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Day 2: Brunch at The Hominy Grill

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Robert Stehling's Braised Oxtail Ragout

© Courtesy of Tom Colicchio
Robert Stehling's Braised Oxtail Ragout

Editor's note: Tom Colicchio, the head judge on Bravo's Top Chef (and a Food & Wine Best New Chef 1991), will be blogging every day this week about his road trip from Atlanta.

Back in Charleston that morning we made a beeline for a local favorite of mine, The Hominy Grill. The Hominy specializes in Southern classics like fried green tomatoes, she-crab soup, and--as its name would suggest--really, really good grits. Everything is prepared from scratch and as many of the ingredients as possible are local. Shrimp and grits is probably The Hominy's signature dish, but Ted Lee's personal strategy is to order from the specials board, which is where Chef Robert Stehling really has his fun. I followed Ted's advice and ordered from the chalkboard a braised oxtail ragout over cheese grits, topped with a poached egg. I was not disappointed.

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.