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Tin Roof Farm? That’s our place in Piedmont, just a few miles south of Greenville. We have a whopping three acres and at any time during the year we might harvest raspberries, crab apples, green beans, lettuces, tomatoes, eggplant, squash, okra, peppers, and more tomatoes. We keep honey bees and have about two dozen chickens, two goats, and one fiesty Naragansett Tom turkey. And along with our three cats and two dogs and all this dirt, we have our hands full.

I met my wife Amy in culinary school in New Orleans, LA. We were in the same class and ended up working at the same restaurant, Christian’s. We fell in love and were married about a year and a half later. She grew up in Memphis, TN and I’m a native of south Louisiana. After graduation we moved to  Mt. Pleasant, SC, across the river from Charleston, as chefs and innkeepers at the Guilds Inn, now the Old Village Post House owned by the Hall’s group. We loved our time in Charleston and when my wife was offered the chance to help develop a fast-growing startup Italian restaurant that had eyes on Greenville, we jumped at the chance to move up here. At the time I was Chef de Cuisine of the Mills House Hotel and have lots of stories about the ghost(s) that may or may not haunt its nooks and crannies.

Since moving to Greenville I spent five years as Chef of the Augusta Grill, three as Executive Chef/Food & Beverage Director of two retirement communities (Woodlands in Traveler’s Rest and Cascades in Greenville), and eight years as Chef/Owner of 33 Liberty. That’s where most of Greenville met John & Amy. Me the chef and the guy that was there most nights, and my bride the pastry chef and Mom that was raising our kids and creating those amazing desserts.  In eight years our 45 seat restaurant made it into numerous magazines (Southern Living, Chile Pepper, Bon Appetit), newspapers, and TV.  We made appearances at a dozen food & wine festivals from Los Angeles to Beaufort, SC and our favorite was our six visits to Disney World’s festival at Epcot.  And along the way we mentored some well-known chefs here in Greenville and beyond: Tony Keely, Eddie Wiles, Jeff Kelly, Joe Cash, Jason Yarborough and a few more. Then in the spring of 2008 I received a James Beard semi-finalist nomination for best chef in the southeast. When that happened I thought we were good for another 20 years.  And six months later the US economy was in a shambles as was our business. We closed 33 Liberty at the end of October, 2008 and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t miss it.

In the years following I started Jack Russell Social Media and help companies large and small tell their stories, helped a few chefs and restaurant managers find their dream job, started my restaurant coaching services, and written many food & travel essays for the Huffington Post. One essay, satirically titled “9 Reasons Not to Visit or Move to Greenville, SC in 2015” received hundreds of thousands of impressions and was my most widely read essay.

My wife manages special events and an extensive volunteer cadre for our church, still bakes for people she loves, and occasionally posts recipes and short essays on her Gluten Glory’s Kitchen site. She doesn’t miss the restaurant business so y’all can quit asking her to take over the pastry position at so and so’s restaurant/bakery/cafe etc.

 

I still write food & travel essays for whomever may ask and occasionally craft an original essay on life, death, parenting, farming, spirituality, and sometimes poetry on my chefjohnmalik.com site.

And we hope you become a regular subscriber to the podcast. If you’d like to know more about our guests, click on the podcast and search by guest, subject matter, or show number. And if you ever want to suggest subject matter or a guest for the show, just drop me an email.

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