HIDDEN F&B: Christian Hunter, Sorghum & Salt
By Helen Mitternight
(Editors 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.”)
Christian Hunter, Sorghum & Salt’s chef de cuisine, is vegetable-forward and always local, although he says, “We don’t consider it local. We just consider it food. Sourcing it locally is an automatic.”
Favorite Kitchen Tool or Gadget: A spoon because I like tasting things. I keep spoons on me.
In My Refrigerator (3 Things): Eggs, American cheese — yes, the individual slices — and bread, preferably house-made.
In My Pantry (3 Things): Fish sauce, dried chili powder and TAJÍN® Seasoning, a chili-lime spice blend.
Favorite After-work Hangout: I walk to work, so I like to stop at Moe’s Crosstown on the way home to check out sports, crunch six wings, have a quick beer.
Favorite Charleston Restaurant Other Than Yours: Lewis Barbecue.
Comfort Food: Rice and beans and if I can get some cornbread in there, even better. I like pinto beans, Sea Island red peas.
Favorite Smell: Bread baking.
Favorite Drink: A bloody Mary, but the blonde bloody Mary mix made in Charleston. I could drink that by itself. You don’t even need booze.
Number of Hours You Work a Week: I try to cap myself at 60 hours but sometimes it goes to 65.
Customer Pet Peeve: This narrative that Sorghum & Salt is off the beaten path. I'm always interested that people don’t seek out neighborhood restaurants. It’s always the King Street restaurants. It grinds my gears when people call us “off the beaten path” or “a hidden gem.”
Most Under-rated Ingredient: Salt. You can’t taste anything without salt.
Favorite Meal to Cook at Home: I keep it pretty simple at home. I enjoy a sandwich, cold cuts, cheeses — not always American cheese! — and a really nice bread.
Best Advice From A Mentor: It was a professor in college who told me that once you get to a certain level in cooking, everyone around you can cook. It’s the dealing with people and being a good leader that is the hardest part of being a chef.
Sorghum & Salt is at 186 Coming Street. Want more? Check out the companion podcast with Christian!