It's not always easy finding great eats in smaller cities off the culinary beaten path. So if you stumble across a place named The Lazy Goat in Greenville, SC, your heart is not likely going to soar with anticipation. But you'd be wrong. The Goat has a remarkably talented chef, Lindsay Autry, who is cooking way beyond her years.
The 25-year-old is from South Carolina, where she grew up on a farm with 3,000 peach trees and a lush vegetable garden just outside Fayetteville. But her big city ambitions eventually carried her to the Miami outpost of Johnson & Wales, where she was named class valedictorian. She caught the eye of celebrity chef Michelle Bernstein, who invited Autry to join her at Azul in Miami's Mandarin Oriental.
Bernstein eventually opened her own restaurant in Cancun, and she asked Autry to run the kitchen at MB in the Fiesta Americana Hotel. Autry created a hurricane of excitement with her menu until a real hurricane, Wilma, roared through Cancun and blew away the restaurant and hotel.
But Autry's bad luck quickly turned good when Bernstein was invited to compete on Iron Chef. Autry joind her in the fight against Bobby Flay and together they smoked the redhead, beating him by a considerable margin. Autry then went on to cook at Las Brisas, the flagship restaurant of The Fairmont Mayakoba in Playa del Carmen in Mexico.
Back on familiar turf in South Carolina, Autry's menu at The Lazy Goat embraced Mediterranean flavors, including a Moroccan lamb dish that takes three days to prepare. But she's okay with that because she's obsessed with doing everything from scratch, including making paprika from peppers grown on her family's farm. There's nothing lazy about Lindsay Autry.