Really enjoyed chatting with the Post and Courier recently all about how Jai Eats came to be, what inspires me within the local food scene and more in this feature. The original piece can be found here, or read along for the full feature.
Welcome to Lowcountry ’Grammer, a new column designed to showcase the most well-composed, innovative and delicious culinary photography by Lowcountry Instagram “influencers” (i.e., people who run accounts that make you hungry/thirsty, sometimes in exchange for meals or money from the featured restaurant.) Go ahead, throw them a follow, and don’t forget to follow @postandcourier while you’re at it!
Jai Jones lives on James Island, works as a creative director, and runs @jaieats.
Launched account: January 2015
Posting frequency: 3 per week
I moved back to Charleston in 2010 after college, which was an interesting time in the city. The culinary scene in Charleston was quickly gaining more national attention at that point. Husk was just opened by Sean Brock and Mike Lata was doing incredible work at FIG.
For me, the passion of the people behind the food really inspires me. Talking to a chef who is truly passionate about the dishes they create is invigorating for me as a creative, and it makes me want to help tell that story.
I see creating a beautiful cocktail or a dish as an art form. The flavors, colors, textures and shapes in food inspire me in the same way that more traditional subjects do, and every time I see a beautiful dish, my mind starts racing on how to best capture it. In the end, it really is me conveying my experience through a photo.
I usually am eating with friends or family when I go out, so family-style meals are usually normal to really get an understanding of a menu, and helps me have more of a balance.
It can sometimes be a challenge finding the right environment to capture food within a restaurant, and usually much easier during the day for lunch/brunch where there is natural light than dinner (although I tend to get pretty creative when light proves to be an issue — table candles can be your friend sometimes.)
The biggest challenge is really just keeping up with the latest while also making sure to visit some of my favorites I’ve been going to for years, like Hannibal’s Kitchen and Cru Cafe.