A Charleston culinary era ended last month as Frank Lee officially stepped away from daily kitchen duties, ending a decades-long run as one of the city’s most respected executive chefs.
In keeping with the esteem accorded him, Lee will assume a chef emeritus title at Hall Management Group, the company which last year purchased Maverick Southern Kitchens.
Lee was a formative influence in the latter organization, having joined Dick Elliott’s The Colony House in 1992.
Chef Russ Moore will succeed Lee as SNOB’s executive chef. Moore has spent the last 13 years at the restaurant, and is one of many local chefs who credit Lee as a mentor.
“You know, he’s the same age as I was when we started SNOB, and I have complete confidence in him as I have had for many years,” Lee said.
The Hall Management Group also on Tuesday announced an executive chef change at Old Village Post House, where Halls Chophouse sous chef Robyn Guisto succeeds Forrest Parker.
Parker’s commitment to showcasing South Carolina products led to his appointment this year as an S.C. Chef Ambassador.
Parker, who got his start cooking under Louis Osteen, in 2011 accepted the executive chef position at the Old Village Post House.
Parker says he’s now looking for a job that won’t force him to compromise his Chef Ambassador obligations. Beyond his statewide duties, Parker is an unofficial partner in the Carolina Gold Rice Foundation, which often entrusts the first viable examples of heirloom crops to his culinary care. At Old Village Post House, he was the guiding force behind various dinners celebrating overlooked Lowcountry ingredients.
A press release quotes Guisto, who joined Halls in 2013, as saying, “Utilizing Charleston’s bounty of fresh, local seafood and our signature Allen Brothers steaks, I am elated by the opportunity to provide diners with delicious cuisine using my own homegrown creativity.”
Bill Hall, owner of Hall Management Group, is quoted in the release as saying, “We are confident (Guisto) will ensure our Mount Pleasant jewel box will continue to thrive.”
As chef emeritus, Lee is collaborating with Hall on a book, slated for release in October. Fellow chef Bob Waggoner took the pictures, which Lee said “greatly enhanced the process.”
“I’ll be helping with special events, but mostly focusing on promoting the book when it comes out, so I’ll be around,” he added.