Chef McKinnon, a native of Myrtle Beach, began working in restaurant kitchens at the age of 12, helping out in his father's restaurant, the Kings 17. He landed his first Executive Chef position in 1988 with the Sea Island Inn, acquiring a lot of hands-on experience, and eventually earning a degree in Culinary Arts from Horry Georgetown Tech. He went on to win numerous awards at the Taste of the Tidelands before proceeding to work in some of Myrtle Beach's finest restaurants, like The Grande Dunes Ocean Club and the Carriage House Club.
McKinnon is a tenacious and energetic chef, whose style is French-inspired New American Cuisine with a devotion to using the best fresh ingredients, and implementing a simplistic, stylish technique with dynamic presentations. His goal at The Cypress Room is to provide memorable dining experiences through passionately created culinary dishes.