Executive Chef of High Cottton, Greenville & Charleston
Anthony Gray grew up in a large, Italian and Irish family that cared plenty about cooking, but was even more passionate about food’s magical ability to bring people together. Despite more than a decade cooking professionally, he still enthuses about the power of the communal table: “Eating, sharing, living off the land. That’s what we were doing growing up, and it’s the foundation of what we do now at High Cotton.”
Growing up hunting and fishing with his Dad, Gray developed a natural affinity for preparing meats, and creating marinades that express their finest qualities. His hand-made sausages and charcuterie have earned high praise from foodies, and honor the unique qualities of each animal. On any given afternoon, you’ll find his team serving ham cured in-house, roasting rabbit for a rarefied pate, or pairing the ultimate marriage of a local craft beer with a grass-fed steak.
Anthony moved to Charleston, SC, in 1997 and entered the culinary arts program at Johnson and Wales University. While still in school he began working in local restaurants, and was hired as a line cook at Slightly North of Broad in 1998. Under the direction of Executive Chef Frank Lee, Anthony steadily proved himself and was promoted to several positions within the Maverick Southern Kitchens family.
Upon the opening of Charleston’s High Cotton Maverick Bar & Grill in November of 1999, Anthony was promoted to sous chef at the new restaurant. There he continued to hone his culinary expertise as the chef’s right-hand man. In November 2006, Anthony became High Cotton’s chef, taking over when the previous chef moved to open a second High Cotton location in Greenville, SC.
In May 2008, Gray was selected as executive chef for High Cotton Maverick Bar & Grill, with responsibility for Charleston and Greenville locations. He directs all culinary operations, maintaining the commitment to brand excellence that has made High Cotton Maverick Bar & Grill nationally acclaimed for fine cuisine and warm hospitality.
Gray’s passion for meats can be noted with his hand-made sausages and charcuteries, and his excellence in creating sauces and marinades that enhance the flavors of the meats he works with. Anthony is a proud supporter of local farmers and vendors, and he has become a sought-after spokesperson for his knowledge of animal products, raw ingredients, and respect for the bounty of product available in the Lowcountry and the South.
Gray is a member of the South Carolina Slow Food movement, belongs to the Southern Foodways Alliance and is an active mentor of young culinary professionals. Under his direction, High Cotton has been featured in The New York Times, Bon Appetit, Southern Living, Boston Globe and numerous other national and regional publications.
Anthony resides in Charleston with his wife, Melissa.