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Ambassador chef program unveiled in South Carolina and includes local chef

South Carolina Chef Ambassadors prepare dishes using Certified South Carolina produce

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Three South Carolina chefs have been tapped to be 2022 South Carolina Chef Ambassadors. 

“South Carolina Chef Ambassadors do South Carolina a great service by shining a light on our state’s destinations, signature dishes and locally grown foods, and their own incredible talents,” Gov. McMaster said. “We’re proud to have these three great chefs represent our state.”

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 South Carolina Chef Ambassadors prepare dishes using Certified South Carolina produce, meats and seafood, supporting local farmers and highlighting our state’s food traditions.

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The 2022 South Carolina Chef Ambassadors are:

Chef John Ondo  

The Atlantic Room at Kiawah Island Golf Resort | Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Executive Chef John Ondo of The Atlantic Room grew up playing in the tidal creeks of the Lowcountry, which left an indelible mark on him, as he has spent his 20-plus-year culinary career in Charleston drawing inspiration from the region’s fields and waterways. Chef Ondo has developed enduring relationships with local farmers and fishermen, and often stops by to visit and discuss how crops are coming in and to pick up produce that will appear on diners’ plates that night at The Atlantic Room. With his wry sense of humor and affable nature, Chef Ondo is a recognizable spokesperson for Lowcountry foodways.

 Chef Chris Williams

Roy’s Grille | Lexington, South Carolina

As owner of catering company William Christopher’s and of Roy’s Grille, a beloved local restaurant inside an Exxon station, Chef Chris Williams stays busy. He grew up in Olar in Bamberg County, where his family grew their own vegetables and raised their own pigs and chickens. On the Roy’s Grille menu you will find house-smoked and cured bacon, house made pimento cheese, barbecue and signature barbecue sauces.

 Chef Haydn Shaak

Restaurant 17 at Hotel Domestique | Travelers Rest, South Carolina

A graduate of the culinary program at Greenville Technical College, Chef Haydn Shaak has spent most of his life working in kitchens. His father was also a chef, so cooking became a significant part of his life from an early age; and at 16, he began an apprenticeship under his father at the Greenville restaurant City Range Steakhouse Grill. Over the next five years, he worked his way through the kitchen ranks at several establishments, eventually heading up prominent restaurants in Greenville and Travelers Rest before taking over Restaurant 17 in 2018. Haydn’s focus on local and seasonal ingredients, along with his dedication to classical techniques has elevated the culinary program at Restaurant 17.

If you want to learn more about the program and past ambassadors click here.