Craig Deihl

Chef

Charleston

James Beard-nominated chef Craig Deihl lives in Charleston and is at the helm of Cypress, where he cooks Southern food with a Pennsylvania twist. Deihl cures and prepares more than 80 different types of charcuterie and works with a number of heritage breeds, including Pineywoods, a cattle originally raised in the South. He is also the first chef in more than 100 years to utilize the rare American guinea hog through a partnership with the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy and Carolina Heritage Farms. In 2009, he created a CSA-like concept for meats called Artisan Meat Share in which participants receive local charcuterie, and farmers gain support for their products. He is a founding member of the Butcher’s Guild, and was named 2010 Chef of the Year by the Charleston chapter of the American Culinary Foundation.

  • On April 8, 2013
    Craig Deihl answered the question: Craig Deihl

    What are the best Charleston neighborhoods?

    I live on James Island, and we love it. It’s 10 minutes from the beach and downtown. If we didn’t live on James Island, we’d probably live on Mount Pleasant. Our favorite place to daycation is Goat Island. You can only get there by boat. It’s behind the Isle of Palms and separates the Intracoastal Waterway. We roast oysters and pigs out there. And we even got married out there.
  • On April 8, 2013
    Craig Deihl answered the question: Craig Deihl

    What’s the best time to visit Charleston?

    The months between March and the beginning of May when it’s not too hot is when you want to be outside. As soon as it hits 90 degrees, Charleston is hot, muggy and sticky. November to March, I want to work in the kitchen because it’s not too hot in the kitchen.
  • On April 8, 2013
    Craig Deihl answered the question: Craig Deihl

    What are the best Charleston restaurants?

    FIG is one of my favorites. On the outskirts of downtown is The Glass Onion. We eat there about once a month. It’s a place my daughter can be herself and we can still eat great food. Slightly North of Broad will always be a restaurant that I love. It was one of the newer restaurants when I moved to Charleston. I have not had a bad meal at The Macintosh. Wild Olive on Johns Island has high-quality food and ingredients. I encourage people to get out and go there.
  • On April 8, 2013
    Craig Deihl answered the question: Craig Deihl

    What are the best Charleston museums?

    The Charleston Museum — it’s the oldest museum in all of the country. But I also think of a museum when getting on the boat and visiting places like Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie at Sullivan’s Island. Even though they aren’t technically museums, they are living museums. Even down by The Battery is a living museum. Really, the entire city is a museum.
  • On April 8, 2013
    Craig Deihl answered the question: Craig Deihl

    Who does Craig Deihl always travel with?

    If at all possible, I want to travel with my wife and daughter. That’s not always conducive. If I’m driving to an event where I can take a member of my staff — anything that will bring them back jazzed up and more ready to go to apply there creative juices — that’s always a plus.
  • On April 8, 2013
    Craig Deihl answered the question: Craig Deihl

    What kind of food does Craig Deihl have while traveling?

    Being that I do charcuterie, I always want to check out what other chefs are doing with charcuterie programs. I want to taste differences in what we do and differences in what they do by region. Another thing I always seek out is the specialty of the region. Like when I got to New Orleans, I have to have a po’ boy.
  • On April 8, 2013
    Craig Deihl answered the question: Craig Deihl

    What are Craig Deihl’s favorite cities?

    I love New York City — I don’t want to live there, but I love it. I love all of the rich food and very different demographics of it. I also love Chicago and all of the food there. I love New Orleans and San Francisco, too — especially what’s going on with San Francisco’s local butcher shop movement. There’s a revitalization there where it’s doing old-craft butchery, and you really know where your meat is coming from.
  • On April 8, 2013
    Craig Deihl answered the question: Craig Deihl

    What makes a successful restaurant to Craig Deihl?

    Consistency is number one. For food, for staff — it has to be a rounded service. It has to be the whole package. That doesn’t mean it has to be glitz and glamour. I’ve been in some places that I’ve had tremendous food and service quality in a very relaxed atmosphere that I’ve thought were amazing. They focus on the high points rather than allow the visual experience to take away from the food and service experiences.
  • On April 8, 2013
    Craig Deihl answered the question: Craig Deihl

    What keeps Craig Deihl so passionate about the restaurant industry?

    Being with this company for 18 years and having only worked in three restaurants my entire life, I really only know what we do. I am fortunate to do what I want to do. We strive for consistency and high quality. If I buy a whole pig and start a charcuterie program like I did eight years ago, and it makes economic sense and we provide a learning environment and nurture our staff, then it works out.
  • On April 8, 2013
    Craig Deihl answered the question: Craig Deihl

    What is Craig Deihl’s favorite cookbook?

    I think any great chef is going to look at Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry Cookbook in a different way. That’s definitely one of my favorites. One of my first cookbooks was Alfred Portale’s Gotham Bar and Grill Cookbook — another great one. Any of Alain Ducasse’s cookbooks are phenomenal. One of the older cookbooks that I love is Hot Salty Sour Sweet — it’s a great title because it revolves around the flavor profiles of your mouth, which is why Asian food has always been a food that I love because it dances on the palate. It’s food with a lot of pizzazz. I always try to emulate food with a lot of flavor.
  • On April 8, 2013
    Craig Deihl answered the question: Craig Deihl

    What are Craig Deihl’s favorite cuts of meat?

    Chuck flat. It’s in the same muscle group as the chuck short rib, although it’s a little higher. I can sear it really hard and slice it like a thin roast, or I can braise it forever and make the tenderest pot roast you’ve ever had. And if I want, I can put pastrami spice, cure it and thinly slice it for a salumi or antipasti plate. It’s a very versatile cut of meat that I don’t think gets enough justice.
  • On April 8, 2013
    Craig Deihl answered the question: Craig Deihl

    What does Craig Deihl always have in his refrigerator?

    A lot of condiments — we always have Duke’s Mayonnaise and Tin Mustard. The latter is very unique — it’s whole-grain mustard that has a little bit of spice notes from the finely grain mustard powder around it. I’m also a huge fan of Creole-style mustard, so we always have some type of that, and French’s mustard. We always have bread and butter pickles — they’re good on anything — and eggs, milk, onions, celery, butter and cream cheese.