There is a dish at Charleston Grill that has become local legend. It involves seared foie gras paired with a fried apple hand pie, and it is a signature favorite from the kitchen of Executive Chef Michelle Weaver. When we tell you it's good we are merely skimming the surface of both the dish's rich complexity, as well as the extraordinary flavors found on every plate put forth by this beloved Southern chef.
A born n' bred Southerner, Weaver's comfort level infusing international flavors and ingredients into her menu is equal to her ease with a cast iron skillet. Her warm, approachable nature and undeniably strong cooking style has endeared her as one of the region's most respected female chefs. Obviously, we are big fans, so imagine our delight when given the opportunity to chat with this busy culinary force.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a chef?
I think my soul always knew. It just took about 25 years for the rest of me to catch up.
What has been your proudest moment as the executive chef at Charleston Grill?
Watching young cooks work hard learning their craft and the day comes when the light turns on and it all clicks. You see their confidence and potential blossom. Then they leave the nest and stand on their own feet.
Who influenced you to become a chef?
My mom taught me the value of a well seasoned cast iron skillet and garden fresh vegetables.
How would you describe your cooking style?
Southern Roots. Global Palate.
What would you go back and tell your younger self (just starting your career as a chef)?
Play in your food! Yes! Play in your food!!!
What advice you would give to aspiring female chefs?
This is a tough business whether you are a man or woman.
Random bite: what do you snack on?
Love fresh bread and cheese. Also nuts: like cashews or peanuts.
But who can resist a potato chip?! Not me.
Just for fun: what would your theme song be?
Got To Be Real - Cheryl Lynn
Try not to sing and dance when you hear it! It’s a happy song.
Get to know Chef Weaver even more here
. And, be sure to catch her in action during the 11th Charleston Wine + Food as she leads a force of female culinary talent at North + South + East + West: Les Tour des Femmes
. Weaver will also be serving up her distinct, Southern-inspired flavors at the festival's annual kick-off celebration, Opening Night: Cheers to Charleston!
. And, of course, we highly recommend you get on over to Charleston Grill to experience one of Charleston's finest dining experiences, to include, of course, that seared foie gras and fried apple hand pie.