2018 PARTICIPATING CHEFS

 

ANDY TICER & MICHAEL HUDMAN

Executive Chefs/Owners – Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen + Hog & Hominy

Born and bred Memphians, Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman opened Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen in 2008 to feature innovative Italian cooking rooted in Southern tradition. The Chefs trained at Johnson and Wales University in Charleston, South Carolina and the Italian Culinary Institute in Calabria, Italy. Their second restaurant, Hog & Hominy, is a wood burning, neighborhood eatery and was named one of the top new restaurants by GQ Magazine, Southern Living, and Bon Appetit as well as a semi-finalist for Best New Restaurant from the James Beard Foundation, which also named the chefs semi-finalists for the Best Chef: Southeast award for three consecutive years during 2012-2014, and a finalist for the award in 2015, 2016, and 2017. In 2013, they were awarded Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chefs Award and named in Starchefs.com’s 2014 Kentucky-Tennessee Rising Star Chefs. In his review of the restaurants in 2013, Pete Wells of the New York Times called the restaurants “A sibling rivalry worth diving into.” Early 2015 saw the opening of the chefs’ third space, a craft butcher shop and café, complete with classic pastries, coffee, espresso. Porcellino’s Craft Butcher received four stars from The Commercial Appeal and made the Bon Appetit list of Top 50 new restaurants for 2015. The chefs opened Josephine Estelle in the Ace Hotel New Orleans in March 2016. The restaurant made Bon Appettit’s top 50 Best New Restaurants and Southern Livings Best New Restaurants in the South. Catherine & Mary’s, the chef’s first restaurant in Downtown Memphis, opened in September of 2016 and brought together their blend of grandmother cooking, Italian philosophy of dining, and southern ingredients to the heart of the city. In December of 2017, the chefs will open their second downtown restaurant that will be located in the Old Dominic Distillery. This most recent addition will embrace a new and exciting restaurant concept, featuring an open kitchen, wood fire cooking and a raw bar, all overlooking the Mississippi River in the South Main Arts District of Downtown Memphis.

COLIN BEDFORD

Executive Chef – The Fearrington House Restaurant

colin bedford

Colin Bedford is the executive chef of The Fearrington House Restaurant, one of the most venerable farm-to-fork restaurants in the South, where his cuisine interplays the legendary culinary traditions of the American South, local ingredients, and his own English roots.

Anyone who has chatted with 34-year-old Bedford might quickly guess he grew up in England. Bedford’s culinary interests started at an early age, he says, enamored by his mother’s home baking and helping his father water the vegetable garden. After graduating from Yeovil College in Somerset with a Diploma in Hospitality, he took on his first full-time job in 1996.

He became an apprentice at The Castle Hotel, a Norman fortress built in the 12th century, where he worked under esteemed British chef Phil Vickery. The Castle, like Fearrington, is a family-run property, known for fostering up-and-coming chefs.

Bedford joined The Fearrington House in 2005 and was promoted to Executive Chef in 2008. Since then, his exceptional menus have won critical acclaim. The Fearrington House earned a national ranking as one of the top hotel food destinations in the world (Condé Nast Traveler). It is also one of only two inn and restaurant combinations in the U.S. to have the Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five Diamond award for both, totaling 10 stars and 10 diamonds. In 2012, Bedford was named a Grand Chef by Relais & Châteaux, the international culinary world’s highest honor. Bedford has since cooked at the Relais & Châteaux Grand Chef dinner in London in 2013 and at Relais & Châteaux GourmetFest in Caramel by the Sea in 2015.

Fearrington House is the only AAA Five Diamond restaurant in the country to be Green Certified by the not-for-profit Green Restaurant Association.

STEVEN GREENE

Executive Chef/Culinary Director – The Umstead Hotel and Spa

steven greene executive chef the umstead hotel and spa

Steven Devereaux Greene is executive chef of The Umstead Hotel and Spa, a Cary, North Carolina hotel lauded for its progressive American regional cuisine. He is responsible for all food and beverage operations, including Herons restaurant, The Bar & Lounge and catering. Greene’s passion for using ingredients and products from the rich Piedmont region to drive beautifully refined culinary experiences is evident daily in The Umstead’s award-winning dining program.

One of the country’s youngest executive chefs to helm the kitchen of a Forbes Five Star or AAA Five Diamond establishment, Greene’s tenure with The Umstead began in 2009. During his post as chef de cuisine, Greene guided Herons to its first Forbes Five Star Rating. In 2012 Greene departed to hone his skills as executive chef of Cary’s AN New World Cuisine (an), a restaurant that shares ownership with The Umstead. Under Greene’s direction an received Five Stars from The News & Observer and was named among “the Triangle’s creme de la Creme.” Greene returned to manage The Umstead’s culinary operations in 2014, and continues to provide creative leadership to an as its culinary director.

His background includes work in some of the country’s most celebrated kitchens. After serving as chef de cuisine at the handsomely awarded Dining Room at Woodlands Resort and Inn, in Summerville, S.C., Greene was inspired to open his namesake restaurant, Devereaux’s which quickly became a mainstay in Greenville, S.C. Devereaux’s would ultimately join the prestigious ranks of the Table 301 Restaurant Group to make way for Greene’s first post with The Umstead. Named a “Rising Star” by Restaurant Hospitality in 2008, Greene has twice cooked at the prestigious James Beard House in New York, representing Herons in 2011 and Devereaux’s in 2007.

Greene is the consummate southern gentleman and hails from Ninety Six, S.C. He lives in Morrisville, N.C. with his wife, and beyond family and food, his next great passion is guitar, which he has played for over 25 years.

JOSHUA HUGHES

Executive Sous Chef – The Umstead Hotel and Spa

joshua hughes

Joshua Hughes, originally from Travelers Rest, SC, found himself in the kitchen at a very early age. He spent numerous hours in his grandmother’s kitchen searching the spice cabinets and playing with different flavors and textures. At age 16, he started working at a local steakhouse as a busboy, but would volunteer to help in the kitchen any change he could. After graduating from high school, he knew he needed to start expanding his culinary knowledge from steaks, and began working at several local restaurants, each time learning a new set of skills. In 2006, his culinary career reached a new level when he came across a new restaurant in Greenville, SC called Devereaux’s.

Starting out as an assistant to the pastry chef, Hughes quickly learned that he was a part of vision driven by desire. Under the direction of Steven Devereaux Greene and Spencer Thomson, he learned that extreme drive, passion, and effort would be rewarded by creating memories for guests. He quickly worked his way through every station and was promoted to head sous chef.

In early 2011, Hughes made a move and joined the team at the award-winning Herons of the Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, NC. Under the direction of Executive Chef Scott Crawford and a familiar face and old friend, Chef de Cuisine Steven Devereaux Greene, Hughes joined the team as a sous chef. During his tenure, Herons received its Five Star rating and AAA Five Diamond Award. Hughes knew that to improve yourself that you must work with the highest level of culinary talent which the Umstead provided. In 2012, Chef Greene was granted the opportunity to take over AN Cuisines, and he chose Hughes to be his executive sous chef, and eventually chef de cuisine.

When not in the kitchen, Hughes spends his time with his lovely wife, Kristin and their two dogs Lily and Niko.

AMALIA SCATENA

Executive Chef – Cannon Green

Growing up in California surrounded by fresh produce and farmers markets, Chef Amalia Scatena was inspired to cook clean and bright flavors. She followed these passions to Florence, Italy, where she honed her Mediterranean cooking style and graduated with Head Chef honors from the Culinary Institute.

After graduation, she headed back to the states to work as chef de cuisine at Keswick Hall in Virginia, where the restaurant’s executive chef, Craig Hartman, served as her mentor. In 2011, Chef Scatena took on the role as executive chef at Pippin Hall Farm & Vineyards, located just outside of Charlottesville, VA, and under her leadership, Pippin Hall achieved an award-winning style of seasonal and sustainable cuisine.

In September 2014, Chef Scatena relocated to Charleston, SC to serve as the executive chef of Cannon Green. At Cannon Green, Chef Scatena prides herself on in-house production of pastas and breads. As part of the local food movement, Cannon Green and Cannon Green Artisan Catering, both led by Scatena, have developed partnerships with Lowcountry farm purveyors to ensure they work with only the freshest ingredients that accentuate the true flavors of local and seasonally harvested products.

Since launching Cannon Green, Chef Scatena has been lauded locally and nationally for her culinary prowess. In 2015, she was nominated as one of Food & Wine’s “Peoples Best New Chefs” and has since received several glowing reviews from Charleston’s top critics.

STEVE MCHUGH

Chef/Owner – Cured at Pearl

Hailing from a small farm in Wisconsin, two-time James Beard Award finalist chef Steve McHugh began to make a name for himself in the culinary epicenter of New Orleans, LA as Chef De Cuisine. Yet his most sterling achievement has been successfully battling cancer — a triumph that propelled him to open Cured, his buzzy rustic-chic gastro-pub in the heart of San Antonio’s historic Pearl district. The restaurant is endowed with a name speaks to his feat, as well as the artisanal cured meats that are the cornerstone to his menu. McHugh’s culinary foundation relies on the purity of natural regional ingredients and the hands on, unadulterated methods that enhanced his own healing process. This from-scratch focus finds its way to seasonally dynamic menus of cured meats, bitters, vinegars, pickles and cocktails. McHugh’s culinary integrity resonates throughout the design of the restaurant – honoring its historic roots while adding splashes of modern, old-school, and industrial chic accents in stunning juxtaposition. The driving philosophy of Cured is appreciation, gratitude, and celebration of life, and McHugh engages in active “gastronomic giving” by donating $1 from every charcuterie board to a different charitable organization every quarter. Each September, his “Cured for a Cure” dinner raises tens of thousands of dollars for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Years in the making, but held to Steve’s own brand of perfection, Cured, opened in December 2013 and has since garnered great acclaim, being named a Bon Appetit “America’s Best New Restaurant 2014” nominee, and Esquire “Best New Restaurant of 2014” finalist, as well as 2014’s “Best New Restaurant” by San Antonio Express-News.

MIKE LATA

Chef/Owner – FIG & The Ordinary

Mike Lata is Chef/Partner of FIG Restaurant in Charleston, SC, which he opened in 2003 with Partner Adam Nemirow. In 2009, Mike took home the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Southeast. In 2015, his protégé Chef Jason Stanhope garnered the same award – a rare achievement for one restaurant to earn this prestigious prize twice. Additionally, FIG has been nominated in 2014, 2015 and 2016 for Outstanding Wine Program by the James Beard Foundation. Now a local institution, FIG is consistently voted by locals as the “Best Restaurant in Charleston” in Charleston City Paper.

In December 2012, Lata and Nemirow opened The Ordinary, a classic oyster bar and seafood hall in Charleston’s Upper King district, to much local and national acclaim. The James Beard Foundation nominated The Ordinary as Best New Restaurant in 2013, and GQ, Esquire and Bon Appétit named it in the top 20 best restaurants of the year.

A native New Englander, Mike started his culinary career at an early age, working in kitchens in Boston, New Orleans, Atlanta and France before landing in Charleston in 1998. He is a hands-on, self-taught chef who is relentless in his pursuit of the freshest products, which constantly inspire and define his work. Mike’s mission is to create bright, satisfying food that is both uncomplicated and elegant, all the while paying respect to the efforts and traditions of his family of purveyors. His longstanding and outspoken commitment to support these local farmers and fishermen has cemented his position as a notable champion for Charleston’s flourishing culinary renaissance.

Mike’s food, philosophy, and contributions to the Charleston community have earned him recognition on national platform, including coverage in The Wall Street Journal, Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, Esquire, Garden & Gun, Southern Living, Travel + Leisure, USA Today, The New York Times and many more. He has been featured in several television appearances, including Food Network’s “Iron Chef America,” Bravo’s Top Chef, PBS’s Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking, and ABC’s “Nightline Platelist,” which described his food as “so good it will buckle your knees.”

When he’s not in the kitchen, Mike can be found hitting the links, riding his prized Ducati motorcycles, or enjoying life with his son, Henry.

KEVIN JOHNSON

Executive Chef and Owner – The Grocery

Chef Kevin Johnson realized his long-time dream when he opened Charleston, South Carolina’s The Grocery with his wife Susan in December 2011. Evoking memories of the small-town grocery, the restaurant offers a menu based on local ingredients sourced from the purveyors that Johnson has worked with for many years, and the kitchen is stocked with house-made charcuterie as well as an in-house canning program.

A Johnson & Wales University graduate, Johnson cooked under such renowned chefs as Patrick O’Connell at The Inn at Little Washington and Frank Lee at Slightly North of Broad (SNOB).

Johnson was a semifinalist in the 2014 James Beard Award: Best Chef, Southeast category. Active in many events outside the restaurant, he was the headlining chef at Outstanding in the Field’s 2013 dinner in South Carolina as well as the 2014 Lowcountry Field Feast benefiting Lowcountry Local First, a favorite local charity. He is a member of the BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival Board of Directors and he sits on the Atlanta Wine & Food Festival Advisory Council. Johnson has been an Adjunct Chef Instructor at the Culinary Institute of Charleston since Fall 2010 and he is also on the Advisory Board at the Institute. Most recently, Johnson was awarded the Marc Collins Chef Award at the 2015 BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival for his support of and contributions to the event.

When not in the kitchen at The Grocery, Johnson enjoys championing local causes and spending time with his wife and their three young sons, whose initials inspired The Grocery.

KEN VEDRINSKI

Owner, Executive Chef and Sommelier – Trattoria Lucca and Coda del Pesce

ken vedrinski

Ken Vedrinski is executive chef, owner and sommelier of Trattoria Lucca in downtown Charleston and his newly opened all Italian seafood restaurant that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, Coda del Pesce.

Moving deftly through an award-winning career spanning decades, and a variety of haute cuisine styles, Chef Ken Vedrinski has found his passion and heritage in Italian fare. A three time James Beard Award semi-finalist, he has found his “place” in Charleston, a coastal city rich with fresh bounty from the land and sea, and a long way from land-locked Columbus, Ohio where he was born.

Vedrinski grew up cooking in his grandmother’s kitchen under her passion-infused, Italian-influenced tutelage. He was an eager student with such fervor for food that it led to his degree in restaurant management from Columbus College and a three-year apprenticeship under Certified Master Chef Hartmut Handke. His lifelong passion and career was ignited. Years later, Vedrinski was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Culinary Arts from Johnson and Wales University.

His first role as an executive chef was at the acclaimed Opus Restaurant in the former Swiss Hotel Atlanta, where his talents was quickly lauded when Opus was named “One of the Best New Restaurants in America (1991),” by Esquire Magazine. Chef Vedrinski was an early adopter to the practice and promotion of farm to table freshness as he heralded Georgia homegrown foods, landing him a spot on The Today Show.

Vedrinski also served as executive chef at The Restaurant at Woodlands Inn & Resort where he earned the only Mobile Five-Stars awarded to a South Carolina restaurant. In 2002, the restaurant received the only perfect food score in North America by Conde Nast Traveler.

Vedrinski then moved to Daniel Island, a suburb of Charleston, where he co-owned and operated Sienna Restaurant, his first professional commitment to exclusively Italian cuisine. Once again, Esquire Magazine took notice with yet another, “One of the Best New American Restaurants (2004),” designations. (“Where I to award points in this annual restaurant survey, only Sienna would get a ten solely for its cooking.” John Mariani, Esquire Magazine).

Embracing his culinary heritage, Vedrinski embarked on food-fueled expeditions to Italy in search of the most authentic ingredients, olive oils and wines. His journeys took him to Lucca in Western Tuscany, which he claims to be the home of “the best olive oil in the world.” Inspired by the beloved olive oil and his love for the region, Vedrinski opened Trattoria Lucca in 2008, acting as sole owner, executive chef and sommelier of the charming Italian restaurant.

The charming restaurant was a James Beard Award semi-finalist for Best New Restaurant in 2009, and Vedrinski was also recognized as a James Beard Award semi-finalist for Best Chef in the Southeast in 2011. In September 2012, exactly four years from the day their doors first opened, Trattoria Lucca was named one of the Best Italian Restaurants in the U.S. by Travel + Leisure.

In 2013 Vedrinski opened Coda del Pesce just outside of downtown Charleston and right next door to one of Charleston’s most celebrated assets – the ocean. Diners savor not only fresh, locally or sustainably caught coastal Italian inspired offerings but views of the beach and ocean each evening. While managing the kitchens of both restaurants Vedrinski was honored when in August 2014 Trattoria Lucca was named one of The Ten Best Italian Restaurants Outside of Italy by The Daily Meal.

With a devoted local following and industry acclaim, Ken Vedrinski, Trattoria Lucca and Coda del Pesce are redefining Italian cuisine in the Lowcountry.

JACQUES LARSON

Executive Chef – Wild Olive and The Obstinate Daughter

jacques larson of the wild olive

Jacques Larson began his professional training at the University of Iowa’s Stateroom, at the age of twenty-one. In 1996, he moved to Charleston to aid in opening Peninsula Grill as a sous chef. After a brief stint in North Carolina, Jacques returned to Charleston to open Union Hall, Cintra and Mercato restaurants. As of September 2009, Jacques is currently at the helm of Wild Olive restaurant in John’s Island. Located in the heart of Charleston’s farming community, Wild Olive enjoys the rich bounty of local products from its committed local producers. This is done in the Italian tradition that puts the focus on simplicity, quality and seasonal ingredients.

MARC COLLINS

Executive Chef – Circa 1886

marc collins

Originally from Erie, PA, Chef Marc Collins came to the culinary world by an untraditional path. His original love was in aviation, but less than perfect vision meant his goal of becoming a jet pilot in the Air Force was not in the cards. He turned to food at age 16 after working as a chef apprentice on the Paradise II, a private yacht with a presidential history. That led to a culinary degree from the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts in Pittsburgh and a string of cooking jobs, including working at the Erie Country Club, where he served under Executive Chef David Spadafore, a Gold Medal Winner in the Culinary Olympics held in Frankfurt Germany.

In 1991, Chef Collins moved to San Antonio, where he worked at La Mansion Del Rio under French Chef Guy Collinet and later at La Louisiane, a restaurant specializing in fine French cuisine and Cajun Creole cooking. At 23, he took his first chef position at the Fairmount Hotel, an AAA Four Diamond hotel restaurant.

In 2001, Chef Collins was recruited to come to Charleston and take the helm at Circa 1886, where he has remained since, putting his signature stamp on Lowcountry cooking.

In 2005, Marc had a budding idea for a food and wine festival to be hosted in Charleston, spotlighting the amazing array of talent and ingredients we have here. Thanks to his dedication and countless hours of preliminary planning meetings, that vision became reality in 2006, when the 1st annual BB&T Charleston Wine & Food Festival launched. Today, the Festival is a prominent weekend that features over 160 chef and authors from Charleston and across the country, and over 50 food and wine themed events. For his critical work in founding the Festival, Chef Collins is the namesake and first recipient of the 2010 Charleston Wine & Food Festival Marc Collins Chef Award.

RYLEY MCGILLIS

Executive Sous Chef – The Dewberry

With more than 17 years of culinary experience, Chef Ryley McGillis serves as the Executive Sous Chef at The Dewberry Hotel, Charleston’s world-class luxury hotel. With unparalleled views, The Dewberry occupies the former L. Mendel Rivers federal building bordering historic Marion Square debuted in 2016.

Inspired by his mother’s home cooked meals, Chef McGillis discovered his love for food at a young age before earning a culinary degree from Le Cordon Bleu Academy, in addition to graduating from Florida State University. During his career, Chef McGillis has worked with culinary teams in several coveted restaurants in Charleston such as Zinc Bistro, The Belmond Charleston Place Hotel as well as the five diamond Sanctuary Hotel at Kiawah Island’s Jasmine Porch, where he enriched the award-winning southern style menu and service. Chef McGillis takes pride in supporting the local community through annual events such as the Charleston Food and Wine Festival, Taste of Charleston and Gourmet & Grapes, in addition to locally sourcing ingredients and stimulating the economic growth of the Lowcountry region.

MICHAEL KRAMER

Executive Chef – Jianna

michael kramer

Michael Kramer has a track record for opening the Best New Restaurants in America. Under his leadership, McCrady’s in Charleston won the coveted title in 1999 from Esquire. A decade later he received the same nod for Voice in Houston from both Esquire and Travel & Leisure in 2009.

A California native, Chef Michael Kramer has worked in kitchens from Coast to Coast. He started his career at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago in Los Angeles and then to the famed Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas.

In April 2013, Chef Kramer moved to Greenville, SC to take a position with Table 301 Restaurant Group Executive Chef of Culinary Operations for the restaurant group. He soon added Executive Chef at The Lazy Goat to his daily responsibilities, a position held until July 2015.

In 2017, Chef Kramer will open Jianna, a modern Italian kitchen in Greenville, South Carolina, featuring modern Italian cuisine, fresh pastas and shucked oysters.

In addition to his years of experience in the kitchen, Chef Kramer is no stranger to the festival scene. Over the last few years he has been invited to participate in Taste of Derby, Cincinnati Food & Wine Classic, Charleston Wine + Food, Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend, Memphis Food & Wine and Atlanta Food & Wine Festival.

GREG GARRISON

Executive Chef/Partner – Prohibition

greg garrison

Born in Beacon, NY, Chef Greg Garrison was raised in the Hudson Valley and attended Suffolk University in Boston before graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park.

After graduating, Greg spent time in some of the country’s most celebrated restaurants, working with Chefs Wylie Dufresne, Grant Achatz and Ken Oringer. Most recently, he was Sous Chef at Boston’s acclaimed French fine dining restaurant L’Espalier. Greg credits much of his success as a cook to working with L’Espalier’s Chef de Cuisine, Matthew Delisle, who taught him how to express himself through his food.

Trading in big city life for the coastal vibes of Charleston, SC, Greg traveled south to join the team at Prohibition Charleston in 2015. Since his arrival, he’s completely revamped the restaurant’s culinary program, incorporating his technical plating and playful flavors into the a la carte menu and his newly launched “casual tasting menu.”

This fall, Greg and the Prohibition Charleston team will open a second Prohibition in historic downtown Savannah.

MATTHEW NIESSNER

Executive Chef – Hall Management Group

With over thirty years of experience, Executive Chef Matthew Niessner directs the culinary operations for Hall Management Group. Before he served as Executive Chef at The Sanctuary on Kiawah Island, Matthew spent time with some of the country’s greatest chefs in some of the country’s finest restaurants. His credits include The Brass Elephant in Baltimore, Tapas Pepin and the Princess Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, The Dining Room at Osprey Point on Kiawah and his own Blend in downtown Charleston. Chef Niessner was a 1987 graduate at the prestigious Baltimore International Culinary College in Maryland. His diverse repertoire of international and classical American culinary talents presents guests at our six restaurants with the finest dining experience in warm and beautiful atmospheres. Halls Chophouse was recently voted the #4 Best Restaurant in the Nation by TripAdvisor. Additionally, as Executive Chef with Halls Chophouse, the restaurant has been awarded a Four Diamond Rating every year. In 2011, he was the winner of Charleston’s Iron Chef.

His yearly involvement in many philanthropic events such as March of Dimes, Hollings Cancer Center, MUSC Children’s Hospital, Darkness to Light, YES Carolina and Feed the Homeless allows for his culinary skills to reach beyond the restaurant, and benefit the community. In addition, his community outreach also includes education with local culinary students.

Chef Niessner promotes the sustainability movement and focuses strongly on using as much local seafood, fruits and vegetables when available.

MICHAEL TOSCANO

Executive Chef/Owner – Le Farfalle

Michael Toscano is Chef/Owner of Le Farfalle in Charleston, SC, the modern, Italian osteria he opened with his wife, Caitlin, in 2016.

A native of Houston, TX, Michael had goals of playing college golf until a stint working at a local golf course in high school turned him on to cooking instead. He received a scholarship to an American Culinary Federation Apprenticeship at North Carolina’s Pinehurst Resort. After moving to New York City, Michael began working under Thomas Keller at Bouchon Bakery. By the age of 21, he was working as a sous chef for Mario Batali’s celebrated Babbo. After four years with B&B Hospitality, Toscano was tapped to open the Italian food mecca Eataly as the Executive chef of the fine dining restaurant, Manzo.

Michael ventured out on his own in 2012 to open Perla – a modern Italian restaurant located in Greenwich Village – which received many notable accolades, including Esquire‘s Best New Restaurants in America; New York Times Two Stars; and Time Out New York Best Italian Restaurant.

Through his career Toscano has garnered many accomplishments, such as “New York Rising Star” by StarChefs.com; Zagat 30 under 30; James Beard “Rising Star Chef” semifinalist; selected to be part of the Williams Sonoma Chefs’ Collective; and Charleston Regional Business Journal Forty under 40.

Seeking a slower pace of life and chasing their dreams of opening a restaurant together, Michael and Caitlin moved with their two children (Julian and Marley) to Charleston in 2015 to open Le Farfalle.

Embracing traditions inspired by both his Texan childhood food memories, Mexican heritage and classical Italian training, Michael utilizes the best Lowcountry ingredients from celebrated producers and applies them using time-tested techniques.

His food is both comforting and familiar, while pushing the boundaries of what’s expected.

VINSON PETRILLO

Executive Chef – Zero George

Vinson Petrillo’s passion for natural, local ingredients is matched only by his deft gastronomic artistry. A graduate of Johnson and Wales, Petrillo’s Italian ancestry gave him an early appreciation for festive dinning and bold flavors. He honed his culinary skills in some of New York’s finest restaurants, including Caviar Russe and Abe & Arthur’s. Before coming to Zero George, Petrillo served as chef de cuisine at Prospect, a Michelin Bib Gourmand recipient, in Brooklyn. In addition to mastering the kitchen, Petrillo’s talent has also wowed the TV camera, as two-time winner of Food Network’s Chopped and Chopped Champions, and on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters. In 2015, his innovative, technical cuisine won him the regional title at the S.Pellegrino Young Chef competition and a spot in the international competition at the Expo Milano 2015, sharing the stage with the world’s best and brightest young chefs.

JOSH KEELER

Executive Chef – 492

Executive Chef Josh Keeler’s undeniable passion for the culinary industry shines in every dish on the menu at 492, a sophisticated eatery that opened on Charleston’s historic Upper King Street in 2015. Originally from Pennsylvania, Keeler has been in the Lowcountry since 2011 and was named Executive Chef of 492 in September 2016 after a number of accomplishments in the kitchen.

Keeler attended the New England Culinary Institute in Burlington, Vermont, where he discovered that farm-to-table isn’t a trend, but a way of life. After school, he headed back home to Philadelphia and worked in a few Stephen Starr restaurants before moving to Charleston with his wife Heather and opening their first restaurant together. Two Boroughs Larder quickly became a favorite of the local culinary-minded set and appeared on the James Beard Foundation’s list of semifinalists for Best Chef Southeast three times before closing in July 2016.

As the new chef of 492, Keeler is moving away from dishes that are based around a technique and towards dishes that are based around a product. His cooking style is ingredient driven and seasonal and he sources locally whenever possible. He likes to create relationships between everything in the dish, mirroring or repeating them to emphasize flavors.

CHRIS STEWART

Executive Chef/Owner – The Glass Onion

chef chris stewart

An eighth generation Alabama native, Chris Stewart knows a thing or two about true home grown southern cooking. Born and raised in Birmingham, he got most of his cooking knowledge firsthand from his grandmother Jennie Ruth Haley. Jennie Ruth was born on a farm in rural Mississippi before relocating to Birmingham. Her grandmother had a small “meat and three” restaurant in the city and it was there Jennie Ruth and her sisters learned how to cook. Jennie Ruth then married Calvin Stewart and they purchased a piece of land where they grew a substantial garden filled with southern staples like corn, butterbeans, green beans, okra, turnip greens, tomatoes, watermelon and more. It was this upbringing that allowed for Chris to understand the importance and the difference of using local, fresh produce. He learned how his grandmother made her signature dishes often during Sunday Supper – dishes like country fried steak, fried chicken, corn bread, deviled eggs, pies and cobblers. Items you often see at The Glass Onion.

Chris went to Auburn University for a stint and studied Hotel/Restaurant Management. During that time worked in some nearby restaurants. He worked at a deli and learned how to bake bread, and then at a small cafe that was serving fresh, local fish, made from scratch dishes, and hand-butchered steak. He worked his way up in the restaurant and became the leader in the kitchen. He eventually moved to Charleston where he attended Johnson & Wales University. He worked full time in the kitchen at Magnolias under the leadership of Executive Chef Donald Drake and Sous Chef Craig Deihl. Magnolias at that time, was the city’s most respected and revered fine dining establishment. After graduating, he worked six months cooking at the Caneel Bay Resort in St. John, Virgin Islands.

Longing to get back to Charleston, he returned in 2004, he was hired to work in the kitchen at Slightly North of Broad under the helm of legendary Chef Frank Lee. His time there taught him more about Lowcountry flavors, produce, and techniques. He also met his future wife, Suzanne Kelly. He moved on to work at FIG, spending three years working for James Beard Foundation winner Chef Mike Lata and worked his way up to Sous Chef. He and fellow FIG cook Charles Vincent in talks while cooking, discussed potentially opening their own place. Together with Sarah O’Kelley, did just that in 2008 when they found the space that is now home to The Glass Onion. The rest is history. The other two partners over time decided to go on pursue other interests, and Chris and his wide are now the sole owners of the restaurant.

TIM RICHARDSON

Executive Chef – Hank’s Seafood

Like many chefs, South Carolina native Tim Richardson gravitated to the kitchen as a teenager. Richardson spent several years learning the restaurant business at locally owned steak houses in Columbia, S.C., before discovering his niche at Twigs, a charming restaurant located in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. Under the tutelage of Twigs Chef Ryan Brevda, Richardson honed his appreciation for preparing high quality ingredients and crafting a fine dining experience. To further refine his culinary skills, Richardson relocated in 2001 to Charleston, S.C., where he enrolled in Johnson & Wales University and began mentoring at Hank’s Seafood Restaurant under founding Chef Frank McMahon. Today, Richardson’s culinary talent, passion for fresh seafood, and dedication to all aspects of running a restaurant serve him well as Executive Chef of Hank’s Seafood Restaurant, a role he earned after many successful years as the restaurant’s Chef de Cuisine. Tim recently was a finalist for Charleston’s best chef as voted by readers of The Post & Courier, Charleston’s Choice Awards.

AARON SIEGEL

Owner-Pitmaster, Fiery Ron’s Home Team BBQ

aaron siegel and taylor garrigan

Owner/Executive Chef Aaron Siegel’s years of knowledge and experience began with a degree from the University of Georgia and was seasoned by a culinary degree from The Culinary Institute of America in upstate New York. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Aaron completed an internship in Atlanta at Nava under acclaimed Chef Kevin Rathbun. Then, he moved to Aspen, CO to work as a Sous Chef by Pinion’s and Cache Cache. During his time at these high-end restaurants, Aaron became more intrigued with the idea of combining traditional processes and techniques of classical cuisine with the simplicity of comfort food, BBQ, and Southern fare. Returning to the South, he became the Executive Chef at Blossom Cafe in downtown Charleston for several years before taking his vast experience and creativity and opened Fiery Ron’s Home Team BBQ.

TAYLOR GARRIGAN

Executive Chef, Fiery Ron’s Home Team BBQ

After spending some time at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Taylor Garrigan changed courses and attended and graduated from Johnson & Wales University with a hotel and restaurant management degree. Taylor at The Beach Club at Kiawah Island and Magnolias before moving on to FIG to work under renowned chef, Mike Lata, in downtown Charleston. Today, at Home Team BBQ as executive chef, Taylor combines traditional processes and techniques of classical cuisine with the simplicity of comfort food, BBQ, and Southern fare.

DENNY TRANTHAM

Division Executive Chef – US Foods, Ft. Mill, SC

Denny Trantham

Executive Chef Denny Trantham was raised in Haywood County, North Carolina. His Southern Appalachian upbringing exposed him, at an early age, to many of the rich southern culinary traditions found throughout his culinary passion today. As a champion of the slow food movement, Trantham works closely with local farmers to secure the freshest ingredients possible and support the local economy.

Chef Trantham attended Johnson & Wales University in Charleston, SC, where he earned his Associate Degree in Occupational Science of Culinary Arts along with completing his apprenticeship at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. He subsequently continued his education at Montreat College, where he graduated Cum Laude with a Master’s degree in Business Administration. Trantham’s work history includes earlier chef positions to include Executive Sous Chef at The Grove Park Inn, as well as Executive Chef assignments with both Marriott Sodexo at Western Carolina University and Harrah’s Cherokee Casino & Hotel. After returning to The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa in 2007 as Blue Ridge Chef de Cuisine, he was promoted to Executive Chef in October of 2009. Chef Trantham coordinated & planned the meals for President Barack Obama during his stay along with having the distinct honor of feeding Mitt Romney, Bill & Hilary Clinton, Dan Quayle along with other members of Congress.

Chef Trantham currently holds the position of Division Executive Chef & Culinary Consultant for US Foods Corporation in Ft. Mill, SC. Chef Trantham has earned the Certified Executive Chef and Certified Culinary Administrator designations from the American Culinary Federation (ACF) along with his nomination for the 2012 Chef Professionalism Award for the Southeast Region from the ACF. He was awarded North Carolina ACF ‘Chef of the Year” for 2013. He also serves on the board of directors for the North Carolina ACF chapter representing the western region.

MIKE MOORE

Executive Chef – Seven Sows

Mike Moore

Chef Mike Moore was born in Elm City, Wilson County, North Carolina. His family settled in Eastern North Carolina since prior to the American Revolution and among an agricultural community of sharecroppers and heritage farmers which is his roots. Leaving a career in law enforcement in Raleigh, NC in his mid twenties, Mike worked and trained in San Francisco at a number of restaurants in and around the bay area before relocating to Asheville, NC in 2005.

Seven Sows is a restaurant which focuses on an impressionable and memorable dining experience with down to earth decor, warm and friendly service and delicious food and drink rooted in the nostalgia of our heritage and our past. Seven Sows sets out to embody the interpretation of a southern focused cuisine with impressions of French and modern American techniques and above all a boundless and bold creative spirit.

BOB COOK

Executive Chef – Edmund’s Oast

Bob Cook’s career in the kitchen began at age 14, when he started working at a local country club in his home state of Michigan. The chefs around him recognized the quality of his work and solid work ethic, and by age 17 he became a sous chef. His passion continues to carry him through his 20+ year career in the industry, with experience and interest spanning cuisines, styles, and locations.

Bob worked in Michigan for 11 years before moving to work at Morton’s in St. Louis. He owes much of his growth to all that he learned both inside and outside the kitchen. He relocated to Charleston in 2007, drawn in by the up and coming food scene and close proximity to the water. He spent 10 years working with Cypress and opened Artisan Meat Share before moving to Edmund’s Oast in 2017.

Alongside his passion for the industry, Bob enjoys Asian cuisine, collecting whiskey, growing hot peppers, and anything fermented and bubbly. Oh, and an inexhaustible love for condiments, solidified by the creation of Burnt & Salty, a collection of Korean mustards and glazes. He is in fact a cat person, although admittedly doesn’t quite understand why.

TRUDI WAGNER + PATTY FLOERSHEIMER

Owners – goat.sheep.cow.

Seven years ago, best friends Trudi Wagner and Patty Floersheimer opened goat.sheep.cow., a tiny shop on Church Street just South of Broad in Charleston’s, historic downtown district. The small fromagerie and wine shop supplies its faithful local clientele with European-inspired delicacies. After years of requests by these customers for dine-in and by-the-glass service, the two dreamed up their second venture. In November of 2016 they opened the doors to goat.sheep.cow.,north in the up-and-coming “Upper Peninsula” neighborhood. In addition to a retail area four times the size of their original store, the new location boasts a beautiful café and wine bar which recently received “Best New Restaurant Design” from the readers of Eater Charleston.

The two women found themselves in the cheese business via very different paths: Trudi from a successful career on Wall Street at the NYSE and Patty from a lifetime of custom clothing design and manufacturing. As is true of many great friendships, this one was forged in the kitchen, planning and executing wine-centered dinners. Both will tell you that from the time they met in 2007, they’ve never tired of each others’ company.

The Pampered Palate opened for business in 2006 with the goal of providing unique and delicious food, great service and establishing a personal connection with each client.

JONATHAN & JUSTIN FOX

fox brothers

 

Pitmasters/Owners – Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q

Growing up in Texas, pitmasters and twin brothers Jonathan and Justin Fox were inspired by the open sky, the Texas heat and the Southwestern spice. Though not professionally trained, the identical twin brothers developed an early passion for cooking, testing recipes on family and friends. In high school, while their peers were hosting keg parties, the Fox brothers were inviting their friends over for seated dinners. It wasn’t until Jonathan moved to Atlanta in early 1998 that he began taking his hobby more seriously. Justin followed shortly after, joining his brother in Atlanta in 2000. Frustrated with what they perceived as a lack of good, Texas-style barbecue in Atlanta, Jonathan and Justin began to experiment with making their own through a “trial and error” approach. After many failed kitchen experiments, they decided to unveil their barbecue to their friends and neighbors at a friendly backyard gathering. The successful party became an annual event, growing larger each year, until they were cooking for more than 200 people. In 2004 the brothers were introduced to Dan & Beau Nolen and Mike Reeves of Smith’s Olde Bar. The Fox brothers went from barbecuing in the parking lot of Smith’s to having their own menu at the legendary venue, eventually cooking seven days a week. Even without a brick and mortar place of their own, the Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q began creating a lot of buzz in Atlanta – even being named runner up for “Best Overall Bar-B-Q” in the city by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It was around this time that Jonathan was laid off from his corporate day job. This turned out to be a blessing and the brothers teamed up with Reeves and the Nolens to take their catering gig to the next level and open a restaurant of their own. Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q was opened in 2007 and rapidly became a staple for Atlanta natives and out of town visitors. The restaurant has been featured on The Weather Channel, TLC, Fox News, and The Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives”. It has earned top spots on national barbecue rankings from top publications including Eater, USA Today, Southern Living, and Maxim Magazine. In 2014 and 2014, Jonathan and Justin were invited to bring their ‘cue to the big city as guest chefs at the prestigious James Beard House. Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q is the “Official Barbecue of the Atlanta Falcons” and, in 2015, they began serving barbecue to fans inside the Georgia Dome.

ANTHONY DIBERNARDO

Pitmaster/Owner – Swig & Swine

anthony dibernado

Born and raised in Mantua, New Jersey, Anthony DiBernardo has always had a passion for cooking. He entered the culinary world when he was 14 as a banquet cook. Later, the US Navy brought Anthony to the Lowcountry, where he has lived for nearly 25 years. After serving as a cook on the USS Batfish submarine for four years, Anthony began working in the kitchen at Blossom Cafe. His resume includes roles as the Executive Chef at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Corporate Executive Chef at Mustard Seed, and Operating Partner and Head Chef at Rita’s. After incorporating barbecue menu items as frequently as possible during each culinary venture, Anthony started his own barbecue catering business, where his passion started to set fire. He opened Swig & Swine BBQ in collaboration with Queen Street Hospitality Group in 2013.

SARAH ADAMS

Sarah is a Charleston native and has been a presence in the food scene in the city for over sixteen years. She started honing her skills in hospitality front of house in high school and college in some of Charleston’s most iconic restaurants. After graduating from College of Charleston, Sarah did the unexpected: she started working in the kitchen. Following her two year stint at Peninsula Grill, she walked through the doors at FIG where she worked her way from prep cook to sous chef over the course of her six year tenure. With the blessings of her James Beard Award winning mentors, Sarah started to channel her energy in making a name for herself as a chef. With her creative take on pop-ups and group dining, as well as her ability to fill the void for a refined, freelance chef in the southeast, she has become a force to be reckoned with. Over the past three years Sarah has become known not only for her cuisine, but for her trend setting social media influence, philanthropy, and a voice for inclusion and equality within the restaurant industry.

 

COREY SIEGEL

North American Corporate Executive Chef – Electrolux Professional

As a student, Corey Siegel was a serious member of the American Culinary Federation (ACF); as time progressed, Siegel began professionally training at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in 2008. Siegel spent his spare time at the CIA working at Westchester Country Club, located in Rye, NY. Siegel’s dedication to his education and personal development in the industry, earned him the Northeast Regional Student Chef of the Year award from ACF in 2010.

Within the same year, Siegel joined the culinary team at The Greenbrier in West Virginia. There, enrolling in the resorts’ intense three-year apprenticeship program, Siegel met the man who would change the course of his career – the apprenticeship overseer and later, mentor, Chef Richard Rosendale, CMC.

Proving an impassioned student, in 2011, Rosendale selected Siegel as his Commis for the Bocuse d’Or USA Finals, winning the January 2012 competition. Throughout Siegel’s senior apprenticeship year, he and Rosendale devotedly trained for the January 2013 Bocuse d’Or competition held in Lyon, France. The duo trained under the guidance of Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud, Jerome Bocuse, and additional world-renowned chefs; they finished 7th in the world.

At age 22 Corey Siegel amassed over 15 medals from national and international competitions behind his name and had become the youngest ACF Culinary Team USA member in history. The team since earned 2 gold medals at the 2014 Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg, first place at the 2015 American Culinary Classic and 3 gold medals at the 2016 Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany.

After transitioning through several highly acclaimed country clubs, present day, Siegel is the North American Corporate Executive Chef for Electrolux Professional.

Siegel’s cuisine begins with a sustained conviction to use the most inspiring and quality ingredients that the earth provides. Starting with farm-fresh seasonal ingredients, he incorporates classic and modern techniques, highlighting each element’s full potential. Siegel’s excitement for opportunities to experience food daily leads to overflowing creativity in the kitchen.

Corey Siegel believes that, ingredients, technique, or method, aside, the foundation for flawless execution is impeccable sanitation an organization.

JUSTIN HUNT

Executive Chef – Mills House

Mills House Wyndham Grand Executive Chef Justin Hunt brings a wealth of culinary successes to the Mills House. Justin has come full circle in his outstanding career, growing up on Long Island, then attending College of Charleston and The Art Institute of Charleston, and now landing him at the Mills House. His journey has included successes in Manhattan as Chef de Cuisine for Celebrity Chef Bobby Flay’s Bar American and working in Northern California at Thomas Keller’s, The French Laundry. Justin blends his Southern culinary beginnings with unique and high-end experiences from coast to coast.


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