“Our menu offers everything from scallops and mussels to aged filet and duck,” he said. “We call it “Southeastern with a twist.” I love to combine cultures in my cuisine. Our scallops are topped a sweet Thai chili oil and cilantro pesto and served with good old-fashioned Southern collards.
“Dining should be an experience - a fun one. Even the names of our entrees reflect that, like “Kiss My Grits” for my shrimp and grits dish. Almost every item comes in appetizer and entrée sizes. This is to give people the opportunity to try more than one dish and still leave room for dessert, and room in their wallet.”
Q: What are you cooking these days that excites you the most?
A: I have to say pork. I am deep into research on the country cooking of every aspect of the animal from bologna to pork rinds. Everything tastes better with bacon!
Q: What restaurants do you like to eat at when you’re not working?
A:Rivera's, located down the street, and by far the best of the best.
Stella's Bistro in Simpsonville, definitely a hidden treasure. Wild Wings. It’s always nice to sit outside on a nice day with a beer and a plate of wings.
Q: Who is the best American chef?
A: Charles Park, Beaufort Grocery, Beaufort, N.C., for his style, design and concentration on classic American cuisine.
Q: How important is presentation?
A: Presentation is everything, if not more than the food itself. You put your life into what you do to make it look good. Always. Creating a dish is like painting a picture for chefs. It’s definitely an art form -- just a different medium. All images on a menu and website need to look as good as the food you serve, if not better.
Q: What’s the best tip you can give a home cook?
A: Think of your favorite food to eat and lay all the ingredients on the counter in their raw form. Make something out of it. Be creative. And most importantly, have fun.
Q: What’s your prediction for the next big food or restaurant trend?
A: Home cooking and pork.
Q: Who in your life has most influenced your cooking?
A: I cannot say who but where, Beaufort Grocery, Beaufort, N.C. The style was unique, the experience was priceless and the friends made were for a lifetime.
Q: What is the most embarrassing thing you have ever done in a restaurant kitchen?
A: I took a nap in the walk-in cooler. (Long year). You can image my staff had a blast with this.