The Umstead Hotel and Spa introduced Spencer Thomson as chef de cuisine of the Forbes Five Star, AAA Five Diamond hotel, and its equally heralded signature restaurant, Herons. Under the direction of Executive Chef Steven Devereaux Greene, Thomson oversees the progressive American regional cuisine that has made The Umstead one of the South’s top culinary destinations.
This marks the second collaboration between Thomson and Greene, who previously partnered in Devereaux’s, Greene’s namesake restaurant in Greenville, South Carolina. Of their newest endeavor, Greene remarks, “Spencer is an extraordinary talent, and we share a passion for marrying innovation with traditional techniques. He is an excellent steward of The Umstead’s culinary philosophy to focus on seasonal, locally sourced ingredients, and I am so pleased that we are working together once more.”
Originally from Virginia, Thomson studied at Johnson and Wales University in South Carolina, and stayed in the Charleston area to hone his culinary skills at such legendary restaurants as 82 Queen, The Woodlands Inn and Resort, and McCrady’s, where he was one of Chef Michael Kramer’s first employees. Thomson was drawn to Paris in 2009 to stage for Guy Savoy, a three-starred Michelin restaurant, before returning stateside to help launch Devereaux’s. Before joining The Umstead team, Thomson was with Stella’s Southern Bistro in Simpsonville, South Carolina.