The characteristics, charm, traditions, legendary food culture, and beauty of the Southeast coast that locals and millions of visitors love define Shrimp, Collards and Grits Magazine. We relish our culture, taste, and true southern hospitality everyday, everywhere-along her creeks and rivers and among her historic streets.

We Southerners are diverse. Long before Rhett Butler uttered “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn,” the ecstasy of regional recognition intoxicated us. We long for a return to Southern charm and chivalry.

Recently we’ve seen Charleston and the greater South’s popularity soar. No one will argue that Charleston is a food town that evolves daily with newer food trends. This reputation has spilled over into towns to the north and south of this great city as world-class chefs take notice and move to the Lowcountry. Our food and beverage scene is hot and getting hotter every day. Still, we see a craving for authenticity and a return to reverence for our roots as historic influences such as Carolina Gold Rice and ancient grains show up in our restaurants and celebrations. But seersucker suits, grits and gravy will not sustain the South’s legacy anymore than our mint juleps, magnolia blossoms, or beloved sterling silver tea sets. To be relevant, we must contribute something genuine to the nation-whether it’s manufacturing ultramodern airliners or bringing local shrimp to the marketplace.

In creating our premiere issue, we were like gourmands trying to discern a secret ingredient in a recipe. We focused on the key ingredients that create that Lowcountry magic: literature, conservation, hunting and fishing, the arts, distinctive destinations, Southern characters, and celebrations. We proudly declare we are the only magazine dedicated to being the voice of this great region we affectionately call the Lowcountry.

Let us take heed. The ways and traditions of the Southland are vanishing, our shrimp fleets are diminishing, along with our oystermen and crabbers. Industries and old country stores are fading from the landscape. We pay tribute to those people who’ve fallen off the radar, believing the heart and soul of this place lies in the everyday lives of ordinary people. We want to capture as much as we can-save it and protect it-before it’s unrecognizable or forever lost.

The real South comes alive on the pages of Shrimp, Collards and Grits. We tip our hat to the writers, artists, photographers, chefs, and others who contribute to the cultural collective we celebrate and explore. We look not solely through a lens of regional pride and affluence but also through the eyes of spirited men and women who quietly fight to preserve all things Southern every day.

Pull up a front porch rocker, pour a tall glass of sweet tea, and savor the flavors of Shrimp, Collards and Grits.

Pat Branning