In the Kitchen with Chef Regan Browell

By:Gwen Fowler

Date:8/26/2014

South Carolina ​Chef Rega​n Browell of the restaurant at The Willcox Inn in Aik​en
​Chef Rega​n Browell of the restaurant at The Willcox Inn in Aik​en

Regan Browell is executive chef of the restaurant at The Willcox Inn in Aiken, a historic hotel from the late 19th century.

She describes the restaurant as Aiken’s first gastropub, which the Willcox website says is “a place with a warm and inviting atmosphere that serves sophisticated yet unpretentious food; a balance between the relaxed and friendly atmosphere of a pub and the commitment to high quality ingredients of a good restaurant.”

Browell said food is well prepared “from scratch, using local, organic, seasonal and sustainable foods where possible, well priced in a casual but nice atmosphere.”

Q: What are you cooking these days that excites you the most?
A:
Marshmallow -- so much fun!

Q: What are your favorite fall ingredients?
A:
I would have to say I love them all, but parsnips and Brussels sprouts rank pretty high.

Q: What restaurants do you like to eat at when you’re not working?
A:
I love to eat good food, so any restaurant/cafe/diner/ethnic that can produce great food, I am a big fan of and visit regularly.

Q: Who is the best American chef?
A:
That’s really hard to say. I believe there are thousands of great chefs in America that are just doing their thing and doing it well that do not have any notoriety. If I would say one that has a name for himself, it would be Thomas Keller, among a few.

Q: What’s your prediction for the next big food or restaurant trend?
A:
That’s another tough one. I can tell you what I would like to see and that has already started and is slowly gathering steam. That is the slow food concept. I think we have gotten so used to easy, quick, mass produced, convenient that we have forgotten how to appreciate the food and skills of past generations.

Q: Who in your life has most influenced your cooking?
A:
On reflection, I would have to say my family is a big part, but I have picked up a lot from all the chefs I have ever worked for.

Q: What would your dream meal be?
A:
Anything someone who loves me has made for me. (Well, maybe except boiled leeks.)

Q: What is the most embarrassing thing you have ever done in a restaurant kitchen?
A:
There are just too many to mention!

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