Charleston chef selected as state chef ambassador

Left to right : Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers, Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette, Chef Erica...
Left to right : Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers, Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette, Chef Erica McCier, Chef Rob Masone, Chef Marcus Shell and Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism Director Duane Parrish.(SC Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism)
Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 1:43 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 26, 2023 at 1:57 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A Charleston chef is being recognized for their work and getting a chance to represent the entire state.

Marcus Shell, the executive chef at 39 Rue De Jean, a French restaurant in downtown Charleston, was selected along with two other chefs as the 2023 South Carolina Chef Ambassador.

Chef ambassadors represent South Carolina through culinary events and promotional opportunities. This is the ninth year of the program, which was enacted in 2014 to highlight South Carolina as a top culinary destination, according to a news release from the state department of parks, recreation and tourism.

“We’re proud to have these three outstanding chefs represent South Carolina this year as chef ambassadors,” Gov. McMaster said. “The incredible culinary skill of these chefs and other chefs like them around our state greatly strengthens our cultural heritage and helps to bring millions of visitors to our state each year.”

The program unites agribusiness and tourism, two of the state’s largest industries, the news release states.

“The chef ambassador program is a unique example of collaboration between two industries that drive our economy, bring visitors to South Carolina, and help feed the world,” Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette said.

The 2023 South Carolina Chef Ambassadors are:

Chef Erica McCier, Indigenous Underground | Abbeville, South Carolina: Chef Erica, also known as Chef Trudy, is the owner and executive chef of Indigenous Underground in historic downtown Abbeville. Formerly a schoolteacher, Chef Trudy went to culinary school after overcoming major health setbacks and went on to open a catering business known as Trudy’s Personal Chef & Catering and co-found Off Tha Hook Seafood & Grill. Her menu at Indigenous Underground mixes Southern food and global influences.

Chef Rob Masone, Kounter | Rock Hill, South Carolina: After building an extensive resume as a chef across the country, Chef Rob returned home to Rock Hill to open Kounter in 2020. The Rock Hill restaurant is home to the historic Friendship Nine Sit-In lunch counter, which has given Chef Rob a landing place for his innovative culinary creations.

Chef Marcus Shell, 39 Rue De Jean | Charleston, South Carolina: A New England native with a seafood background and classic French culinary training who graduated from Le Cordon Bleu Boston, Chef Marcus honed his skills in some of Boston’s finer establishments. He is now Executive Chef at Charleston’s beloved French brasserie, 39 Rue de Jean.

To learn more about the program and past chef ambassadors, click here.