“One pork chop in a pan goes dry; Two or more and the fat from one feeds the other.”
– Nathalie Dupree
Wednesday morning the staff of Charleston Wine + Food gathered around the table for a coffee talk with our first chairperson, Nathalie Dupree. A leading figure for CHSWFF, Nathalie told us how she got to where she is today, and how Charleston Wine + Food came to life. What started as a small meeting of 60 people in the back of High Cotton, grew into the organization we see today. As chairperson of CHSWFF and a natural born trailblazer, Nathalie worked to set the path for the organization today.
Nathalie’s passion for cooking started back when she was living in the international house at Harvard. She had all the basic lessons you learn in the kitchen, like knowing to never multiply a recipe by 3. She wanted to do more, but was advised by her mom not to. With this advice, she worked various jobs in advertising and PR before moving to London with her former husband. This move gave her the chance to go after her passion and enroll in Le Cordon Bleu London.
With a diploma in hand and the advice of Julia Child in her ear, Nathalie left The Cordon Bleu and moved to Spain where she worked as a chef in a small restaurant. Nathalie mentioned a review that titled her as a “Kitchen Manager”. The idea that a women couldn’t be a chef didn’t sit right with her, she new there needed to be more diversity in the kitchens.
Every organization has its struggles when it starts. From the beginning Charleston Wine + Food has worked together to make each year better than the last. This is where Nathalie’s Porkchop theory came into play, her advice to us was to remember that we thrive as a team. When there is only one, they get run down and tired, but with two or more, you feed off of each other and solve problems as a unit. Nathalie is a true representation of our higher purpose, she left us inspired to follow her lead and continue to do our best from one pork chop to another.