Hidden F&B: Burnt & Salty
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.”)
Bob Cook and Cris Miller are the couple behind Burnt & Salty, a condiment company that started with Korean Mustard (yes, they know that’s not a thing, but they’re sticking to it!). And, though the company name came from the way Cook likes his steaks, the two are both a bit burnt and definitely salty!
Favorite Kitchen Tool or Gadget:
Bob: A mandoline, even though I cut myself every time I use it.
Cris: I don’t cook a whole lot, but I like a microplane.
In My Refrigerator (3 Things):
Bob: To-go boxes, some sort of insanely hot sauce, some sort of almond or coconut milk. God, I sound like such a hipster!
Cris: Duke’s Mayonnaise, wine in one form or another, vegetables.
In My Pantry (3 Things):
Bob: Fish sauce, Golden Mountain soy sauce, some sort of chili product.
Cris: Peanut butter, ramen, and we just had a delivery from Altman Farm and Mill of grits, cornbread… I can’t wait to use that.
Favorite After-work Hangout:
Bob: The Griffon or Home Team. I’m a cocktail guy.
Cris: (points to her living room) These two couches. And Carmella’s.
Favorite Charleston Restaurant Other Than Yours:
Bob: My personal favorite is Bacco. It’s the most frequented of my personal favorites.
Cris: There are so many restaurants, and we try to go out one to two times a month. I would say Xiao Bao Biscuit and, if we’re getting fancy, The Establishment.
Bob: Chicken wings.
Cris: Dough. Cinnamon rolls.
Bob: Makrut lime.
Bob: It currently would be something with rum in it. A Hemingway Daquiri.
Cris: A Hemingway Daquiri.
Number of Hours You Work a Week:
Bob: There’s no bell that rings but we do try to have work-life balance.
Cris: I work 30-35 hours a week at the restaurant, but then the rest of the time, I’m working on Burnt & Salty
Customer Pet Peeve:
Bob: People are not going to want to hear this but I would love for people to quit thinking they’re so special with their allergies. Chefs take every allergy seriously.
Most Under-rated Ingredient:
Bob: Fish sauce.
Cris: Fish sauce.
Favorite Meal to Cook at Home:
Bob: Burnt and salty steak!
Cris: Crab legs.
Best Advice From A Mentor:
Bob: Someone told me once just to take the first step. Just start. And, also, a chef when I was a kid told me I was never going to amount to shit. That’s motivating!
Cris: John Stoddard. I was young, in the Navy and on my way to dive school. He told me, “Just don’t quit.”
Visit Burnt & Salty online to find out where you can get their condiments. Want more? Tune into Episode 16 of our Hidden F&B podcast with Bob and Cris!