2024 South Carolina Chef Ambassadors Announced

January 18, 2024

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Today, Gov. Henry McMaster was joined by Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers and Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism Director Duane Parrish in appointing three South Carolina Chef Ambassadors for 2024.

This is the 10th year of the program, which was created in 2014 to highlight South Carolina as a destination for great food. Chef Ambassadors represent the state through food festivals and other promotional opportunities, sharing South Carolina’s culinary traditions, agricultural heritage and undiscovered places with the world.

“The Chef Ambassador program celebrates two important sectors of our booming economy – agribusiness and tourism," Gov. McMaster said. “Our state’s outstanding culinary talent contributes to the rich cultural heritage and quality of life that makes South Carolina unique and attractive to all. Our newest class of Chef Ambassadors represent our mountains, Midlands, and coast, adding to the top-tier talent that this program has spotlighted over the past 10 years.”

South Carolina Chef Ambassadors support our state’s farmers by using Certified South Carolina produce, meats, dairy, seafood and other farm-fresh foods in their own ways.

“South Carolina’s food culture is second to none, and farmers make it all possible,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers. “I’m impressed by how each and every Chef Ambassador over the past 10 years has supported local food and forged relationships with farmers, and I look forward to working with this talented new class.”

“From a tourism perspective, one of the most beneficial aspects of this program is that it’s allowed us to showcase the diversity of South Carolina’s flavors and destinations through the authentic, first-person perspective of our chefs,” said Duane Parrish, Director of the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism. “From their signature dishes to the cities and towns they passionately represent, over the past decade, our Chef Ambassadors have helped enhance and amplify our culinary reputation with audiences around the world. I know our 2024 class will continue that tradition.”

The 2024 South Carolina Chef Ambassadors are:

L to R: Javier Uriarte, Leslie Rohland, and Michael Sibert


Chef Leslie Rohland | The Cottage Café Bakery & Tea Room | Bluffton, South Carolina

As founder, owner and head chef/baker at The Cottage Café, Bakery & Tea Room, Chef Leslie serves up innovative cuisine and Southern hospitality in Old Town Bluffton. After the success of The Cottage, she opened May River Coffee Roasters, The Juice Hive, and The Bluffton Pasta Shoppe, all committed to offering fresh, local cuisine.


Chef Michael Sibert | Anonymous Burgers | Greer, South Carolina

A Greenwood native and alumnus of Cornell University and the Culinary Institute of the Carolinas, Chef Michael trained in New Orleans before moving to Greer, where he has headed up high-end establishments for more than a decade. Chef Michael opened Anonymous Burgers in Cartwright Food Hall in 2023.  

Chef Javier Uriarte | Ratio | Elgin, South Carolina

Chef Javier gained his culinary experience in DC-area restaurant kitchens before moving to Columbia in 2013. He is chef and owner of Ratio in the Kershaw County/Northeast Columbia region, a tapas-style restaurant influenced by Chef Javier’s Peruvian background and Southern comfort food.

To learn more about the program and past Chef Ambassadors, visit discoversouthcarolina.com/chef-ambassadors.



View the press kit for photos and logos. A video of the press conference is available upon request to squeen@scprt.com.



Eva Moore | Communications Director, SCDA | emoore@scda.sc.gov, 803-734-2196

Sam Queen | Director of Corporate Communications, SCPRT | squeen@scprt.com, 803-767-3568

Need more information?   Sam Queen
Director of Corporate Communications
SC Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism
1205 Pendleton Street, Columbia, SC 29201
| 803-734-1779
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