Meet South Carolina’s Chef Ambassadors

By: The Local Palate

What do a four-star hotel, a golf resort and a gas station have in common? How about delicious, locally-sourced food prepared by some of South Carolina’s most talented chefs?

Earlier this month, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster and Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers announced the 2022 class of Chef Ambassadors who are charged with promoting the state’s culinary excellence and diversity to folks in South Carolina and beyond.

In South Carolina’s Upstate, Hotel Domestique is home to Restaurant 17, where chef Haydn Shaak prides himself on his commitment to using local ingredients in his modern take on classic Italian and Mediterranean favorites. Restaurant 17’s cuisine, paired with its mountain views and classic European architecture, makes it easy to confuse the setting for the Tuscan hills—a perfect getaway for anyone looking to experience an old world feel with the contemporary comforts of home.

At the Kiawah Island Golf Resort’s Atlantic Room, chef John Ondo puts his own modern American flair into the preparation of seasonal, fresh-caught fish. Diners can enjoy chef Ondo’s dishes with incredible views of the Atlantic ocean. Regardless of how you play on the course, the Atlantic Room is a seafood lover’s dream and is a must-try next time you are near South Carolina’s coast.

Nestled in an Exxon station in Lexington, chef Chris Williams is cooking up something special at Roy’s Grill. Chef Williams is committed to the home-cooked flavor he learned from his grandmother as a child. Growing up on a farm, he understands the importance of locally sourced foods, and you can taste the difference in his made-from-scratch dishes. It’s no wonder folks travel near and far to fill their plates, and, when it makes sense, they can fill up their gas tank, too.

All three Chef Ambassadors and their restaurants are part of the Fresh on the Menu program from the South Carolina Department of Agriculture. The program was established to help diners find restaurants committed to serving Certified South Carolina ingredients across the state. 

South Carolina Chef and Diner Resources

To find a restaurant serving local near you, visit Fresh on the Menu’s website. Learn more about this year’s South Carolina Chef Ambassadors, visit Discover South Carolina’s website.

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