Who is Charleston’s Most Underrated Chef?

Pretty spent today after a very strong weekend, so I’m catching up on some reading.

I recently (and finally) pulled the trigger on several issues of Fool magazine. The culinary magazine awarded “Best Food Magazine” 2012 by Gourmand Magazine has been elusive to find on the newsstand. Finally, curiosity got the best of me and I ordered several copies online.

I’ll tell you now, in full disclosure, that I’m hooked out of the gates. Per-Anders Jörgensen is an Editor in Chief and primary photographer. He photographed 2 of my favorite books last year- Relae by Christian Puglisi and Eating with the Chefs, and has a singular eye for his subjects and matter, immortalized in silver gelatin and sepia.

Take, for example, issue #3, which features a certain tattooed, bourbon swilling, gun shooting hillbilly of a chef. Here is a Swedish magazine, written and published in English, who puts not only that self same James Beard winning chef on the cover, but puts our very own SC Lowcountry under their lens.

I’m still digesting this issue, and most likely will be for some time. One article that caught my eye is titled “Who is the world’s most Underrated Chef?” (see below) wherein briefly and narrowly chefs, writers and cuisine cognoscenti weigh in on the same. That got me thinking that here in the SC Lowcountry, just exactly who is the most underrated chef?

After some quiet reflection, I have to weigh in with a three way tie. Kevin Mitchell up at Trident Tech for  what he’s doing to further culinary education here in Charleston (but also for helping introduce us to a fellow named Nat Fuller), BJ Dennis for raising awareness to the tremendous debt we owe to Geechie / Gullah heritage and Braydon Sutherland over at FIG for just being a big can of culinary whoopass.

If you were to sing the praises of the unsung, which chefs and cooks of Charleston would you say are the most underrated? Weigh in!

Keep your head down, push hard and make it taste good!

FP izzle

Underappreciated Chef 1.Fool Underappreciated Chef2.Fool Underappreciated Chef3.Fool Underappreciated Chef4.Fool

3 Replies to “Who is Charleston’s Most Underrated Chef?”

  1. nathan whiting of 492…and previously Tristan and the closed woodlands in Summerville. I know and believe he is charleston’s most underrated chef (or underpessed) chef because I have eaten at most of the ” top guys” restaurants and worked for Sean Brock and I respect the hell out of all of them. Nate takes the cake though. If any cook works for this guy even once they will explore not only his advanced knowledge and creativity but more importantly his passion and drive for what he does and not to mention what an immensely great and humble person he truly is. To be able to cook with Nate has been one of life’s privileges for me it has helped shaped the cook I am today. I always ask myself when trying to either construct or evolve a dish what Nate would think of it and if I do t like the outcome I push it further and I will always have him to thank for that.

    1. Thanks for a thoughtful response, Jordan, and for taking the time to do so. You touch on some key values: knowledge, creativity, passion, drive and perhaps the rarest- humility. A little goes a long way. Bees, Honey, Vinegar.

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