Chef Gray knows how the land connects to food, and how food connects people. He spent an outdoorsy, idyllic childhood in Macon, Georgia, fishing and hunting with his father and absorbing a general familial emphasis on cooking and sharing food. And it’s this love of the land — and personal understanding of where food comes from — that Gray brings to his role as executive chef at
Bacon Bros. Public House in Greenville, S.C.
If the outdoors was an early teacher, Gray furthered his culinary career as a student at Johnson & Wales University in Charleston, where he met Chef Frank Lee. Gray took a position with Lee at Slightly North of Broad and was initiated into the Maverick Southern Kitchen family. When the team opened High Cotton in Charleston in 1999, Gray became sous chef, staying with the company for ten years and moving up to executive chef of both the Greenville and Charleston locations. Under his direction, the restaurants were featured in numerous publications including The New York Times, Bon Appetit, Southern Living and Boston Globe. Lee proved an important influence on Gray. Among other things, Lee taught him a deep appreciation for rich, traditional charcuterie, a talent he brought to Southern Art in Atlanta. In 2012, Gray was named an Atlanta Rising Star Chef before moving to Greenville, where he now lives with his wife and young son.
Drawing on the lessons of his youth, Gray continues to support traditional Southern ingredients and foodways in his menus at Bacon Bros. Public House. Gray is also a member of the Southern Foodways Alliance, Slow Food Upstate, Slow Food Atlanta and the Carolina Farmer Stewardship Association.