Fatz Southern Kitchen, best known for its Southern cuisine and hospitality, announced the hiring of Brian Dukes as Director of Culinary. Dukes will be based in the chain’s Greenville, South Carolina, headquarters and direct culinary operations in its 45 locations across the Southeast.

Chef Dukes, originally from Knoxville, Tennessee, graduated from Johnson and Wales University and holds strong family ties to South Carolina. His career has taken him to the San Juan Islands, Virginia, the Pacific Northwest and New York City, where he worked in the kitchen of Alain Ducasse.

Perhaps best known for his work as Concept Chef of Columbia, S.C.’s Vista Life Restaurant Group’s The Blue Marlin, Willy’s and Foxfire Grill, Dukes is a proponent of fresh, local cuisine imbued with classic Southern flavors. In 2007, he was invited to prepare a signature Lowcountry meal from the Blue Marlin menu at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City.

“I am thrilled to work with Fatz Southern Kitchen and proud to carry on the restaurant’s tradition of bringing authentic Southern flavors into each of their dishes,” says Duke.

Jim Mazany, Chief Executive Officer of Fatz, echoes Dukes’ excitement. “The Fatz team is honored to have a chef of his caliber on board; his work dovetails beautifully with our menu of fresh Southern favorites. We are eager to taste Brian’s take on the cuisine that has our guests leaving the table happier than they arrived.”

With his background in culinary and menu development, Dukes is uniquely qualified to oversee Fatz Southern Kitchen’s commitment to hospitality and Southern fare, says Zac Painter, Vice President of Marketing. “Our guests expect Fatz to deliver the best of the South, and we know Brian will exceed their expectations for delicious and memorable meals. The Fatz family is delighted to have him.”

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