David + Tina Schuttenberg

Years of Participation

2016-2017, 2019-2023

David and Tina Schuttenberg are the operating partners and creative force behind Charleston, SC based Always Awkward Hospitality, known for bringing the fiery flavors of Sichuan to the Lowcountry via highly regarded Kwei Fei on James Island. David oversees all things culinary, while Tina handles the business side, and Marketing/Social Media.

Tina’s early career focus in retail and fashion transposed easily to hospitality, and helped propel her to the creative director role at Dean and Deluca before moving to Charleston in 2015. Her skillset has allowed a seamless transition into restaurants, though she never worked in one before starting Kwei Fei with David.

David has been a kitchen rat for the past 19 years, preferring to keep his knife skills sharp and his cooking acumen well honed, over a passive culinary role within his kitchens. After a career change in 2003, he worked in some of New Yorks finest kitchens including Tom Coliccio’s Craft, Zak Pelaccio’s venerable Fatty Crab, and was Culinary Director at arguably the country’s best butcher shop, Dickson’s Farmstand Meats.

Ironically, it was professional failures early in their Charleston lives that led the couple to open the culitsh Kwei Fei, and they are currently building their next concept, an as-yet-unnamed concept in Charleston featuring the foods of the Pearl River Delta region of Southeastern China. Slated to open in late Spring of 2023, their next restaurant signals a return to the upper peninsula area of downtown Charleston where they got their start back in 2017.