TALENT: Benjamin Harris
Sea Pines Resort Executive Chef Benjamin Harris has honed his gastronomic skills over the last decade cooking for several acclaimed restaurants in the Carolinas. Prior to joining the culinary team at The Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island, he served as executive chef of Charleston’s well-known Poogan’s Porch. Harris was a student at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C., when he landed his first restaurant job as a dishwasher and then prep cook at a steam-shack oyster bar.
After college, he worked at Winston’s Grille in his hometown of Raleigh and then took a position as sous chef at Poogan’s Porch. It wasn’t long before he was promoted to chef de cuisine, working with Executive Chef Daniel Doyle to elevate the restaurant’s menus with sophisticated cooking techniques and unique flavor combinations. During his stint at Poogan’s Porch, the restaurant presented its inaugural James Beard House dinner. Recognized for his extraordinary talents, Harris was offered the exciting opportunity to serve as the first executive chef of Republic Garden & Lounge, a new restaurant concept in Charleston. He was soon recruited by the SERG Restaurant Group to develop menus for Poseidon, its seafood restaurant on Hilton Head Island.
After getting married, Harris decided to return to Raleigh to become executive chef of Midtown Grille. Partnering with local farmers and using new techniques, Harris created robust, Southern-influenced dishes, breathing new life into the 15-year-old restaurant. He left Midtown Grille in 2016 to serve as executive chef at Poogan’s Porch. In March, he moved back to Hilton Head Island with his wife, Christina, and their 3-year-old son, Malachi. As the Executive Chef at The Sea Pines Resort, Harris is sharing his passion for sustainable seafood and helping young chefs develop their skills.
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Whiskey, Wine & Wildlife is a culinary destination weekend with collaboration between The Westin Jekyll Island, the Jekyll Island Authority and The AdFish Group. The weekend’s events will raise funds and awareness for programs of the Jekyll Island Foundation, with a mission of conservation, education and historic preservation efforts on Jekyll Island.
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