Chef Sean Brock, was born and raised in rural Virginia, and the experience of his family growing their own food that left a deep impression. "This was a coal-field town with no restaurants or stoplights," he explains. "You grew and cooked your own food, so I really saw food in its true form. You cook all day, and when you're not cooking, you're preserving." These were the building blocks that Brock would not forget as he began his career as a chef.
Chef Brock began his career as chef tournant under Chef Robert Carter at the Peninsula Grill in Charleston. Over the next several years Chef Brock fine tuned his craft before accepting a position as executive chef at McCrady's Restaurant. Shortly after joining McCrady's team, Brock began the development of a 2.5-acre farm on Wadmalaw Island. Experience on the farm has led Brock to become a passionate advocate for seed preservation and he continues to grow a number of heirloom crops, including James Island Red Corn (aka "Jimmy Red"), from which he makes grits, Flint Corn, Benne Seed, Rice Peas, Sea Island Red Peas and several varieties of Farro.
Chef Brock pulls from his memory of ingredients and their flavor profiles to create McCrady's menu depending on what is delivered to the kitchen from local sources. It's a modern approach to cooking that comes from a pure appreciation of the food itself. "At McCrady's, we emphasize the importance of the food from the Lowcountry region and constantly refine our cooking processes to best honor our relationships with the farmers, artisans and fisherman that provide us with their amazing products," he says.
Brock's abilities have resulted in a number of awards and accolades, both locally and nationally. He has twice cooked for the James Beard Foundation, and was the winner of the "Next Great Chef" episode of the "Food Network Challenge." He has been twice nominated for the James Beard "Rising Star Chef" award and "Best Chef Southeast" award that he won in 2010.