Chef Nate Whiting’s professional experience spans two decades, and his latest post as Executive Chef of Charleston’s Ristorante Juliet is an evolution of his experience cooking Italian meals with his family. After working at Lowcountry restaurants Peninsula Grill and Woodlands Inn and Resort, Italian cuisine and culture charmed Whiting again in the mid-2000s, drawing him to the mother country. The protein station was his main post at Relais Gourmand, a 3-star Michelin restaurant; he also catered events throughout Northern Italy. Training abroad unearthed more opportunities for Whiting: Upon returning to the States, he took the helm at Tristan and then King Street’s 492 before heading up Collective Coffee and Ristorante Juliet. Chef Whiting describes his culinary philosophy as “elementally-driven” since he prefers to let the ingredients speak for themselves. He views himself as the middle man between the guest and the purveyors and farmers. Aligning his own approach with that of the team at Ristorante Juliet was simple: Both focus on delicious food that’s approachable and affordable. The chef’s soft spot for Italian food is evident in his enthusiasm for the country’s most delicious export. “Pizza has always been an interest of mine. I’ve become obsessed and am enjoying experimenting with different recipes.” While Chef’s a fan of trial and error, his eventual menu tweaks won’t digress from Juliet’s concept, but instead keep driving it home. “It’s pure, direct flavor that I keep going after,” Chef said.Chef wants Juliet to be a restaurant that the community is proud to have nearby; a place where locals bring friends from out-of-town; a restaurant the city is proud of – and considers one of the better places in the (Italian) genre.