Jeremiah Bacon is a busy man. As partner and executive chef of the lauded Charleston restaurant, Oak Steakhouse, he has channeled his creative energies into elevating classic steakhouse cuisine to new heights. A multiple semifinalist for the Best Chef Southeast James Beard Foundation Award, Bacon has distinguished himself as one of the nation's finest. Those accolades don't come by chance.
Local first - that's the bottom line when it comes to Bacon's culinary aesthetic. A strong network of area farms, fisheries and other suppliers provide the basic tools for constructing dishes that are fresh and progressive, yet brimming with the chef's personal touches.
"As a Charleston native, I feel fortunate to live in an environment with all the many wonderful resources the Lowcountry has to offer," Bacon said. "Sourcing from and building relationships with farmers and fishermen is a big part of our 'local-first' philosophy."
After completing studies at College of Charleston, Bacon developed his kitchen skills at the Culinary Institute of America. Upon graduation in 1999, he became a resident of New York City and signed on with the iconic River Cafe. Then it was on to Le Bernardin, where he continued to hone his craft under the direction of Chef Eric Ripert. By 2004, Bacon was operating as an integral staff member of Per Se, an establishment recognized for excellence by both The New York Times and Michelin. After a decade of perfecting his food craft in the Northeast, Bacon followed the path of so many Charleston natives and returned to his birthplace, where he helmed the kitchen of Carolina's.
In 2010, he joined the Indigo Restaurant Group and embarked on an exciting new career trajectory at Oak Steakhouse. In 2011, he added The Macintosh to his repertoire. (The restaurant closed in 2021.) Bacon's efforts were triply rewarded in 2012 when The Macintosh was not only named a James Beard Foundation semifinalist for Best New Restaurant, but included in Bon Appetit's listing of 50 Best New Restaurants and crowned Best New Restaurant in America by Esquire magazine. It's been a fascinating path of discovery for this chef, who first felt the call to the kitchen as a boy.
"My mom and grandmother were always cooking, and just being surrounded by them got me interested in food and cooking," Bacon said. "The power of people coming together with food is something that carried importance with me from an early age. I knew food would always play an important part of my life."