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.
OUR BRAND PILLARS
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 email@example.com.
Angelique DeClercq, Art Director
A reformed Northerner (like many of us here at TLP), Angelique DeClercq moved to the Orlando area in the early 2000s after years on staff at Wine Spectator and freelance stints with publications like Saveur and Vogue. In Florida, Angelique began teaching art and design to high school and college students and dove back into the publishing world at Bonnier publications Garden Design and American Photo. Now, she’s relocated once again, this time to Charleston to take up the mantle as TLP’s new art director. “It’s always been a dream of mine to art direct a food publication,” she says.
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 Benje.
Jacob Hollifield, Assistant Editor
Jacob Hollifield is a southerner who sees food as storyteller in and of itself. Raised in the Upstate of South Carolina he moved down to the ‘Holy City’ upon graduating from Wofford College where he worked as a writer and editor for the award-winning student newspaper, the Old Gold & Black, freelanced for Spartanburg Magazine, and interned with Charleston magazine. His favorite internship, though, was with the Local Palate in the summer of 2021, after which he joined the team as the Assistant Editor. Jacob lives in Downtown Charleston and can often be found at one of the many eateries that are dangerously close to home.
Hannah Lee Leidy, Digital Editor
Hannah Lee Leidy joined the Local Palate as their Digital Editor, bringing with her a deep love for cheese, traveling, and David Sedaris essays. A Southern native with a penchant for snowfall, she attended Kenyon College in Ohio and earned a degree in English and Creative Writing before returning to the southeast. Her work as a travel editor introduced her to the wonderful world of food writing. As she cut her teeth on freelance gigs, contributing to Condé Nast Traveler, Eater, Food52, and Culture Cheese Magazine, she concurrently worked in fine dining, learning everything she could between the bar, the cooking line, and early mornings assisting the pastry chef. If she’s not outdoors, she’s either baking pie or visiting the nearest cheese counter.
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 Birdie, 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.
Laurel Gann, Digital Marketing Manager
Laurel Gann is a digital content marketing pro with a strong background in the tourism and economic development industries, working on behalf of cities, states, and regions. A New Mexico native, Laurel moved to Charleston, SC in 2014 and fell hard for all-things Southern food & culture — she even tried to move back West after graduating from the College of Charleston, but only lasted a few short years in Colorado before inevitably settling in the Charleston suburb of James Island. Laurel joined the Local Palate in 2021, bringing her passion for Southern food & culture together with her expertise in the digital marketing space.