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A Significant Father’s Day for Chef Joe Cash | Listen

By: Amber Chase

Joe Cash, the Greenville chef and owner behind Scoundrel, prepares and reflects on a season of new growth

Scoundrel has taken the Greenville community by storm. Opening in October of 2022, it quickly became the premiere French dining spot balancing approachability with exceptional execution. Chef and owner Joe Cash returned to his hometown of Greenville after a 12-year stint in New York. Cash cut his teeth among the New York elite, working alongside the likes of Corey Chow at Per Se and Rich Torrisi of Major Food Group, developing his skills and vision for Scoundrel. 

When the pandemic hit, Cash and his wife, Jocelyn, were drawn back to Greenville to seek out a different life than what they could experience in the city. After a few months, they decided to stay, and in 2022, they bought a house, welcomed their firstborn, Thor, and opened Scoundrel. Needless to say, this was a massive shift, but Cash and his family leveraged everything to see their vision come to life.

Cash wanted to open a restaurant that could simultaneously serve as a weeknight hub, an exclusive date night, and a place to commemorate special occasions. “For me, it’s about having a spot to share good wine, good food, and conversation. We want to set our tables each night with that anticipation in mind,” says Cash. He explains that there is a lot of crossover between French and American cuisine. “Steak frites are simply a guise of the American classic steak and potatoes, and once guests take a bite, they return again and again for their favorites,” he says. 

Balancing a budding restaurant and family life might seem like a full plate, but Cash remains eager to launch new ideas and make space for another big launch: the birth of his daughter this spring. 

Joe Cash cooks alongside his son, Thor

TLP: How do you feel family is interwoven into your work at Scoundrel? How do you keep these balanced?

Joe Cash: There’s a lot of really rich relationships built in kitchens. My wife, Jocelyn, though she’s not actively in the kitchen, has personal relationships with all the staff and is in and out frequently. Though, one of my favorite things is slinging plates in the middle of service, and finding my two-year-old, Thor, sitting between the dining room and the kitchen, crunching on grapes or french fries. It lightens the mood of the service and reminds us that, ultimately, people are eager to be pleased with simple, well-represented flavors.

TLP: Are there any influential father figures in your life?

Joe Cash: My dad was always very present and supportive. I learned from an early age to take time to celebrate the little things, and this mentality translates to how I approach both food and service. 

Joe Cash's tomatoes and burrata

I was also incredibly fortunate to have mentors throughout my culinary journey. Pat Wagner singled me out during my time at the Culinary Institute and gave me direction, broadening my ideas of what I was capable of. Learning under the wing of Corey Chow at Per Se is an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything. He was the sous chef while I was the butcher, and was always helping push me past my boundaries to explore my potential. Lastly, Rich Torrisi of Major Food Group showed me the ropes of the business side of restaurant life, something that was  incredibly valuable as I opened Scoundrel. Having these people as my lifelines has always given me the confidence I need to make my next jump. 

TLP: How has fatherhood pushed you to be more bold, brave, patient, or creative in the kitchen?

Joe Cash: Fatherhood has given me much more empathy. I was a hothead back in the day, as is common in kitchen culture, but I’ve since gained more perspective. What I’m teaching my employees isn’t so different from what I’m teaching my son: everyone is learning new fundamentals and will have their own learning curve. The mental shift from focusing on perfection to focusing on learning has opened me up to seeing so much more potential. I’m also invested in mentorship for my employees, helping them see their own possibilities.

TLP: As you welcome your baby girl, how do you anticipate this season will change?

Joe Cash: My heart is both fully in the kitchen and at home. I want to see Scoundrel flourish into its full potential, but I have a lot of other concepts I want to break ground on. This season is about empowering others to lay structure for growth, both at home and in the culinary scene. Laying that foundation allows me to be present for those upcoming softball games for Thor or little ballet classes for Romee, and it allows that same flexibility for my staff. I want to be both an active father and restaurant owner. My wife and I hope to model for our kids that you should seek out the things that make you proud and happy, and work hard for them. 

TLP: How is food a part of your family’s culture at home? How do your kids participate?
Joe Cash: Thor loves food. He’s not quite ready to take on knife skills but is fascinated by the kitchen. We love dining out with him. He has a pretty refined palate and likes caviar, foie gras, and will crush any type of fruit in a second. There’s also something serene and beautiful about cooking in our backyard while he plays. I just got a new smoker, and as I stoke the fire and smoke swirls past him playing in his own little world, I can’t help but feel grateful.

Joe Cash's Father's Day feast featuring steak, shrimp, salad, and potaotes

Joe Cash’s Father’s Day Menu

Joe Cash's Head on Braodwater Shirmp

Grilled Dry-Aged Porterhouse with Bearnaise

Grilled Head-On Broadwater Shrimp with Oregano Oil

Chilled Tomatoes and Burrata dressed in Calabrian Chiles

Mixed Green Salad with Blue Cheese and Fine Herbs

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Horseradish Vinaigrette and Dill

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