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A First Look at The Select | Listen

By: Amber Chase

a radicchio dish at The Select

On the corner of Meeting and Columbus in the heart of downtown Charleston, The Select is set to open today offering New American fare to please locals and tourists alike. A mainstay in Sandy Springs just minutes from downtown Atlanta, The Select is eager to launch their second location nestled in Charleston’s thriving culinary scene. Inspired by the famous Parisian brasserie of the 1920s, The Select was historically home to nomadic creatives and a haven for artists such as Hemmingway, Fitzgerald, Chagall, Picasso, and Dalí. While it’s easy to imagine and admire the creative juices that flowed through the revolving doors of the original brasserie, many of these artists were under scrutiny for the expression of their ideas. Now, a century later, the modern rendition of The Select hopes to tap into a similar mentality as the original brasserie and provide Charleston residents and visitors with a culinary respite that fills their plates and inspires their creativity. 

For Julian Parker, culinary director at Good Restaurant group, exploring and articulating cuisines has always been a passion. Originally from Colombia, Parker was the son of a chef who introduced him to diverse cuisines and helped him develop a strong palate from a young age. “In Colombia, there’s not a lot of exposure to different cultures and cuisines. My mom made a conscious effort to keep my tastes from being isolated and helped me appreciate different flavor profiles and ingredients,” says Parker. As he began his career, he opted to study business in Argentina, but couldn’t resist his culinary intrigue and worked nights at various restaurants to bolster his techniques and gather recipes. This soon gave way to a return to the kitchen, and Parker became a sous chef at a restaurant in Buenos Aires, where he met his now husband. Together, they decided to move to Atlanta where Parker found his way to the Good Restaurant Group, starting as sous chef, quickly moving to executive chef, then ultimately finding his footing as culinary director. “The moment I interviewed for The Select, I completely fell in love with the concept of a place where ideas flourish. In my position now, I always aim to work with chefs who are smarter than me, constantly growing my ideas and pushing me further,” says Parker. 

A dish being finished off with seasoning at The Select

Mimicking the rapidly changing landscape of art, thought, and design in the Roaring Twenties, The Select’s menu and decor will shift seasonally, provoking new takes on flavor and atmosphere. “We want the menu to range from an effortless date night to a special occasion, to be a space where our dishes and pricing have so much variety that we can become a go-to for regulars,” says Parker. New American cuisine takes the age-old American concept of a melting pot to heart, blending influences from Italian, Mediterranean, Latin, and Asian cuisines into plates that emphasize flavorful ingredients but still hold that essence of familiarity. “For me, it’s about making food for everyone’s palate. Leaning in with fresh, local ingredients that don’t need to be overdressed is the key in a lot of different cuisines,” says Parker. At their Charleston location, Parker plans to partner with local purveyors to offer fresh seafood options like grilled octopus, lobster arancini, and miso grouper. Guests can also expect brasserie favorites like steak frites, pork milanese, and pasta primavera. The drink program mirrors the cuisine, harmonizing cultures with both zero-proof and mixed cocktails and a curated wine list. Think offerings like cara cara horchata infused with coconut and lime and drinkable wine selections from Chile, France, and Argentina. Likewise, the interiors of The Select will transform regularly, creating an overarching, living art piece fully immersing guests. 

As The Select positions itself for opening in Charleston, Parker and his team can’t help but ruminate on the concept that history repeats itself. And while their modern take on the historic brasserie may not house artistic fugitives, they feel assured that it will become a lively culinary community that ushers in a new era of discussion, growth, and expansion.

Opening Menus at The Select

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