Chef Marc Collins: Co-Owner Circa 1886 & Kitchen 208 + Co-Founder, The Charleston Wine & Food Festival

Although his childhood dreams of becoming an Air Force pilot were sidelined due to less-than-perfect vision, Chef Marc Collins quickly found his focus and footing in the culinary world. At age 16, he worked as a chef apprentice aboard Paradise ll, an experience that inspired him to pursue a culinary degree at the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts. A series of cooking jobs included a post at the Erie Country Club in his hometown. In 1991, Collins moved to San Antonio, were he worked at Le Mansion Del Rio and, later, at La Louisiane, a restaurant specializing in find French cuisine and Cajun Creole cooking. At 23, he took his first chef position at the Fairmount Hotel, an AAA 4 Diamond restaurant. In June of 2001, Chef Collins moved to Charleston and became Executive Chef of Circa 1886. Collins, the son of an artist, learned the importance of constantly staying creative at a very young age. This serves him well in the culinary field where he continually strives to be original in both his food presentation and recipe development. It is this creative spirit that he and his team will put forth in showcasing old Charleston cuisine in a new and modern light. In 2006 Chef Collins co-founded the Charleston Wine + Food festival. In 2010, to honor his work in co-founding the festival, he was the namesake and first recipient of the annual Charleston Wine + Food Marc Collins Chef Award.

What do you love most about Charleston?

The rich food history of this city, its people and the views make Charleston one heck of a city not to be missed!

Favorite Meal?

Eleven Madison Parks tasting menu. A simply pure execution of perfection.

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM - Sleeping, I’m a night owl ;-)

10:00 AM - Running or getting things done around the house.

12:00 PM – Going through paperwork and emails. Planning out the day.

7:00 PM -  Expediting our nightly service

11:00 PM – Finishing any other paperwork, ordering, checking out the team and going over the following days agenda.

Favorite Drink?

Bourbon & Coke

Where do you enjoy getting lost in Charleston?

I like getting in my Kayak and hitting the local waterways. I also enjoy some spirited drives on some of the great back roads in and around Charleston.