Let me pick your brain." We started with that and just three months ago, I was like, "I'm ready for this." I've been very patient to try to figure out if Charleston was the place for me to see if A) I could be part of Charleston and B) Charleston could embrace me.
Because Charleston is such a small, charming, precious almost town, the last thing I wanted to do was roll in and be like "Here I am." That wouldn't have worked. KK: Basically at the time of Top Chef airing, I happened to be in New York with my then-boss and mentor Barbara Lynch.
Barbara had cooked at Terri's [Henning] house years prior and they were great friends. It was still going and that's when I first met Terri.
CP: Are there a couple locations for the restaurant that you're currently weighing? Brooks is on the front lines right now in Charleston. We're in contact and he's hitting the ground running and we're in touch remotely constantly during the day. I think what Brooks and his partners have done is they've created amazing places, but nothing feels like it's all under one umbrella.
We're in that stage of once that space happens, that's our next step. They all feel very independent from each other and very separate and all carry their own vibe.
Mine will be very different from Leon's and Saint Albans.
I'm going to bring in what I hope is, I don't want to say minimalist, but more feminine touches perhaps.
So don't over try to prove yourself even more because then it comes off being weird. KK: Honestly, the TV thing and being in front of people, I have major anxiety. The chefs they've focused on for quite sometime like Jason Stanhope, Mike Lata, Jill Mathias from Chez Nous, and XBB guys and so many people, other chefs, I'm not introduced to yet.
What it came down to is Barbara had done a guest chef stint on the season before mine. " One step will lead to another to another and another and if at the time they come and are like, "Hey, we want you on the show" I still have a choice to say no. CP: Do you have any predictions of what they'll do in Charleston having lived it? There's so many surrounding areas outside of Charleston proper. CP: Is there anything that makes you anxious about your move here? KK: I think the normal anxiety thing is wanting to do good and add to a city as opposed to stand out too much in a city. That's kind of exactly why I've really been thinking about this for nearly two years before making that decision, I didn't want to be this chef from Boston who is just gonna come in and open a restaurant.
They both feel like small towns and yet they're packed with so much culture and history and amazing food. It felt comfortable to me and along the same lines of how I want to live in a city, which is very intimate, learning the ins and outs of something and feel like I can know that person four blocks down the street and say, "Hello" and know their story or store and use one of their products in one of my projects. That being said, I do have a lot of travel on my plate for other work projects. He's got an interesting vision, so how are you guys creating your own vision together and can you tell me what we can expect from your restaurant?
It felt really good to me and obviously I've met incredible friends and it started to feel like a second home to me. KK: The way Brooks and I are operating, we were careful about.
If you're going on TV just to go on TV, well, hate to break it to ya, but sometimes that doesn't always work out.