Louis and Marlene Osteen

Louis’s at Pawley’s (CLOSED) Pawley's Island, SC

“Good Lord, the man can cook!” said the late R.W. Apple Jr., chief correspondent for the New York Times, of Louis Osteen. His prowess in the kitchen – preserved duck with red eye gravy, brown oyster stew with benne seeds, whole flounder with sweet onion jam, toasted corn cake with brandied figs – is of long note.

A native of Anderson, in the upstate of South Carolina, Louis Osteen is one of the leading champions of Lowcountry cuisine. He and his wife Marlene first claimed Pawley’s Island as home in 1980. They have lived either in Charleston or on Pawley’s ever since.

Since 2001, Louis Osteen has been the chef and co-owner of Louis’s at Pawley’s. Along the way, he’s found time to write a book, Louis Osteen’s Charleston Cuisine: Recipes from a Lowcountry Chef. Thumb the pages. It reads like a celebration of Lowcountry traditions, of Lowcountry people, filtered through the lens of a generous and intelligent cook, fully in the thrall of his native region.

Date of interview:

October 10, 2004


April Grayson, friend of the SFA

Louis Osteen SFA Founder Photo
I think a lot of people have dismissed the South as a wasteland...But it’s really significant...I think the South has given this country its best regional food.

[Food is] culture...All of these people from all these different cultures within the great Southern culture all had different food habits, different food on the tables.

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