Chef Craig Deihl
Executive Chef of Cypress, Charleston
A native of Danville, Pennsylvania, Deihl did not venture far from home to begin what would become a grand culinary journey. Gaining valuable experience and climbing the ranks at the landmark Pine Barn Inn in his hometown, Deihl quickly found himself receiving invitations to compete in several statewide and national cooking competitions. Garnering the respect of fellow chefs and gaining the attention of Johnson and Wales University in Charleston, SC, Deihl was offered a scholarship and holds a degree from the culinary university.
In 1996, Deihl began training under acclaimed Chef Donald Barickman of Magnolias, honing his skills in the kitchen for nearly five years before helping to open Cypress in 2001. Delighting diners with inspiring dishes from the newly opened kitchen, he was quickly promoted to executive chef after only six months.
Undoubtedly one of the South’s most talented young chefs, Deihl was approached to compose a cookbook – Cypress: A Lowcountry Grille. A combination of recipes ranging from his signature menu items to others highlighting his global fusion style of cooking made the book a must-have in every gourmand’s kitchen. Recognizing his steadfast observance of the Sustainable Seafood Initiative’s guidelines and outstanding culinary talents, Deihl was recently asked to be a contributor to the Smithsonian Institute’s One Fish, Two Fish, Crawfish, Bluefish, a cookbook and guide to sustainable seafood.
In November of 2009, Deihl adopted a CSA-like concept for meats and introduced an Artisan Meat Share. In what Diehl describes as a win-win situation, the share holders will be the recipients of delicious local charcuterie and the tapped local farmers will receive a boost from the increased product demand.
A recent partnership with the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC) and farmer Gra' Moore of Carolina Heritage Farm, afforded Deihl the opportunity to be the first chef in over 100 years and currently the only chef in the nation to cook the rare American Guinea Hog.
In early 2010, Deihl was the recipient of a prestigious James Beard Foundation nomination for Best Chef – Southeast. He was also named Chef of the Year by the Charleston chapter of the American Culinary Foundation.
Not just a chef, he’s a husband, author, butcher, snowboarder, salami maker, fish cutter & most importantly a father.