An east coast native, Executive Chef Eric Brownlee grew up working on his grandfather’s farm in rural Pennsylvania. Family meals were met with the simplicity of quality, home grown ingredients that he took pride in cooking. At age nine he even “opened a restaurant” for his family complete with a menu and pricing—an enterprise that was short-lived after his parents, his only “customers,” balked at having to pay for food they’d already bought.
Always knowing he’d become a professional chef, his culinary passion never subsided. In 1999, Chef Brownlee completed the ACFEF Culinary Apprenticeship Program in York, PA and got his start as a line cook at the James Beard award-winning Accomac Inn. Over the next year, he mentored in classic French cooking with an emphasis on Nouvelle preparation before moving to Charleston, SC to attend Johnson & Wales University. Charleston became home for the next twelve years. He sharpened his skills as a sous chef at Daniel Island Country Club, later as an executive chef at Cork Neighborhood Bistro and became a founding member of the Sustainable Seafood Initiative in partnership with the South Carolina Aquarium.
In 2012, Chef Brownlee relocated to North Carolina where he accepted the position as executive chef of String & Splinter Club in High Point for five years before taking over as corporate executive chef for the locally-acclaimed Blue Plate Restaurant Group. In 2019, The Katharine welcomed Chef Brownlee as the executive sous chef and as executive chef in 2021.
Chef Brownlee brings more than 25 years of culinary experience and a passion for French fare crafted with sustainable ingredients to The Katherine’s helm. He’s a member of the American Culinary Foundation (ACF) and actively supports the Greater High Point Food Alliance (GHPFA) and No Kid Hungry. When he’s not in the kitchen, Chef Brownlee can be found paddling, backpacking and spending time with his wife, Morgan, daughter, Breanna, and pup, Warlock.