Every year, the title South Carolina Chef Ambassador is awarded to four chefs from across the state's four regions: Upstate, Pee Dee, the Midlands, and the Lowcountry. On Jan. 16, Gov. Henry McMaster announced this year's Chef Ambassadors — five were chosen instead of the traditional four to honor the program's five year anniversary.
Circa 1886 chef Mark Collins was selected to honor the Lowcountry alongside other S.C. culinary talents including chef Jessica Shillato from The Spotted Salamander in Columbia, chef Tania Harris from The Lazy Goat in Greenville, chef Kelly Vogelheim from Town Hall in Florence, and chef Brandon Carter from FARM in Bluffton.
Receiving the title of S.C. chef ambassador is quite an honor; according to McMaster, the position allows these culinary experts "to shine a unique spotlight on not only their exceptional talents but also on the destinations in South Carolina where they live and work."
For the one year they hold the title, ambassadors are responsible for promoting stronger solidarity among South Carolina's hospitality and agriculture industries. This means taking part in events across the Southeast that focus on cuisine, agriculture, and tourism.
Collins' name will be added to the list with other Lowcountry legends who have also earned the the title including executive chef Forrest Parker from the Drawing Room (now Revival), chef Sean Mendes of Gillie's, and chef Michelle Weaver of Charleston Grill.