New South Carolina Chef Ambassadors Embrace Diverse Cuisine
Each year, South Carolina’s governor names four chefs to serve as Chef Ambassadors; this year’s class spans the state from Aiken to Myrtle Beach and the culinary classroom to the fine dining table.
Chef Ambassadors are all participants in the South Carolina Department of Agriculture’s Fresh on the Menu program, which identifies restaurants that have committed to serving at least 25 percent South Carolina produce or products.
“Chefs are a bridge to the farmers who grow and raise our food—they teach us about our culinary traditions and how to eat seasonally and locally,” says Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers. “These talented Chef Ambassadors showcase South Carolina’s diverse food heritage as well as their own creativity, and we’re proud to honor them.”
Born and raised in Milan, Raffaele Dall’Erta creates Italian-influenced, farm-sourced American cuisine as the executive chef of the Hamptons in Sumter, South Carolina. He has spent time in world-renowned restaurants such as the Fat Duck in the United Kingdom and Per Se in New York.
Kevin Mitchell, a chef instructor at the Culinary Institute of Charleston, applies his kitchen talents and historical research to meals and projects charting the rich history of South Carolina’s Lowcountry. Mitchell’s work embraces traditional American flavors, soul food flair, and delicate French cuisine.
Jason Tufts, executive chef at the seasonally influenced Malia’s in Aiken, has a background in private club dining. A graduate of Johnson and Wales University in Charleston, Tufts is passionate about South Carolina seafood, particularly soft-shell crabs.
Jamie Daskalis is the upbeat chef at Johnny D’s Waffles and Bakery in Myrtle Beach. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America with a degree in Baking and Pastry, the New York transplant is a twenty-year restaurant veteran. Daskalis is an advocate for autism awareness, and recently released her first cookbook, Making It Delicious.
Join these chefs at their home restaurants or at one of the food festivals where they’ll showcase their talents and South Carolina cuisine this year, including Charleston Wine + Food Festival and Greenville’s euphoria.
- by Erin Byers Murray
- by Jennifer Stewart Kornegay
- by Emily Havener
- by Hannah Lee Leidy
- by Beth D’Addono