splash for local food before it was cool. Two times a week, he and his kitchen gang would go to the markets at the crack of dawn, meet the providers of local agriculture, and build their ideological movement. Now the produce comes to them.

SNOB2

On this day, my second at the restaurant, there was hardly room for the kitchen brigade, let alone a gawky 19-year-old college kid. We made things work, and I learned a ton about the seamless way a kitchen’s line works.

SNOB4

I miss this place every day, particularly the Maverick Shrimp and Grits. Oh, those grits.

SNOB5Chef Lee has been a personal inspiration for me, from that day to now. For more on his work ethic, farms, forks, and food porn, check out a team piece from a magazine writing class I took at College of Charleston. Shoot from the hip, lick your lips.

All photos by Tommy Werner

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