Celebrated Chicago chef moving back to Charleston

Jonathan Ory/badwolfcoffee.com

Jonathan Ory describes himself on Twitter as a “straight edge hardcore family man,” so it makes sense the current Chicagoan is moving back to the Charleston area, where Ory and his wife met as students at Academic Magnet High School. “It’ll be nice for (the kids) to be able to play with their cousins,” he told the blog DNAinfo.

But local eaters are bound to be more interested in the professional part of Ory’s bio, which includes two years apiece at Momofuku Ko and Schwa. Since 2013, the 32-year old has operated Bad Wolf Coffee, acclaimed for its French pastries and rigorous focus on flavor.

“There’s a lot of no at Bad Wolf,” an Epicurious feature explained. “No decaf. No syrups. No plugs for your laptop. No lattes bigger than 8 ounces, no cortados to-go. And finally, no seats.” The Chicago Reader summed up the experience as “beautifully crafted food with a side of social interaction.”

It’s not clear whether Ory, who worked exclusively on the savory side of the kitchen before opening Bad Wolf, is planning to bring caneles and kouign ammans to Charleston (he’s hoping to sell his recipes, along with the shop, before his September relocation.) Right now, he’s just looking for a job.

“My main goal is to find chef position in Charleston, and have no plans to open anything of my own,” he says. “I do have some concepts that I think would work really well for Charleston, and if I found investors that would be great, but it would be equally exciting to bring those ideas to one of the great restaurants that’s in Charleston already.”

Ory has remained close to Charleston while living up north: He’s pitched in at McCrady’s during the Charleston Wine + Food Festival.

“And my wife’s grandmother is always sending us clippings from The Post and Courier about the industry, I think trying to get us to move home,” he adds.

Nice work, grandma.