#TPBTH Meet: Nate Whiting
Name: Nate Whiting
Craft: Executive Chef
Industry: Food and Beverage
How did you get Started?
While it’s not all that romantic, when I was thirteen years old, my Dad called me in to come wash dishes at a local restaurant that he was working at. I ended up working there for five years. Later, I went on to work for a local (western New York) chef named Scott Stead. Scott encouraged me to go to culinary school, which ultimately lead me to Charleston, S.C. (Johnson and Wales). I loved it here and never left.
What or who influenced you the most as you were developing your craft?
Without question the opportunity I had to work with some truly exceptional professionals at the Woodlands Inn in Summerville. Collectively the people there made that place truly special. If I had to zero in on one person that’s influenced me the most, it would be Tarver King. He’s the most naturally gifted, exuberant and sincere person, I’ve ever met. What he’s taught me about cuisine I’ll use for the rest of my life.
Why do you love your job?
I love how working in a kitchen allows me to be myself, it’s the only place I’ve ever felt like I belong. I also love being surrounded by endless culinary knowledge, every day is an opportunity to gain and share more.
What inspires you?
To me there’s nothing quite as inspiring than working with high quality ingredients. I don’t mean only expensive ingredients like Truffles and Caviar. Yes, they are part of my repertoire, however there are none more intrinsically valuable than any other “humble” high quality ingredients, such as button mushrooms and potatoes.
5 words that describe who you are:
When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
I don’t recall anything specifically. I always enjoyed mixing things up and making “potions” in my mom’s kitchen sink with her spices and herbs.
I really enjoy sharing what I know about cuisine, so I guess teaching in some capacity. Or figure out a way to get paid to be a stay at home dad, that would be pretty sweet.
3 things you aspire to be or do:
- Spend more time with my family.
- Read More.
- Exercise more.
(Fill in the blank) I appreciate ____________ in my life, because_________.
My wife and kids above all we’ll always have each other.
What was one of the hardest lessons or toughest obstacles you had to overcome.
I love what I do, but understanding how incredibly grueling this profession is, it’s certainly not for everyone. And I assure you cooking is the easy part!
Advice for someone who is looking to begin a new hobby/job/life pursuit.
Surround yourself with the people you want to be like. And strive to make new mistakes.
Something your followers would be surprised to learn about you.
I don’t have pet peeves, I have psychotic hatreds, such as;
- Wet Socks
- The term “Molecular Gastronomy” (It’s unappetizing, besides All Gastronomy is molecular!)
- Nearly all seafood and cheese combinations (anchovies are a rare exception)
Favorite Food: Buffalo Chicken Wings
Favorite Drink: Coffee/espresso
Favorite Song: Buffalo Bills “Shout”
Favorite Quote: “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?” -John Wooden