Meet Charleston's Biscuit Queen"I'm a little different than most Charlestonians in that I love to travel, but I appreciate Charleston the most when I'm away from it."
Carrie Morey is a lifelong Charlestonian, but the place can still surprise her. On a recent outing to Husk, the new restaurant of James Beard Foundation Award-winning chef Sean Brock, she had a meal that changed her life. "He fried chicken skin," she says with hedonistic delight. "It's such a simple thing, but I've been eating fried chicken my whole life and would have never thought to do that. I like that I live in this community where people are thinking of different ways to make our food, that's so rich in culture, the star."
Morey is a food innovator in her own right as the woman behind Callie's Charleston Biscuits. The company began in 2005, based on her mother Callie's locally famous recipe, as a way to celebrate a traditional Southern staple — and to spice up a long maternity leave. Now the company is making 36,000 homemade biscuits a month, and they can be found in 65 retailers across the country.
Despite the biscuits' popularity, Morey still only works about 20 hours a week so she can spend time with her three daughters. "I'm a little different than most Charlestonians in that I love to travel, but I appreciate Charleston the most when I'm away from it," she explains. "This is a fabulous place to raise a family. You've got the water and the beaches and a great sense of family."
When she's not overseeing biscuit production, Morey is probably on a boat headed to the beach at Morris Island or Sullivan's Island, where locals seek respite from the tourist crowds of downtown. "We're on the boat almost every weekend," she says. "We'll pack a picnic and get on the mud banks and the kids can run around with our dog, Butter. We'll throw a cast net to try and catch shrimp. It's very simple living."
On the way home, the family might drop by Pitt Street Pharmacy for an indulgence suitable for all ages: old-fashioned milkshakes.
Morey is adamant that Charleston's iteration of "Southern" food is much more than the stereotypical shrimp and grits. Her peers in the food industry are a constant source of inspiration for her, and she reconnects with the inventive side of Southern cuisine at FIG (Food Is Good). Once, when her bakers fulfilled a major order, Morey treated them all to dinner at FIG, where James Beard Foundation Award-winning chef Mike Lata had seasonal white truffle pasta on the menu.
"It's the best pasta you've ever put in your mouth," she exclaims. "It's so simple, the flavor of this fresh ingredient you can only get a month out of the year."
Not surprisingly, this is a family that cooks together. Morey's daughters already know their grandmother's recipe (and its secret ingredient, a brand of flour that can only be found in the South). In a place where heritage and hospitality are paramount, this family is poised to continue a long Southern tradition.
Check out Carrie's Charleston.