An Alabama native, Chef Michelle Weaver was raised with a passion for cooking, learning at an early age the importance of farm-to-table. She grew up cooking with the freshest ingredients from her mother's extensive garden and farm, experiencing the true taste of the soil. Upon realizing her true love of cooking, she received her formal training from the New England Culinary Institute, immersing herself in the New England culture and drawing from the intimate, hands-on teaching approach.
Chef Weaver moved to New Orleans to work in the French-style kitchen of Chef Daniel Bonnot as an intern, gaining invaluable skills for both cooking and working in a demanding restaurant kitchen. Following school, Chef Weaver began cooking in the kitchen of Chef Bob Waggoner at The Wild Boar restaurant in Nashville and subsequently moved with him in 1997 when he took over at Charleston Grill.
Chef Weaver has been working as the Executive Sous Chef under the direction of award-winning Chef Bob Waggoner for the past 11 years. As her friend and mentor moves into another chapter of his career focusing on television, Chef Weaver has naturally and elegantly stepped into the spotlight as the hotel's Executive Chef of the Charleston Grill, part of the Charleston Place Hotel, an Orient-Express property.
Since she first joined Charleston Place in 1997 as part of the culinary team, the Charleston Grill has received the AAA Four-Diamond Award and the Mobil Four-Star Award. The restaurant was the only one in the area to be included in the Nation's Restaurant News "Fine Dining Hall of Fame" and in the book, The Elite 1000. Charleston Grill has received Wine Spectator's "Best of Award" since 2003 and the Distinguished Restaurants of North America Award beginning in 1997.
Now, 11 years later, Chef Weaver steps takes the helm at Charleston Grill and looks forward to continuing the reputation of culinary excellence while creating her own lasting legacy.
Chef Michelle Weaver creates contemporary Southern cuisine for Charleston Grill featuring fresh local produce, seafood and game, prepared using four different styles: Southern, Pure, Lush and Cosmopolitan. Diners may select appetizers, entrees and desserts from each menu section. Emphasis is placed on the quality of the ingredients, unique presentations and sophisticated textures.
The Southern dishes are contemporary interpretations of Southern regional favorites; such as flounder with red beans, rice grits, andouille sausage and shrimp gravy, Charleston Grill crab cake, chicken and dumplings and braised collard greens with crispy bacon.
With the Pure, menu items are impressively simple inspired by the elegance of the ingredients. Favorites include chilled Maine lobster with avocado and heirloom tomatoes or prime ribeye with grilled Vidalia onions.
For the Lush menu, the dishes come from the French tradition of extravagance and are lavish, substantial and satisfying. Selections include prime beef tenderloin with baked potatoes and a bourguignon sauce or cured goose liver with white asparagus, baby chanterelles, duck confit and a dried cherry hazelnut vinaigrette.
Under the Cosmopolitan heading, dishes are exotic and imaginative, inspired by the flavors found while traveling the globe. Diners will enjoy carnitas or tuna sashimi with pomegranate molasses.
Capturing critics' and diners' attention by producing menus that combine unusual ingredients with classic techniques, Chef Weaver continues to enhance and expand Charleston's appreciation for fine cuisine. She has a strong commitment to supporting local farmers and encouraging them to cultivate new and unusual products which she incorporates in her cuisine.