Food & Drink

Southern Chefs’ Go-To Road Trip Snacks

The South’s ultimate foodies share their gas-station guilty pleasures

Photo: JAcqueline Stofsick

The South’s top chefs may spend their days and nights creating and eating award-winning cuisine, but when they’re on the road, they’re just like the rest of us—hungry for classic convenience-store snacks. Here are a baker’s dozen favorites.

Rodney Scott
Rodney Scott’s BBQ | Charleston, SC, and Birmingham, AL

“Cracker Jacks. The trick is, [before you open it] you have to turn the bag upside down and wiggle it to get the peanuts out of the bottom.”

Photo: JAcqueline Stofsick

Rodney Scott.

Sam Jones
Sam Jones BBQ and Skylight Inn BBQ | Winterville and Ayden, NC

“I’d go for something sweet, like peach rings or Reese’s. But when I go duck hunting in the Outer Banks, I wear out some Captain’s Wafers.”

Photo: JAcqueline Stofsick

Sam Jones.

Maneet Chauhan
Chauhan Ale & Masala House, Chaatable, Tànsuŏ, and The Mockingbird | Nashville, TN

“Fried peanuts. These are called ‘timepass’ in India where I grew up because they take a long time to eat. They’d often be eaten while waiting for a train— to help pass the time. They’d roast them on the streets in a wok filled with sand. These peanuts remind me of sitting and eating timepass in the winter sun as a child.”

Photo: JAcqueline Stofsick

Maneet Chauhan.

Jerry Slater
The Expat | Athens, GA

“Hot and spicy pork rinds. Obviously—I have a tattoo of a pig.”

Jerry Slater.

Katie Button
Cúrate and Button & Co. Bagels | Asheville, NC

“If I was being true to myself, it would have to be Flamin’ Hot Fritos.”

Photo: JAcqueline Stofsick

Katie Button.

Karl Worley
Biscuit Love | Nashville, TN

“Well Carbo Karl would choose the Reese’s or the Swiss Cake Roll. Keto Karl chooses the hot and spicy pork skins.”

Photo: Jacqueline Stofsick

Karl Worley.

Brandon Carter
Farm | Bluffton, SC

“Combos for sure. The pepperoni flavor is weird, but if there’s cheddar, I’m definitely going for that.”

Photo: Jacqueline Stofsick

Brandon Carter

Vivian Howard
Chef & the Farmer, Boiler Room Oyster Bar, and Benny’s Big Time Pizzeria | Kinston and Wilmington, NC

“Chex Mix, preferably bold and spicy. But I only eat the Chex and the brown Melba toast pieces. Those things are so good. Now, if there is a microwave, I might choose a MoonPie and warm it up for 10 seconds.”

Photo: JAcqueline Stofsick

Vivian Howard.

Jean-Paul Bourgeois
Blue Smoke | New York, NY

“Andy Capp’s Hot Fries. It’s a guilty pleasure.”

Photo: Jacqueline Stofsick

Jean-Paul Bourgeois.

Todd Richards
Richards’ Southern Fried | Atlanta, GA

“Peanut M&M’s. They’re sweet, crunchy, and salty all at the same time. I save the green ones for last.”

Photo: Jacqueline Stofsick

Todd Richards.

Meherwan Irani
Chai Pani, Buxton Hall Barbecue, and Botiwalla | Asheville, NC, and Atlanta, GA

“Jack Link’s Korean BBQ Jerky. They’re one of the only brands you can find that do pork jerky.”

Photo: Jacqueline Stofsick

Meherwan Irani.

Ashley Christensen
Poole’s Diner, Beasley’s Chicken + Honey, Chuck’s, Death & Taxes, and Fox Liquor Bar | Raleigh, NC

“I mentioned yesterday that this is the first time we’ve driven to Charleston and not stopped for beef jerky.”

Photo: JAcqueline Stofsick

Ashley Christensen at the G&G office with Trooper.

David Bancroft
Acre and Bow & Arrow | Auburn, AL

“Doritos, Snickers, and a bottled Coke. I used to go to the gas station with my Grandpa Kennedy and that’s what we’d get.”

Photo: Jacqueline Stofsick

David Bancroft.