In his relatively short career, Charleston’s Sean Brock has become one of the most important chefs in the country. As executive chef and owner at both McCrady’s and Husk, the James Beard Award-winning chef is a leader in the movement to preserve and restore traditional Southern heirloom ingredients. The rural Virginia native grew up in a family that farmed, cooked, canned and preserved, and those practices have been ingrained in Brock ever since. His restaurants preach and teach Southern ingredients and traditions, and the menu at Husk focuses solely on foods indigenous to the region. Brock is also a passionate advocate for seed saving and grows a number of heirloom crops. He opened his second Husk location — this time in Nashville — which focuses on hearth and ember cooking, as well as local Tennessee vegetables, meat and threes, and hot chicken sandwiches. Brock is also writing his first cookbook, which is expected out next spring.