Robert F. Moss writes about food, drink, and travel. Based in Charleston, South Carolina, he is the Contributing Barbecue Editor for Southern Living, Restaurant Critic for the Post & Courier, and the author of five books on food and beverage history.Read More About Robert

The Lost Southern Chefs: A History of Commercial Dining in the Nineteenth-Century South

The Lost Southern Chefs fills in important gaps in the history of Southern food by telling for the first time the full story of commercial dining in the 19-century South. The book punctures long-accepted notions that dining outside the home was universally poor, arguing that what we would today call “fine dining” flourished throughout the region as its towns and cities grew. It describes the economic forces and technological advances that revolutionized public dining, reshaped commercial pantries, and gave southerners who loved to eat a wealth of restaurants, hotel dining rooms, oyster houses, confectionery stores, and saloons. Most important, the book tells the forgotten stories of the people who drove this culinary revolution, men and women who fully embodied the title “chef” and ended up being all but erased from history.

Latest News & Publications

Join Me at Buxton Books for More Charleston Restaurant History

In June I gave a talk at Buxton Books drawing from my latest book, The Lost Southern Chefs and told the story of restaurant dining in Charleston from 1800 through Reconstruction. This month, I'll tell the rest of the story . . .
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15 Minutes with Dano & Bethany Heinz

For the September issue of Charleston Magazine, I sat down with Dano & Bethany Heinz for a 15 minute chat about their journey from McCrady's to Calfornia and back to Charleston, where they've just opened Vern's, a neighborhood restaurant that's getting a ton of buzz.
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Latest Review: Berkeley's

For my latest restaurant review for the Post & Courier, I visited Berkeley's on Rutledge Avenue and sampled their exceptional cheesesteaks and fried chicken cutlet sammies. This one's a winner, folks.
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