Alumni Spotlight: Sean Brock '00, '14 Hon.

Chef Sean Brock | Photo by Andrea Behrends

Sean Brock '00, '14 Hon. | Chef, Restaurant Owner + Farmer


Restaurants: TBD Flagship, Nashville; McCrady’s, Husk and Minero (past)
2010 James Beard Award Winner
PBS “Mind of a Chef” Host (Season 2); “Chef’s Table” (Season 6)
Author, “Heritage” (2014), “South: Essential Recipes and New Explorations” (2019)

Redefining Southern Lowcountry Cuisine

The future is all about growing local, says Sean Brock. “People are going to start paying attention to where their food comes from.”

That’s exactly what he’s doing at his hit restaurants, McCrady’s and Husk. Everything on Husk’s menu originates below the Mason-Dixon line, with the New York Times and Vogue taking note.

Brock isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. He grows as much as he can in his own organic farm. What he can't use immediately in the kitchen, he pickles — just like his grandmother used to do when he was growing up in rural Virginia.

“Growing my own food changed my life,” says Sean. Now, he improvises his menu every day, based on what’s fresh.

Favorite Memory of JWU?

“My first class was stocks and sauces. I learned so much in that class; things that I still use on a daily basis. It’s the backbone of cooking.”

Managing the Work/Life Balance

“My work is my life and my life is my work. I made that decision 10 years ago. There’s no turning back now!”

Greatest Lesson Learned at JWU?

“Being a chef is much more than just cooking. The sooner you realize that, the better chef you’ll be.”

Set High Standards

“Set goals that are incredibly difficult to achieve. They should seem unattainable. Then go after them.”