Charleston Stories

To celebrate the stories behind Lowcountry kitchens and tables, the Southern Foodways Alliance debuted its Oral History Bus at the 2015 Charleston Wine + Food Festival, filming oral history interviews of Charleston’s culinary past and present.

Capturing the lives of Charleston’s cooks, artisans, chefs, farmers, and purveyors, here are culinary luminaries sharing their stories of the Lowcountry. While some are Charleston natives and some are from afar, all claim this place as the source of their influence and inspiration.

Support for this oral history project comes from Charleston Wine + Food
Special thanks to Jim 'N Nick's for use of their bus during the festival


Angie Bellinger

Angie Bellinger is the owner of Workmen’s Cafe in Charleston, South Carolina.

Ari Kolender

Ari Kolender is the executive chef of Leon’s Fine Poultry and Oysters, and St. Alban in Charleston, South Carolina.

BJ Dennis

BJ Dennis is a chef born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina. His cooking is inspired by the Gullah Geechee culture.

Celeste Albers

Celeste Albers is a farmer who owns Green Grocer with her husband, George, in Wadmalaw, South Carolina.

Charlotte Jenkins

Charlotte Jenkins is a chef and former owner of Gullah Cuisine in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina.

Frank Roberts

Frank Roberts is the owner of Lady’s Island Oyster in Seabrook, South Carolina where he grows and farms oysters.

Germaine Jenkins

Germaine Jenkins is a farmer and CEO of Fresh Future Farm in North Charleston, South Carolina.

Mark Marhefka

Mark Marhefka is a commercial fisherman who owns Abundant Seafood with his wife, Kerry, in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina.

Martha Lou Gadsden

Martha Lou Gadsden is the owner of Martha Lou’s Kitchen in Charleston, South Carolina.

Michelle Weaver

Michelle Weaver is the executive chef of Charleston Grill in Charleston, South Carolina.

Mike Lata

Mike Lata is chef and owner of FIG Restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina.

Reggie Gibson

Reggie Gibson is an architect with Gibson Guess Architects in Charleston, South Carolina.

Robert Stehling

Robert Stehling is the chef and owner of Hominy Grill in Charleston, South Carolina.

Vereen Coen

Vereen Coen is the daughter of Mary Vereen Huguenin, one of the two editors of the “Charleston Receipts” cookbook.