Foodies in Nashville may know Chef Bob Waggoner from his venerable Wild Boar days, but this impecable chef has received accolades far outside Music City. Discerning Food & Wine readers voted him “Reader’s Favorite Chef in America Award,” the James Beard Foundation recognized him in 1999 as one of the “Rising Stars of the 21st Century”, and, he is a four-time nominee for the Beard Foundation’s designation as Best Chef in the Southeast. He was invited to participate in the 2002 Winter Olympics chefs program. Perhaps most notable, Waggoner is one of few Americans to be Knighted in France with “l’Odre du Merite Agricole.”
A native of Southern California, Waggoner began his career under the tutelage of Michael Roberts at Trumps in West Hollywood in the early 1980’s. Later he honed his craft in the French kitchens of culinary luminaries Jacques Lameloise, Charles Barrier, Pierre Gagnaire, Gerard Boyer and Mark Meneau. In 1988, at age 26, Waggoner became the first American chef to own his own restaurant in France, the much-lauded Le Monte Cristo in Moneteau, in the Burgundy region.
Fortunately for Nashville, Waggoner returned stateside in the 1990’s and presided over the kitchen at The Wild Boar, earning the restaurant Wine Spectator’s Grand Award as well as the coveted AAA Five-Diamond Award. Following that, he spent 12 years at the elegant Charleston Grill at Charleston Place in South Carolina. Renowned for bringing French culinary technique to low-country cuisine, Waggoner issued a cookbook, Charleston Grill at Charleston Place, to share the secrets of his new Southern haute cuisine.
Waggoner’s celebrity has extended to cable televison. He has cooked to perfection on “Gourmet Getaways with Robin Leach,” “Great Chefs of the South,” “Ralph Emery Show,” “Dave Eckert’s Culinary Travels,” “Flavors of America,” the Food Network’s “In Food Today,” “Ready, Set, Cook,” and “The Best of.” He took home an Emmy for his own show “Off the Menu” with Turner South, and is currently hosting “U Cook! with Chef Bob Waggoner,” which airs on more than 100 PBS affiliates. Next up will be “Utravel! with Chef Bob,” coming in the spring of 2012.
We are delighted to announce that Chef Bob Waggoner will be gracing our kitchen at the 2012 l’Eté du Vin patron’s party with select wines from Château Lynch-Bages on July 20. It will be an evening not to be missed!