Sean Brock's happy pigs

© Courtesy of Tom Colicchio
Sean Brock's happy pigs

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.

Our first stop after brunch was meeting Sean Brock at Thackeray Farms, which is about thirty minutes from downtown Charleston on Wadmalaw Island.

Sean Thackeray originally grew flowers on his land but in the past few years has been planting a wide array of produce, and is currently transitioning to become a fully organic operation. Sean Brock grew his own produce on this land for a while, and still buys extensively from Thackeray. Walking the crop rows we stopped to sample everything from peppery French radishes to sweet turnips to lemony arugula, and I was reminded how much better things taste when you pull them out of the ground with your own two hands.

In addition to his crops, Thackeray also raises pigs. When we found Sean Thackeray, he was hard at work building a wooden chute that he would use to keep his pigs from panicking when he loads them into a truck. At the time of our visit, rooting around in a sprawling pasture were three big, fat, happy Yorkshires owned by Sean Brock, along with seven little Berkshire piglets of Thackeray's.