A chef who toiled in obscurity in several prominent Charleston restaurants some years back is moving up to the front burner of the culinary world.

Last week, David Breeden of Per Se in New York City was named to replace Timothy Hollingworth as chef de cuisine at Thomas Keller’s famed French Laundry in California’s Napa Valley.

Breeden, 32, is a Tennessee native who moved to the Lowcountry more than a decade ago. He worked in several top kitchens during his time in the Lowcountry, including Charleston Grill, McCrady’s and the now-defunct Dining Room at Woodlands Resort and Inn in Summerville, according to published reports. He must’ve kept his head down because not a single mention of Breeden turned up in a search of The Post and Courier’s archives. He worked at the French Laundry once before, as as chef de partie in 2005.

His new gig puts him on the world stage. The French Laundry is a regular on Restaurant Magazine’s annual list of the Top 50 Restaurants of the World, and it captured the top spot in 2003 and 2004. Chef, food author and TV personality Anthony Bourdain has called it “the best restaurant in the world, period.”

So no pressure, Chef Breeden.

All sewn up

A big North Charleston-based maker of promotional items for businesses has stitched together a merger deal with a local embroidery firm. The marriage between American Promotional Products and the 20-year-old Palmetto Embroidery was finalized last month. Terms were not disclosed.

“The merger of the two companies will bring growth and new opportunity for both Palmetto Embroidery and APP.” said Mike Murray, marketing manager of American Promotional Products, which was founded in 1983. It supplies embroidered and screen-printed apparel, caps, totes, towels and other items to more than 13,000 corporate customers. The company’s digital printing and manufacturing site is on Cross Park Drive.

Boeing bucks

A $100,000 grant from Boeing Co. will help expand a University of South Carolina engineering and technology program into four local public middle schools. The money will be used to buy lab supplies, computers and equipment to deliver a USC College of Engineering and Computing initiative called “Project Lead the Way.”

The goal is to get more students in the state interested in careers that center on science, technology, engineering and math. Boeing, which has more than 6,000 workers at its North Charleston 787 aircraft plant, called those subjects “a high priority” for the company.

The beneficiaries of the grant are College Park Middle School, West Ashley Middle School, Alston Middle School and St. George Middle School.

Participating students will take courses in design and modeling, automation and robotics, and flight and space. Also, teachers from the schools will attend free workshops next summer to learn the best way to teach the curriculum.

Fashion forum

A Charleston-based mover and shaker in the business of fashion will take her brand of expertise to the University of South Carolina on Tuesday for a symposium sponsored by the school’s Department of Retailing in the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management and Fashion Group International. Rosanna Krekel, regional director of Fashion Group International of Charleston Inc., will give the keynote address. See the “Coming up” calendar on D2 for details.

Ship shape

A familiar acquaintance will be tying up at Detyens Shipyard Inc. for a checkup.

The local company has been awarded a $13 million contract for a 120-calendar-day regular overhaul and dry-docking of the USNS Zeus, it was announced last week. The 513-foot-long Military Sealift Command vessel installs and fixes underwater cable systems.

“We’ve worked on it before,” said Loy Stewart Jr., president of Deytens.

The contract includes options that, if exercised, would bring its cumulative value to $16.4 million. The overhaul will be done at the Detyens facilty on the former Navy base in North Charleston. It is expected to be completed by March 30.