Local food writer launches The Southern Fork podcast

(Grace Beahm/Staff) 7/14/08

In just the few short weeks since this year began, at least two startups have unleashed apps that are supposed to make audio blogging (aka unedited pontificating) ridiculously easy. That means the already teeming field of listening material is about to get even more crowded.

So it’s nice to come across a bit of produced sound that’s worth the required 30-minute investment. I’m admittedly biased in this regard, since the show’s host, Stephanie Burt, is a biweekly contributor to Charleston Scene. But the qualities that make Burt an ideal compiler of our Lowdown column, a themed roundup of restaurant recommendations, are also hugely helpful in the podcast context: She’s well-acquainted with the local dining scene and genuinely interested in the people contributing to it.

One of those people is Christina Hagan, head of Hominy Grill’s dessert program. Hagan is featured in the first episode of The Southern Fork, which is structured as a one-on-one conversation. Burt describes the format as “Fresh Air with food people.”

“I’ll come home from interviews and try my hand at homemade ricotta, or start noticing how the shape of the ice in my cocktail affects its drinkability,” Burt says. “But I leave a lot of our conversations off the page: Most of what I write is short format, so I usually only need a few quotes.”

If Burt wrote up her chat with Hagan, readers might only learn that hummingbird cake and chocolate pudding are among Hominy’s most popular desserts. Over the span of the podcast, though, Hagan reveals why she always makes chocolate-chip cookies for her children’s school functions, and why she thinks her Cuban ancestry keeps her from making a consistent caramel cake.

The first two episodes of Burt’s podcast posted on Wednesday. Future guests include pitmaster Rodney Scott; sommelier Cappie Peete; chef Jacques Larson and Cheryl Day of Savannah’s Back in the Day Bakery. The Southern Fork is available through iTunes.