Best Southern Food in the U.S.
Defined by an abundance of fresh seafood and produce, grain-producing marshlands and a melting pot of Spanish/French/West African culture, Southern cuisine is soul-warming comfort food at its best. Charleston and New Orleans are at the top of my short list for food-forward destinations, cities whose mere mention conjures up the smell of crab and shrimp sautéing in a pan. But don't stop your culinary tour there: Nashville; Jackson, Mississippi; Birmingham, Alabama; and Savannah, Georgia, are all on my radar, as local chefs revisit (and revive) classic Southern recipes passed through the generations. —Andrew Zimmern.
Chef Mike Lata was on the forefront of the city's booming farm-to-table food scene, connecting diners with local farms for nearly a decade. His restaurant FIG (an acronym for Food is Good) is a modern space with a convivial atmosphere, and more often than not, packed with eager customers. The James Beard award-winner adds French flare to his low-country cuisine with dishes like John's Island tomato tarte Tatin, Prosecco-steamed inlet clams and a ballotine of chicken and sausage with roasted cherries. I cooked with Mike Lata once at a food fest in Florida and the guy is an amazing chef, immensely talented and a great guy to boot. eatatfig.com