Gwen Fowler



What's your favorite summer ingredients?

Posted 6/29/2010 11:14:00 AM

Chef Mike Lata of FIG in Charleston shared his favorite summer ingredients in the June 16 e-newsletter of the James Beard Foundation.

He named South Carolina wild roe shrimp, heirloom tomatoes, succotash, boiled green peanuts and peaches.

“Being a damn Yankee, I was probably 25 years old before I had a boiled peanut," he said, "but the first time I had a fresh-dug, boiled green peanut, I decided there was no better way to eat peanuts.”

He loves succotash in every incarnation, he said. “It’s tough to narrow the list of summer ingredients down, but I get to cover a few bases with succotash: butter beans, corn, sweet and hot peppers.”

Lata was named the James Beard Best Chef in the Southeast for 2009, one of three Charleston chefs who have won the award in the past three years. Robert Stehling of Hominy Grill won in 2008, and Sean Brock of McCrady’s won this year.