Years in the Golden Isles: I grew up in Ohio and spent just about every summer visiting my grandparents on the Georgia Coast. I worked as a Junior Staff Counselor at Sea Island during college and when I graduated school, I moved to St. Simons Island, which was almost 18 years ago. St. Simons Island and Sea Island are such special places for me and what continues to make them so great is the community here. The people in the Golden Isles have become my friends and family.
School: Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va.
Occupation: Private chef serving Sea Island and St. Simons Island. I typically cook for families in their homes and try to always use fresh produce from local businesses on St. Simons and in Brunswick. It really makes a difference.
What dish have you created that you’re most proud of? Braised short ribs! They are seared and braised in veal stock and red wine with carrots, celery, onions, garlic and fresh herbs. It slow cooks for about 4 hours at 325 and is served with whipped or roasted potatoes.
What inspired you to make your T-REX Steak Sauce and Marinade? My friends and family were always asking for it so I decided to bottle it. It’s delicious, and people who don’t “like” steak sauce love it. The T-Rex Steak Sauce and Marinade is an original Georgia-made product produced in small batches.
What is the most essential item in your kitchen? Wooden spoons, because they don’t scrape the bottom of pots and they are almost impossible to break.
You’re stranded on a desert island. What five foods would you want with you? What would you make? I would want lemons, butter, Sriracha hot sauce, local Georgia shrimp and Tasso ham, most likely from City Market in Brunswick, if possible. I’d probably make shrimp and grits because I cook a ton of shrimp.
Favorite landmark in the Golden Isles: We are so lucky to live in a place with so much history and natural beauty. Between the live oaks and beaches, it’s tough to beat. One of my favorite places is the Men’s Locker Room at The Lodge and a favorite landmark of mine is the St. Simons Lighthouse and Museum.
A local you admire: Millie Wilcox because she has been a great friend of mine since I moved to the island. She is very interesting and has done a lot to move the art community forward! Another local I admire is Chef John Helfrich. I owe him for teaching me a lot about different culinary skills.