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In the Kitchen with Chef Regan Browell

Gwen Fowler Gwen Fowler
Discover writers share all of the places, activities and adventure that South Carolina has to offer. Read more from some of South Carolina’s locals and discover what’s happening in the Palmetto State.
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South Carolina Chef Regan Browell of the restaurant at The Willcox Inn in Aiken
Chef Regan Browell of the restaurant at The Willcox Inn in Aiken

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!

Gwen Fowler
Discover writers share all of the places, activities and adventure that South Carolina has to offer. Read more from some of South Carolina’s locals and discover what’s happening in the Palmetto State.