16 of the best chefs in South Carolina to follow on Instagram
Sometimes the food we find on Instagram is almost too pretty to eat. If you don’t have enough mouth-watering pictures of Southern food coming up in your Instagram feed, we’ve got you covered — we found some of the best chefs in South Carolina to follow on Instagram. These Southern chefs come from different backgrounds and their Instagram accounts offer a peek into their lives both in and out of the kitchen. Find out their tips and tricks and maybe even find some inspiration for your own cooking.
Sean Brock, Husk in Charleston, South Carolina
Sean Brock has built his career around serving Southern food made from heirloom and locally sourced ingredients, such as those he grows himself on his rooftop garden in Charleston. He is passionate about restoring ingredients, like Jimmy Red Corn, that had come close to extinction, and he is finding ways to incorporate them into his cooking.
Brock has a number of awards under his belt, including James Beard Award nominations and a win for Best Chef Southeast in 2010. His restaurant, Husk, has locations in Charleston, Nashville, Greenville and Savannah. In 2011, Bon Appetit named Husk “Best New Restaurant in America,” and in 2014, Husk Nashville was included in Esquire’s list of “Best New Restaurants in America.”
On his Instagram, he shares what’s happening in the kitchen, including Southern classics, like shrimp and grits, and close-up shots of hsi favorite ingredients. Who knew benne seed and black truffle could look so pretty?
Gregory Collier, The Yolk in Rock Hill, South Carolina
Chef Gregory Collier may be a Tennessee native, but he you can find him cooking in South Carolina. He fell in love with cooking while watching his grandmother make butter rolls in the kitchen. After cooking in Tennessee and Arizona, Collier returned to the South with his wife in 2012. Today, you can find him cooking amazing breakfast food at The Yolk. On his Instagram, he shares his delicious Southern-style breakfast with the world.
Mike Lata, Fig Restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina
Chef Mike Lata opened Fig with Adam Nemirow in 2003 hoping to give the city a place to enjoy meals created with local ingredients in a comfortable setting. Although Lata is a native New Englander, he’s worked in kitchens around the South and is committed to helping the Charleston food scene grow and flourish by supporting local farmers, purveyors and fishermen.
Orchid Paulmeier, One Hot Mama’s American Grille in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
At a young age, Orchid Paulmeier learned how to cook Filipino food from her mother and grandmother. She spent her life working in different restauarant jobs before opening One Hot Mama’s in 2007. Her menu is a mix South Carolina/Lowcountry cuisine and barbecue with Hawaiian influences. She has also appeared on season seven of Food Network’s “The Next Food Network Star,” and in 2016, she was named a South Carolina Chef Ambassador. Some dishes like Hoppin’ John and fried fish appear on her Instagram, but Paulmeier also loves sharing what is going on with her family and life outside of the kitchen.
Forrest Parker, The Vendue in Charleston, South Carolina
As a South Carolina native, Parker is well versed in Southern cuisine. He is currently developing a new menu for The Vendue Hotel’s new restaurant, Revival. According to the hotel’s website, Parker will be “restoring and utilizing ingredients historically found in South Carolina.” He will be focusing on modernizing Southern dishes, especially those with significance in Charleston and South Carolina. On his Instagram, Parker shares photos of life around Charleston, including a bourbon tasting at High Wire Distilling Co. and rooftop views of Charleston’s beautiful sunset.
BJ Dennis, Personal Chef and Caterer in Charleston, South Carolina
Chef BJ Dennis has dedicated his cooking career to paying homage to Gullah Geechee cuisine. Dennis’ cooking is soulful and reminds diners of the African influence on Low Country cuisine. On his Instagram feed, Dennis shares photos of dishes like fried chicken drumsticks on top of a bowl of Charleston gold rice, fresh oysters, and shrimp.
Jason Stanhope, Fig Restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina
Jason Stanhope is a James Beard Award winning chef at Fig in Charleston. He works with chef Mike Lata to create Southern dishes using local and heirloom ingredients. On his Instagram, he shares photos of beautifully plated dishes, fresh seafood and his family.
Rodney Scott, Scott’s Bar-B-Que in Hemingway, South Carolina
Rodney Scott is behind one of our favorite Southern barbecue spots. Last year, Southern Kitchen’s Associate Editor Mike Jordan wrote: “Rodney Scott began smoking whole hogs at 11 years old, helping to chop oak, pecan and hickory wood from neighbors’ land to fire up family-built pits on the property of their shacky grocery store. Thanks to a lot of attention and barbecue aficionados willing to drive hours for a taste of the famous hand-picked pig he’s perfected, Rodney’s now got his own setup on King Street, and needless to say that with his tried-and-true method of overnight hog-smoking (you can buy the whole thing at market price if you so choose) things are going very slow, but also very, very well.” On his Instagram feed, he shares behind-the-scenes photos of the smoking process, racks of ribs on the barbecue and yummy cornbread.
Brooks Reitz, Little Jack’s Tavern in Charleston, South Carolina
Chef Brooks Reitz is a busy man. Not only is he the co-owner of Leon’s Oyster Shop, Melfi’s and Little Jack’s Tavern, he is also runs Jack Rudy Cocktail Company. On his Instagram feed, Reitz shares what’s going on in his busy life. Not only are we treated to photos of his restaurants, we also get to see his travel pictures, complete with all the food on his plate.
Shuai Wang, Short Grain in Charleston, South Carolina
Chef Shuai Wang is bringing untraditional Japanese cuisine to the South with his food truck, Short Grain. Last year, he was named a James Beard award semifinalist in the Rising Star Chef category. Wang told Coastal Living he’s trying to create food that is a balance between Chinese, Low Country and Japanese cuisine. “I’m a Chinese chef trained in Japanese cooking,” Shuai said. “With both, there’s so much heritage and familial influence. It’s the same thing with Charleston. The way they’re making collard greens today is the same way they were making them 50 years ago.” On his Instagram feed, he shares photos of creative ramen dishes, fresh fish, and large pots of broth simmering on a fiery grill.
Michael Toscano, Le Farfalle Osteria in Charleston, South Carolina
Chef Michael Toscano is a native of Houston, Texas, and he has worked in some of the best restaurants in the country, including Perla in New York City. He has been on Zagat’s 30 under 30 list, as well as a James Beard Award semifinalist in the Rising Star Chef category. At La Farfalle Osteria, Toscano has created a menu of modern Italian food like hand-made pasta and craft cocktails. On his Instagram feed, Toscano shares photos of trips around the world, what he’s eating, and what his family is up to.
Karalee Fallert, Closed for Business in Charleston, South Carolina
Over the last decade, restaurateur Karalee Nielsen Fallert has opened Taco Boy, Monza, Closed for Business, The Royal American and The Park Café throughout Charleston. If she wasn’t busy enough running restaurants, she also created the Green Heart Project, where inner city youth learn about the power of micro farming and local food. On her Instagram feed, she shares the adventures her family is taking, recipes she’s developing and what’s happening in her restaurants.
Haydn Shaak, The Loft at Soby’s in Greenville, South Carolina
Chef Haydn Shaak has been cooking since he was 15. He trained under his father and went on to become the executive sous chef at CityRange when he was only 21. Now he is cooking away at The Loft at Soby’s. On his Instagram feed, Shaak shares photos of chicken frying in cast iron, outside adventuring with his family and the fresh ingredients he’s transforming into beautiful dishes.
Jill Mathias, Chez Nous in Charleston, South Carolina
Chef Jill Mathias has cooked in kitchens in Puerto Rico, Martha’s Vineyard and Charleston. At Chez Nous in Charleston, she has created a menu inspired by food from southern France, northern Italy and northern Spain. On her Instagram feed, Mathias shares where she’s traveling, what she’s eating, and life in and out of the kitchen.
William Fincher, The Obstinate Daughter in Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina
Chef William Fincher grew up in Alabama and began working in the restaurant industry when he was 15. He moved to Charleston in 2006 and worked his way up to executive chef at both Closed for Business and Monza. As chef de cuisine at The Obstinate Daughter, Fincher has embraced the farm-to-table movement and is dedicated to using locally sourced ingredients. On his Instagram feed, Fincher shares photos of adventures with his family, cookbooks he’s reading, and, occasionally ingredients, like fresh seafood, that he’s using in his kitchen.
John Lewis, Lewis Barbecue in Charleston, South Carolina
John Lewis is a master of barbecue. You can find long lines of barbecue fans waiting to get their hands on his smoked ribs, sausage and beef brisket at Lewis Barbecue. It’s no surprise his Instagram account is perfect for carnivores. There, his followers are gifted with photos of stacks of ribs and slices of brisket.