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Chef Frank McMahon has been the Executive Chef at Hank’s Seafood since it opened in February, 1999. A native of Limerick, Ireland, McMahon spent much of his childhood working in his family’s restaurant and various other hotels and restaurants in Ireland. He moved to the United States in 1985 to work at the Stamford Yacht Club and the Homestead Inn in Greenwich, Connecticut.
By 1988 he attended the famed Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York where he graduated with honors, and was voted student most likely to succeed by his peers. After an externship in Germany, Chef McMahon moved to New York City to work at Le Bernardin under Chefs Eric Ripert and Gilbert LeCoze.
In 1992, Chef McMahon decided to move to Los Angeles to work with former Le Bernardin colleague Eberhart Mueller as sous chef at the newly-opened Opus in Santa Monica. Named one of “America’s Best New Restaurants” in 1992 by Esquire magazine’s John Mariani, Opus offered Chef McMahon even more experience in one of America’s top kitchens. Chef McMahon’s move to Charleston came a few years later when his wife was offered a position at a local health care facility.
McMahon became Executive Chef at some of Charleston’s finest restaurants, including Restaurant Million, McCrady’s and Elliott’s on the Square. When a colleague from Elliott’s became the opening manager at Peninsula Grill, the stars aligned for McMahon to join the Peninsula Grill Associates team to open a modern interpretation of a classic Charleston fish house. The project became Hank’s Seafood. The restaurant opened to widespread acclaim in 1999 and in that same year, Chef McMahon once again got the nod from Esquire when Hank’s was touted as one of “America’s Best New Restaurants.”