Brock brings this evolving vision of a new Southern cuisine from his successful kitchen at McCradyâ€™s. As one of Charlestonâ€™s most decorated culinarians, he has twice cooked for the James Beard Foundation, was the winner of the â€śNext Great Chefâ€ť episode of the â€śFood Network Challenge,â€ť and appeared on â€śIron Chef Americaâ€ť in the fall of 2010. He was nominated in 2008 and 2009 for the James Beard â€śRising Star Chefâ€ť award, and in 2009 was nominated for the James Beard â€śBest Chef Southeastâ€ť award, which he won in 2010.
Grimes grew up in the Lowcountry and knows Charleston well. He worked his way up through local restaurants before attending Johnson and Wales University. When Brock took the helm at McCradyâ€™s he stayed on to help transform the kitchen into the most innovative in the city and now takes on the day-to-day operations at Husk. His philosophy on food closely mirrors that of his mentor, Brock, focusing on preservation techniques and the recovery of lost flavors, especially heirloom varieties of pork. Both men bring a love for the area and its history to creating the restaurantâ€™s concept.
Diners at Husk view an open, collaborative kitchen, where chefs freely interact with their guests, and personally deliver food to tables, but the work begins well before a pan begins to heat. Brock and Grimes exhaustively research Southern foodâ€”its history and provenanceâ€”and in the process reconstitute flavors and ingredients lost to time. They grow much of their own produce on the restaurantâ€™s garden, and concentrate on heirloom grains and vegetables that once flourished in the region, but were lost to 20th-century industrial agriculture. Then they take what is fresh and available today, or even this hour, and transform it into an evolving menu. Seasonal bounty comes in waves, however, and what they canâ€™t use immediately is preserved, pickled, smoked, and saved.
The menu flourishes with Lowcountry ingredients, like Local Benne Seed, or Sesame, which flavors a Benne and Honey Lacquered Duck with Pickled Blueberries and Chanterelles and Crispy Pork Collar gets paired with Cornbread PurĂ©e and Greasy Beans. Other innovative examples include Sassafras Glazed Pork Ribs with Pickled Peaches and Rev Taylor Butter Beans; House Cured Country Ham Tasting with Acorn Griddle Cakes; and Rabbit-Pimento Loaf with Husk Mustard, Pickles and Rice Bread.