Three New York chefs recently ditched the Big Apple for Charleston's F&B scene

New in Town


  • Jonathan Boncek
  • Wise

Damon Wise

Most recent gig: Chef de cuisine of French brasserie Lafayette
Credentials: The Baltimore native honed his skills at The Greenbrier and Georges Perrier's Le Bec Fin in Philadelphia before working at Gramercy Tavern, Cello, and Lespinasse.
Plans: Unnamed restaurant opening at 23 Ann St.
Reason for moving to Charleston: "I liked the small town vibe. It's a bicycle town and I can get around walking and biking and enjoyed that in New York. And cars are a real pain in the ass."
Biggest surprise since arriving: "The one thing I think is funny, I lived in New York and it's the noisiest place on earth. But where I live now downtown, it's noisier."
Food focus: "I want to know where the food comes from. I want vegetables to taste like vegetables, chickens that taste like chickens, pigs taste like pigs."

  • Jonathan Boncek
  • Shuttenberg

David Schuttenburg

Most recent gig: Chef at Dickson's Farmstand Meats in Chelsea Market
Credentials: Schuttenburg attended the French Culinary Institute and was the executive chef at Cabrito and chef de cuisine at Fatty Crab
Plans: Chef de cuisine at Damon Wise's 23 Ann St. project
Reason for moving to Charleston: "My family. I have a nine-year-old daughter. I've been in New York City for 13 years. It was time to go."
Biggest surprise since arriving: "Driving down here is absolutely insane. New York is chaotic mayhem, like 'F-you I'm going.' But there is a politeness on the roads here that I think causes a lot drama sometimes. Living here for four months and not hearing a car horn was remarkable. I've put more miles on my car here in six months than three years in New York. Also, seeing stars at night. My kid lost her mind when she saw that."

  • Jonathan Boncek
  • Toscano

Michael Toscano

Most recent gig: Executive chef of Perla
Credentials: Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery, sous chef at Mario Batali's Babbo, and executive chef of Eataly's Manzo
Plans: Opening Le Farfalle at 15 Beaufain St. this spring
Reason for moving to Charleston: "In New York, I'd leave for work at 7 a.m., stop by every restaurant, answer questions, and I'd be gone all day long. I want to be the father that my father was to me and have that home life that's healthy."
Most exciting Charleston discovery: "Everybody loves different food and I can be just as adventurous here."

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