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Meet the Chef
Originally from Beaufort, South Carolina, Chef Garrett Priester comes from a long line of great family cooks who valued fresh ingredients and an appreciation for Lowcountry cuisine. His paternal grandfather was a farmer in Hampton County and his maternal grandfather was a local shrimper who once owned restaurants in the area. Priester credits both his mother and grandmother for introducing him to his passion for fine Southern cooking.
Over the past 15 years, Priester honed his craft by attending the Culinary Institute of Charleston and training in some of the finest restaurant kitchens in Charleston. Before leading the Southend culinary team, he was the sous chef at Amen Street Fish and Raw Bar, worked at the Saltus River Grill in Beaufort and an upscale restaurant on Seabrook Island. Priester’s culinary style is defined by Southern Gullah and French cuisine. For Priester, the artistic presentation of each dish is just as important as the taste. He said, “We eat with our eyes first. When I’m creating a new dish, I visualize the finished product and then backtrack.”
Priester plans to update the menu at Southend Brewery & Smokehouse to include more local ingredients and sustainable seafood from local purveyors, as well as, infuse the distinct brewery flavors of Southend’s signature beers. Priester said, “I want the entire town reflected on the menu. Charlestonians will appreciate and feel pride about the local influences in the dishes. For tourists, I hope the menu will inspire them to learn more about the Lowcountry. I want tourists to see, for example, an ingredient from a Johns Island farm on the menu which will then encourage them to visit the farm and surrounding area.”