Hidden F&B: Patty Arredondo
By Helen Mitternight
Editor's note: Charleston is such a foodie town that food and beverage superstars are hiding in plain sight, out of theJames Beardlimelight, but still very much creating and serving amazing food and drinks. This series profiles Charleston’s “Hidden F&Bs.”
Now, she’s helping the Lowcountry experience the charms of tequila and hatch chiles.
Many of us know John Lewis from his mouthwatering Texas brisket made famous byLewis Barbecue.But would we follow him across the country? Patty Arredondo did – she followed him from Texas to help open a Southwestern cuisine restaurant calledRancho Lewis.Now, she’s helping the Lowcountry experience the charms of tequila and hatch chiles.
Favorite kitchen tool or gadget
My knives are some of my favorite things. I have collected quite a few over the years.
In my refrigerator (3 things)
Pickles of any sort all the time: okra, cabbage, plain pickles. Also, lettuces. And, in my freezer, tamales from back home.
In my pantry (3 things)
Too many spices, dried mushrooms because I like to make Dashi or broth, and oil: olive, grapeseed, olive, avocado…I love oils.
Rice and pinto beans with a little bit of salsa or hot sauce for spice.
I love the smell of wood-roasted chiles. I come from the land of mesquite, so the smell of mesquite-roasting fresh chiles.
Anything with tequila in it. I carry a tiny bottle of chile-lime salt with me. And I love grapefruits, so a grapefruit Margarita or Paloma.
Number of hours you work a week
I couldn’t tell you. It’s nonstop, but it doesn’t feel that way because I love what I do.
Customer pet peeve
I know the answer is supposed to be I don’t have any, but the real answer is I don’t like it when people take their napkin when they’re done eating and lay it over the plate like something is diseased.
Best advice a mentor gave you
Raul Garza, who lives in Austin, helped me on my transformational journey from serving to management. He told me to just be myself truthfully.
Arredondo has a lot more to say. Hear it all on this month'sCharleston Grit episode of the Hidden F&B podcast available for listening now.
Want more? Gonationalwith heroes who are hiding beyond Charleston's scene.