Born in Germany to a well-traveled military family, I tasted a spectrum of global cuisines throughout my youth. The early realization that great food isn't the result of a recipe but the culmination of geography, tradition, ingredients, and preparation methods sparked a lifelong passion for farm-fresh cuisine that led me to culinary school.
My career began with a fantastic mentor: the esteemed Chef Frank Lee, known for his masterful preparation of farm-fresh Southern ingredients using French culinary techniques. From there, I honed my skills thanks to the guidance of Chef Bob Kinkead, another luminary in the vanguard of New American cuisine, at Colvin Run Tavern in Washington D.C. The pulse of Southern gastronomy emanates from Charleston, and the opportunity to lead the culinary team at Peninsula Grill—considered the city's premier dining experience for more than 20 years—was (and still is!) a dream come true.
Peninsula Grill is located within sight of Charleston’s picturesque harbor. Our proximity to pristine Atlantic Ocean waters provides an opportunity to showcase the excellent—and incredibly fresh—seafood harvested off the coasts of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.
Classics dishes that have been thoughtfully refined and perfected, including baked oysters Rockefeller Style, Lobster “Three-Way,” and pan-roasted scallops with lobster, are signature—and extremely popular—offerings.
When I was a young cook, I dined at Peninsula Grill and that experience—that one night—profoundly shaped my dreams and career aspirations. The entire evening was the very definition of exquisite dining with beautifully choreographed service, beautifully presented wines, and beautiful food that showcased pure, fresh flavors. It made me yearn to be a part of a classic, refined, and beloved restaurant filled with passionate people who bring their talent into the dining room, wine cellar, and kitchen every day. Now that I am at the helm of Peninsula Grill, I paint a picture of what went into that first magical night to celebrate the fact that each member of the team has a hand in creating lasting memories.
A simple way to turn a quiet Sunday into something special is with oysters on the half shell with Champagne mignonette and cocktail sauce.
12 raw, cold-water oysters
¼ cup Champagne Mignonette (see below)
¼ cup cocktail sauce (see below)
1 lemon, cut into wedges, for garnish
¼ cup champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon diced shallots
teaspoon kosher salt
teaspoon black pepper
Combine all of the ingredients in a nonreactive bowl, and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
2 tablespoons chili sauce
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Absolut Peppar vodka
Combine all of the ingredients, and adjust amounts to taste.
TO SERVE, Cover the bottom of a serving platter with rock salt. Shuck the oysters, detaching them from the shell but leaving them on the half shell. Arrange the oysters on the rock salt. Serve with the cocktail sauce and mignonette, and garnish with lemon wedges.