A Blogging Chef’s Perspective on Climbing the Restaurant Ladder
Meet Chef Charles Hunter III. The Southern chef inspired by heritage-rich ingredients and traditional French preparation, he’s blogging his way through the industry from food trucks to formal fare. Explore his beautiful photography as you work your way through one of his many self-developed recipes. Inspired by his little corner of the world in Nashville, Tennessee, you’ll find spectacular takes on Southern classics and new twists inspired by his lifelong passion for learning new ways.
Years of Experience: I’ve been in the restaurant industry for about 18 years. I began as a teenager working for my cousin’s BBQ food truck in Oak Ridge, TN followed by my first corporate job at Panera Bread as a sophomore in high school. I currently work as a Sous Chef at Mangia Nashville and a line cook at Sixth & Pine in Nordstrom in Nashville, TN.
Normal hours worked weekly: I work anywhere from 50-60 hours weekly. When the holiday season comes into play, I easily clock 70 hours weekly. This doesn’t include the time I put into my blog.
Best part of your job: Being around food and seeing the joy of people enjoying the product you create. I also really appreciate the opportunity I have to express myself creatively through my blog, The Local Forkful.
Worst part of your job: The long hours and repetition are rough. I’m a creative type and doing the same thing constantly can really wear on you.
Inspiration behind starting your blog: It was a combination of my passion for food and the joy I find in the opportunity to teach and learn from others. Food encompasses such a vast pool of knowledge that no one can contain all of its information. In creating my blog, I’ve created a virtual space for the food community to come2 together to share and learn.
What readers should know about your blog: I spent a lot of my youth with my grandmother and great grandmother. They shared their generous knowledge of Southern food and in their absence I hope to share that same knowledge with my readers. I enjoy simple, approachable cooking that allows the ingredients to shine in their natural form. It’s true, I am still trying to find my voice but the beauty of a blog is it allows you the time and space to do that. If nothing else, readers can rely on heartfelt stories, honest recipes, and a little something that doesn’t quite “fit into a box.”
Toughest part of your job: Dealing with all the different personality types in the restaurant industry can be a challenge. You have to be on guard but firm in who you are. It’s important to be confident in your self-identity or you’ll get lost. It’s a scary place sometimes.
Visit Chef Charles at The Salted Table to learn more and explore his adventures through Southern cuisine. Love his photography? Check out The Salted Table on Instagram and Twitter at @thesaltedtable.