HIDDEN F&B: Antwan Smalls

Our guest this month is military man and My Three Sons restaurateur Antwan Smalls.

By Helen Mitternight

(Editor's Note: Charleston is such a foodie town that food and beverage superstars are hiding in plain sight, out of the James Beard limelight, but still very much creating and serving amazing food and drinks. This series profiles Charleston’s “hidden F&Bs.”)

Antwan Smalls is the oldest son of My Three Sons restaurant, and re-opening a family restaurant plus his day jobs in the military mean a small amount of sleep for him. He's waiting for the final permits to come through for the Southern Gullah restaurant, but meanwhile you can still find him cooking up family style.

His take:

Favorite Kitchen Tool or Gadget: My mixer. A hand mixer, or a stand mixer if I’m making a lot of cakes.

In My Refrigerator (3 Things): Eggs, butter, milk and buttermilk.

In My Pantry (3 Things): Flour, sugar and a variety of extracts.

Favorite After-work Hangout: I actually go to the gym and do weights or I run. I do the Army Ten-Miler and the Disney half-marathon and I’m training for the Cooper River Bridge Run.

Favorite Charleston Restaurant Other Than Yours: I eat so late at night, it’s usually Chick-Fil-A or Tasty Crab House. If I go out to eat, I like a good steak, so Hall’s.

Comfort Food: Cookies. You know those cookies the Doubletree gives you? I asked them for the recipe. They wouldn’t give it to me, so I did what everybody else does and webt on Google.

Favorite Smell: The smell of cake when it’s almost done.

Favorite Drink: The Bahama Mama at Tropical Smoothie. It’s coconut, white chocolate, strawberry, banana and something else that makes it tropical.

Number of Hours You Work a Week: I work a minimum of 40 for my contract job with the US Navy, I do admin stuff for my (Army) unit for a couple of hours, and the rest of the time, I’m at the restaurant. I only sleep like four or five hours a night.

Customer Pet Peeve: Leaving here unhappy without giving me a chance to fix it.

Most Under-rated Ingredient: Love.

Favorite Meal to Cook at Home: Barbecue. I have both coal and propane and I’m getting a custom one made for the restaurant that’s going to be a kitchen on wheels.

Best Advice From A Mentor: It was Miss Alice Warren. She said everything will work out.

Check out My Three Sons when it opens in its new location at 5237 Dorchester Road, North Charleston. Want more? Tune in and listen to Episode 17 of the Hidden F&B companion podcast featuring Antwan here!

This is a sign in the middle of a restaurant that says Welcome to My Three Sons.