In the Field

Quick Bites from Basic Projects

By: The Local Palate

Getting Back to Basics
with a Charleston Design Couple

Ben and Kate Towill of design company Basic Projects recently opened a new inn and restaurant, Post House Inn, in Charleston, South Carolina. Having received high marks from both locals and critics, the space is being applauded for its locally driven menu and charming aesthetic. The couple are also behind another TLP favorite, Basic Kitchen, whose mission statement “cleaner fuel, longer adventures” is most realized through fresh, healthy small plates. We caught up with the entrepreneurial couple who filled us in on how they got started and where they’ve taken it—and generously shared recipes for a few of our go-to dishes from both properties.

Ben + Kate Towill

How did you come to make Charleston your home?

We were living in New York and just really wanted to shift to a chiller pace of life. Ben was offered a job down here so that’s initially why we made the move. Once we settled in, we were hooked and knew this was a place we wanted to build a home and family in. We started Basic Projects, our design company, and began dreaming up Basic Kitchen.

Basic Kitchen

Basic Kitchen was your first restaurant project, which opened in 2017. How did you go about conceptualizing that restaurant?

We believe that the choices we make through food can have a positive impact on our health, community, and environment. We’ve always been drawn to fresh food and light and bright design, so wanted to marry those two concepts with BK. When it comes down to it, Basic Kitchen is about honest food that’s good for you, and enjoying your meal in a casual, relaxed environment.

What lessons carried over to opening the restaurant at Post House Inn?

We’re really drawn to restaurants that feel like a second home, so that factor was really important to us. Basic Kitchen has a great group of regulars who come in all the time and we wanted to emulate that at Post House. We made sure to have a solid list of signature dishes and drinks that people crave, and a welcoming atmosphere that feels cozy.

Post House

Where does menu inspiration come from at Basic Kitchen and Post House Inn?

Our chefs are incredibly talented and very involved in our local farm community. They work daily with producers to source the best ingredients and make that the focus—it’s really about doing as little as possible to the products and letting them shine.

What ingredients do you turn to most this time of year? 

We’re big into diverse flavors and are inspired by dishes from around the world. In our kitchen, you’ll find tons of local produce, whole grains and legumes, a rainbow of spices and vinegars, lots of healthful oils, wild-caught seafood, and sustainably raised meat.

What are you cooking tonight?

I’m so over cooking these days so I pick up a few pints of Sunshine Soup from BK and we’re eating that with some buttered bread! It’s been perfect for these chilly gray evenings, and nutritious, too.

Cauliflower Wings

from Charles Layton of Basic Kitchen in Charleston, South Carolina

Crab Toast

from Nathan Hood in Post House Inn of Charleston, South Carolina

Lamb Skewers

from Nathan Hood in Post House Inn of Charleston, South Carolina

BBQ Corn Ribs

from Charles Layton of Basic Kitchen in Charleston, South Carolina

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