North Georgia Chefs – Chef Charles Maddrey

North Georgia Chefs – Chef Charles Maddrey: Chef Charles Maddrey did not start his career to be a chef – It just turned out that way. He attended the University of Georgia and double majored in English and Latin. He considered a career as an archeologist. But, in his spare time his interest drifted towards the culinary arts. Learn more about Chef Maddrey . . .

North Georgia Chefs – Chef Charles Maddrey

Up and Coming Chefs in the North Georgia Mountains – Chef Charles Maddrey

Chef Charles Maddrey did not start his career to be a chef – It just turned out that way. He attended the University of Georgia and double majored in English and Latin. He considered a career as an archeologist. But, in his spare time his interest drifted towards the culinary arts. At a college event he helped with a big dinner that was to include a whole pig roast. Chef Maddrey cooked the pig “Kalua Style,” an Hawaiian technique in which the pig is wrapped in banana leaves and then buried in a pit with hot coals.  It was a great success, and after college he continued his pursuit of a culinary career.

While growing up in Williamsburg, Virginia, his mother owned a catering company and their neighbor owned a French restaurant.  As Charles said, he was often the “beard and muscles” behind the restaurant scenes. He learned a lot about food and catering, but mostly he toted catering bins, shelled beans and shucked oysters.

After college he worked as an apprentice for the Waverly Hotel in Atlanta. He later worked for the Buckhead Life Group at two of their restaurants. Life in the kitchen is filled with many exciting experiences. Chef Maddrey recalls one frightening incident. One night one of his friends spilled an entire kettle of clarified butter across a hot cook-top and screeched out “Time Bomb!” All the burners were on as hot butter dripped into the cook-top. Everyone expected the cook-top to burst into flames setting off the fire suppression system – and shutting down the restaurant. The Chef was not going to let the kitchen burn down on his watch, so he had everyone start dumping salt and baking soda all over the cook-top. When the immediate danger past – he ordered everyone back to work.

He later had stints in Charleston including some time at both The Country Club of Charleston and The Charleston Place Hotel, and as a Sous Chef in New Orleans at the Pontchartrain Hotel. That kitchen was located underground in the basement and his roll did not offer much creativity.

About this time his brother told him he was moving to Seattle to open a brewery, so Charles joined him and together they purchased Gene’s Ristorante – a neighborhood fun place to gather and dine. It was a breath of fresh air for Chef Maddrey  – no stuffy hotel food. The kitchen was bright and offered plenty of opportunity for creativity. He learned how to cook wild salmon and fresh squid and enjoyed the northwest ethic for fresh foods.

Next he invested in the Fat Duck Inn – a restaurant, catering company and bed and breakfast located in the wine country of Walla Walla, Washington.  There he specialized in regional farm to table cuisine and was written up in both Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast.

After a Christmas visit to his parents in Atlanta, Chef Maddrey re-connected with Jessica, an old friend from Athens – and now they are married with two young children. Jessica is a baker and pastry chef and owner of  Bird House Bakery in Athens. Today she is baking and selling pastries and desserts with Chef Maddrey Catering in Clayton, Georgia.

Together they decided that big city restaurant life is too hard on a young family so they relocated to the beautiful north Georgia Mountains. Their first stop was creating Hemlock Springs Farm near Hiawassee, where they planted and grew fresh produce and started Chef Maddrey’s Catering in the North Georgia Mountains.

Last year Chef Maddrey had the amazing experience of being the Executive Chef at The Red Barn Café at Tiger Mountain Vineyards.  He is currently in partnership with Rabun Manor in Dillard offering a wonderful Sunday Brunch Buffet as well as Private Dinners and Events. http://www.rabun-manor.com

At the present time Chef Maddrey is sharing space at Clayton’s local restaurant Grapes and Beans. On Thursday through Sunday he is operating the “Savannah Street Supper Club” featuring fun and casual dining in Grapes and Beans’ eclectic dining area. Each afternoon after Grapes and Beans lunch crowd leaves, you will see Chef Maddrey arrive to prep for his dinners. His focus is on using seasonal local fresh foods.  Weekly menus are posted on the Town Crier, and  at http://www.hemlockspringsfarm.com  and   http://grapesandbeans.com/

Chef Maddrey says he loves both farming and cooking, and this fits in well with Rabun County’s designation as the “Farm to Table Capital of Georgia.” He and Jessica both believe our area offers a wonderful place to raise children and share the land. They both see a neighborhood restaurant/bakery in their future.  They want it to be affordable and delicious, but also a community place to gather, relax and enjoy not only good food but conversation as well.

Jessica and Chef Maddrey also want to operate a family farm, perhaps 5 – 10 acres where their children can experience animals, learn about hard-work, and the joys of growing what you eat. He said his parents are considering relocating to this area as well. He thinks his search for the long-term home has ended.  We trust that is the case.

https://www.facebook.com/charles.maddrey.7

North Georgia Chefs – Chef Charles Maddrey

North Georgia Chefs – Chef Charles Maddrey – Chefs of the North Georgia Mountains by Chef David Darugh,  Beechwood Inn North Georgia Best Bed and Breakfast, Clayton, GA. “Best Chefs America 2013/2014/2105.”

Named Georgia’s “Best Bed and Beakfast” by Georgia Magazine. beechwoodinn.ws

North Georgia Chefs – Chef Charles Maddrey