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The Local Palate is a Southern food culture magazine that tells the stories behind the people, places, and foodways that make up this diverse and dynamic culinary region. Here, food and drink are more than sustenance—they’re a way of life. We invite readers to join us and our team of experts as we explore Southern recipes, traditions, artisanal products, makers, chefs, getaways, and communities, and use food as a lens to better understand this rich, storied region. Through our events and our online shop, the Local Palate Marketplace, we connect our audience to the people and products we cover, giving them the opportunity to experience these stories first-hand.


Food & Drink    

Culture & Community

Travel & Exploration

Southern Makers & Experts

Ingredients & Products

Home & Entertaining

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Visit the Local Palate Marketplace to shop a curated selection of artisan goods for your table, bar, kitchen, and pantry.

Meet the Team

Joe Spector, Publisher & CEO

Joe Spector is Publisher & CEO of the Local Palate. He founded the magazine in 2011 and over the past ten years has been the driving force behind it, creating new opportunities and areas for growth, including expanding its distribution nationally. The Local Palate has enjoyed sustained growth across multiple platforms including print, digital, social media, and events. Equally respected by the trade and consumer, the Local Palate was named a finalist for the James Beard Award for excellence in visual storytelling in 2014. After graduating from Northeastern University in Boston, Spector spearheaded a number of start-up ventures in the consumer products industry, technology sector, and entertainment industry before turning to the publishing industry. He lives in downtown Charleston with his wife Jaynie, who owns Dog & Horse Fine Art Gallery.

Erin Byers Murray, Editor in Chief

Erin Byers Murray joined the Local Palate in 2020 as editor in chief and oversees the editorial content across all platforms, including the magazine, the Local Palate Marketplace, the website, and social media channels. She began working with the magazine as a freelance writer in 2015, and brings with her 20 years of magazine editing and food reporting experience. Murray is an award-winning author and cookbook collaborator, and her work has appeared in publications from the Boston Globe to Food & Wine. Murray’s fascination with recipes and ingredients extends into her home life—the Syracuse University alum loves testing and experimenting with new recipes, or figuring out dishes to try in her outdoor pizza oven. When she’s not cooking, she spends time walking the hills of West Nashville or digging into a good book, and is usually surrounded by her husband Dave, their children Charlie and Maggie, and their rescue dog Rex.

For editorial inquiries, pitches, or feedback, please email Erin at


Lia Grabowski, Associate Editor
Lia Grabowski is a multimedia journalist specializing in food culture and travel writing. She joined the editorial team at the Local Palate as the assistant editor in 2017 and now serves as the associate editor of the publication. A Michigan native and University of South Carolina alumna, Lia now lives in the Charleston suburb of James Island with her husband and their three fur-children: Tyrion, Melisandre, and Benjen.  

Daniela Johnson, Content Marketing Manager
Daniela Johnson manages the Local Palate Marketplace’s content marketing efforts. With a background in spirits and publishing, she utilizes content, social media, and SEO to tell digital stories. When Daniela isn’t working, reading, or writing, you’ll find her crafting, exploring Charleston’s beaches and parks, or sampling the food in Southern cities with her husband, Dustin. She’s an animal lover, a house plant enthusiast, and a novice ukulele player.

Cami Whiteford, E-commerce Engagement Manager
Cami Whiteford is our E-Commerce Engagement Manager. She manages vendors and products for the online Marketplace and works to find the best products in the South. After moving from Maryland to Charleston, she was eager to get involved in the Southern culture and that is when she came across the Local Palate. Finding, experiencing, and sharing new things that connect her to the south is something she loves. If you are looking for her outside of work, you can find her walking her Husky puppy all around downtown Charleston taking in the beautiful sights.

Amanda FitzGerald, Director of Sales and Marketing
Amanda FitzGerald thrives on wearing multiple hats, which comes with the territory of being Director of Sales and Marketing. After graduating from Clemson University with an International Management degree, Amanda fell into a career in the publishing industry. Her array of experience from American City Business Journals is what led her to pursue the Local Palate when returning home to Charleston, combining her interest and love for food and traveling, and passion for the publishing world. Amanda and her husband James are always seeking their next adventure, when they’re not at home with their dog Hattie, cat Butters, and five chickens.

Maggie Ward, Events and Marketing Manager
Maggie Ward is an events and marketing manager for the Local Palate magazine. Having spent three years in various roles within the Local Palate, Maggie specializes in special projects that bring the stories from our pages to life and creating experiences that allow our readers to engage with the magazine in meaningful ways. She spends her time seeking out the latest underground culinary talents and trends around the South. While based in downtown Charleston, Maggie is an avid adventure traveler, spending part of her years in remote locations discovering the international foodways that continue to influence Southern food culture today.