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    AT HOME: Nick and Beth Richardson

    AT HOME: Nick and Beth Richardson

    Since “going out” became “going outdoors”, our Forge Families have found themselves spending more time around the Kettle. We caught up with Nick & Beth who bought a Kettle as a housewarming present for themselves (smart!) It’s since become the centerpiece of time spent with their girls.

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    THE HOT SEAT: David Carrier of Certified Burgers & Beverage

    THE HOT SEAT: David Carrier of Certified Burgers & Beverage

    Based in our hometown - The Golden Isles - Chef David Carrier of Certified Burgers and Beverage is a big guy with an even bigger heart.  Along with wife, Ryanne, Dave and several other local chefs have spearheaded a program called Meals to Heal providing dinners for families of single mothers.  He shared his delicious Al Pastor Marinade with us and why he loves cooking on his kettle “It’s just the versatility...You don’t have to move: the appetizer, entree, to roasting marshmallows and sipping bourbon.” We like his style!

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    THE HOT SEAT: Ashley Christensen of AC Restaurants

    THE HOT SEAT: Ashley Christensen of AC Restaurants

    Ashley Christensen is that rare combo of a “people’s chef” and a “chef’s chef,” a consummate professional utilizing French and the occasional modernist technique to reinterpret the Southern classics she grew up on in North Carolina. With the opening of Poole’s Diner in 2007, she helped fuel a Raleigh, N.C. food scene, and while that flagship restaurant is still cooking on all burners, her reach has expanded through a growing number of restaurants, as well as accolades, including the James Beard Award for the Best Chef in America in 2019. Still, eat at any of her restaurants, and there isn’t the sense of the larger national conversation -- instead, Christensen’s food feels like it’s cooked just for you, which it is, of course. Her food is at once intimate and comforting, yet horizon-broadening too, so yes, she is a one special cook. 

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    THE HOT SEAT: Rob McDaniel of SpringHouse, Alexander City, AL

    THE HOT SEAT: Rob McDaniel of SpringHouse, Alexander City, AL

    If you know much of anything about Southern cuisine and restaurants, chances are, you know the name Rob McDaniel. He’s been nominated for numerous James Beard awards, and his long tenure at SpringHouse on Lake Martin outside of Birmingham, AL has allowed him to evolve as a chef respecting the seasons and sustenance from his home state. 

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    THE HOT SEAT: Chef Jason Stanhope of Fig

    THE HOT SEAT: Chef Jason Stanhope of Fig

    It makes all the “best in Charleston lists,” it’s probably been suggested by two or more of your friends, but chances are, even after all the build up, a visit to FIG in Charleston, SC will live up -- or surpass -- that reputation. That’s in large part because of the steady hand of Chef Jason Stanhope on the helm, a James Beard Best Chef: South winner who loves to cook and loves to build a team that excels at every aspect of a restaurant experience.

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