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Sean Brock

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Sean Brock
Sean Brock in 2013
Homer Sean Brock

EducationJohnson & Wales University
  • Tonya Combs
Adi Noe
(m. 2019)
Culinary career
Cooking styleSouthern cuisine,
Appalachian cuisine
Current restaurant(s)
    • Audrey
    • June
    • Joyland
    • Bar Continental
Previous restaurant(s)
    • Husk
    • McCrady's
    • McCrady's Tavern
    • Minero

Sean Brock is an American chef specializing in Southern cuisine.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Brock is originally from Pound in rural southwest Virginia. His father, who owned a trucking fleet that hauled coal, died when Brock was 11, resulting in the family becoming impoverished.[2] He started working on the line at age 16.[2] Brock graduated from culinary school at Johnson & Wales University in 2000.[3]


He was the executive chef at Charleston, South Carolina's Husk from its opening in 2010 until 2018, as well as a partner at McCrady's Restaurant.[4] The menu at Husk uses authentically Southern ingredients and also previously used food grown in Brock's own garden.[3] He is noted for preserving Southern foodways and heirloom ingredients, and collaborates with David Shields, the McClintock Professor of Southern Letters at University of South Carolina.[5] He helped to promote Carolina Gold rice in recipes such as hoppin’ John.[6] A second Husk location opened in Nashville in 2013.

In 2015 Brock opened Minero at Ponce City Market, Atlanta, Georgia.[7] In November 2017, Brock opened the third Husk location in Greenville, South Carolina, in the city's West End district. In January 2018, Brock opened the fourth Husk location in Savannah, Georgia, in a restored building in the city’s landmark historic district.

He maintained the title of "founding chef and culinary advisor" at all four Husk locations until May 2019.[8] In 2020, Brock opened Joyland, the first of his solo restaurant projects, featuring high-quality fast food inspired by his love of cheeseburgers and Southern fried chicken. He then opened a two-story, two-restaurant East Nashville, Tennessee eatery in October 2021 centered around Appalachian cuisine.[9][10][11][12] The first restaurant, on the ground floor, is named "Audrey," for his grandmother, and the upstairs restaurant is named "June" after Audrey's middle name.[13] Audrey is where Brock has furthered his life’s work of studying Appalachian foodways and hospitality. June is a modern dining concept offering a unique tasting menu format that curiously explores the possibilities of ingredients indigenous to the American South. In September 2023, Brock opened Bar Continental, a hi-fidelity vinyl bar and small plates restaurant.[14]


In 2010, he won the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef Southeast. He has also been nominated for Outstanding Chef and Rising Star Chef.

Bon Appétit Magazine named Husk the “Best New Restaurant in America” in 2011.[15]

Brock's first cookbook, Heritage, was released in October 2014 and is a New York Times bestseller.[16] His Heritage cookbook also won the James Beard Foundation's award in the American Cooking category in April 2015.[17] His second cookbook, South: Essential Recipes and New Explorations, was released in 2019 and featured in The New Yorker's best cookbooks of 2019.[18]


Brock was one of the hosts of the second season of The Mind of a Chef. For his work on the show, Brock was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award in the Outstanding Culinary Host category. He was also a featured chef in the sixth season of Netflix's Chef's Table.

Personal life[edit]

He was previously married to high school sweetheart, Tonya Combs, marrying in 2006.[19][20] In 2014 they divorced.[2]

In 2016, after undergoing testing and various surgeries for three years, he was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis[2] at Mayo Clinic. His friends became concerned about his drinking, and he spent his 39th birthday in rehab.[11]

In February 2019, he and his girlfriend, Adi Noe, eloped.[2] The couple have a son[11] and a daughter.[12]


  1. ^ Bilger, Burkhard (October 31, 2011). "True Grits". The New Yorker.
  2. ^ a b c d e Martin, Brett (November 18, 2016). "How Visionary Chef Sean Brock Nearly Went Blind". GQ.
  3. ^ a b "Johnson & Wales University: Ask James Beard Award-Winning Chef Sean Brock". Johnson & Wales University. 2014. Archived from the original on 2012-06-28. Retrieved 2014-09-09.
  4. ^ mccradys. "Sean Brock's high concept McCrady's Restaurant reboot pays off". Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  5. ^ "David S. Shields: Short Vita" (PDF). University of South Carolina. 2013. Retrieved 2014-09-09.
  6. ^ The Seven Culinary Wonders of the World, pg 158
  7. ^ Ligaya Figueras, Atlanta Restaurant Scene. "Sneak a peek at Sean Brock's Minero, opening today at Ponce City Market". ajc. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  8. ^ Hardaway, Mary Scott (2 May 2019). "Sean Brock is no longer working with Husk restaurants, focusing on new Nashville project". Charleston City Paper. Retrieved 2019-12-23.
  9. ^ Buch, Clarissa (January 24, 2019). "Sean Brock Plans Massive Nashville Restaurant Complex Dedicated to Appalachian Cuisine". Food & Wine.
  10. ^ Ramsey, Delia Jo (January 24, 2019). "Sean Brock's Sprawling Project Will Feature Casual Dining and Upstairs Tasting Menu". Nashville Eater.
  11. ^ a b c "Chef Sean Brock says walking away from acclaimed restaurant "was an incredible gift"". www.cbsnews.com. 4 December 2019. Archived from the original on 2019-12-05. Retrieved 2019-12-23.
  12. ^ a b West, Kay (2022-12-22). "My Dinner With Audrey: Sean Brock's Elevated Appalachian Cuisine". Nashville Scene. Retrieved 2023-05-28.
  13. ^ Sheppard, Alyson (2022-02-15). "Sean Brock's New Nashville Restaurant Stars Appalachian Cuisine—With an Assist from Spain and Japan". Robb Report. Retrieved 2023-05-29.
  14. ^ Russell, Steve (2023-09-07). "Sean Brock Announces His Next Nashville Venture: A Listening Bar" Garden & Gun, Retrieved 2023-01-05.
  15. ^ "Husk gets top honors in Bon Appetit - Post and Courier". Archived from the original on 2015-01-31. Retrieved 2015-01-31.
  16. ^ "Heritage - Workman Publishing". www.workman.com. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  17. ^ Gidick, Kinsey (24 April 2015). "Sean Brock's Heritage cookbook wins James Beard Award". Charleston City Paper. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  18. ^ Rosner, Helen. "The Best Cookbooks of 2019". The New Yorker. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  19. ^ "5 Questions: Sean Brock". AndrewZimmern.com. January 9, 2013.
  20. ^ Steingarten, Jeffrey (July 10, 2012). "Fresh Prince: Charleston Chef Sean Brock Reinvents Southern Cooking". Vogue.