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Meet Michael Sibert, 2024 South Carolina Chef Ambassador

Libby Wiersema Libby Wiersema
Libby Wiersema lived in California and Alabama before settling in South Carolina 38 years ago, where she's covered the state's best culinary offerings and tells the stories behind the food.
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2024 South Carolina Chef Ambassador Michael Sibert.

It was television that first beckoned a young Michael Sibert to explore the wonders of food culture. Hours spent watching cooking shows with his grandmother introduced him at an early age to a world where mouthwatering possibilities could become delicious realities by following her instructions in the kitchen. And there was room for experimentation, too.

“We would get inspiration from the show we were watching, then go in the kitchen and try to re-create that same dish, but with our own touches,” he remembered. “I always admired the creative freedom chefs had on TV. They were like rock stars.”

After years of training at Cornell University and the Culinary Institute of the Carolinas at Greenville Technical College, the one-time fanboy of TV chefs has risen to the ranks of stardom himself. Not only has Chef Sibert appeared on the Food Network and earned accolades for his exceptional culinary talents, but he has been named to the 2024 roster of South Carolina Chef Ambassadors.

Only the state’s most accomplished chefs are given this unique spotlight for sharing culinary knowledge and experiences with the dining public. During a one-year tenure, they will conduct cooking demonstrations, promote healthy nutrition and highlight our rich agricultural bounty and heritage.

Chef Sibert first made his mark at the former Greer restaurant, White Wine & Butter, and continues to tantalize a growing fan base through his smash burger sensation, Anonymous Burger and his new venture Hendrix Chicken and Waffles.  He is also locally famous for impressive catered dinners, which are in high demand across the Upstate. With plans for new concepts in the works, Michael Sibert is definitely a chef to watch.

In this Q&A, Chef Sibert gives insights into his culinary philosophy and plans for utilizing the SC Chef Ambassador platform.

What makes being a chef in South Carolina such a unique experience?

“Being a chef in South Carolina is a badge of honor if we’re being honest. Not too many people are saying, “Man, I can’t wait to have some Northern cuisine.” We have the luxury of having world class barbecue, seafood and Lowcountry cuisine. As a chef in South Carolina, I get to experience a soulful blend of these food traditions.”

Do you have a signature dish or favorite?

“Regarding a favorite or signature dish, simply put, I have not made it yet. If I did, it would seem like a limiting factor to my creative body of work. The one thing I love the most is creativity in the form of mystery baskets when I have base of ingredients, but then I’m challenged to come up with a tasty dish on the fly. It’s an opportunity where I can utilize different culinary techniques to produce something unique.”

What is your culinary approach, personally and in the kitchen at Anonymous Burger?

“I focus on tapping into the melting pot of my different cultural experiences and current culinary trends. Sometimes you just want a simple burger made with quality ingredients topped by an amazing sauce, or some Southern fried chicken paired with a classic waffle for a sweet and savory dish at an affordable price. Some chefs are married to more expensive, imported food ingredients in smaller quantities. I prefer to use what I can source from a local source, whether that be a few hours’ drive or from an Upstate farm or market.”

As an SC Chef Ambassador, what do you want to teach the dining public about South Carolina's culinary scene?

“I want to highlight the state's rich heritage, showcasing its unique blend of flavors influenced by Gullah and Lowcountry traditions. I wish to emphasize the farm-to-table movement, celebrating the abundance of locally sourced ingredients like fresh seafood, seasonal produce and artisanal products. Additionally, I look forward to showcasing the diverse range of dishes, from classic Southern comfort food to innovative, contemporary creations that make South Carolina a true culinary destination no matter what your tastes are.”

Libby Wiersema
Libby Wiersema lived in California and Alabama before settling in South Carolina 38 years ago, where she's covered the state's best culinary offerings and tells the stories behind the food.