Team Building & Private Classes
Meet your guide: Chef Geoffrey Bragg
Geoffrey Bragg was born on Fort Rucker in Alabama to an Army major raised in Tampa and his Vietnamese wife. Needless to say, the blend of cultures created an interesting culinary dichotomy Geoff feels was extremely influential to his cooking today.
He fondly remembers the look on some of his friends’ faces when they glanced at the dining room table to see BBQ next to Banh Xeo or hot sauce next to fish sauce. He was raised in Charlotte and has always considered himself a product of the South.
His first food memory was cooking profiteroles for his family on TV nights. That was when he was 9 years old. At 15 he started his first restaurant job – like many chefs, in the dish pit. It wasn’t long before he found himself prepping vegetables and eventually on the line. That was 27 years ago and he hasn’t looked back.
It was after the suggestion of a friend of his while attending the University of Georgia that he decided to cook professionally. He moved to Charleston and began classes at Johnson and Wales University. While living in Charleston he worked at Fulton Five which hosted some of the Southeast’s best chefs.
After graduating in 1994 he moved back to Charlotte where he began working as sous chef at The Pewter Rose Bistro. He was offered his first Head chef position soon thereafter at Charlotte’s first vegetarian restaurant, The Peaceful Dragon. Through this he became very active in working with local farmers, helping to pioneer the farm-to-fork movement in Charlotte. He worked extensively with local charities, going so far as to design and implement an after-school cooking program for inner city youth helping them to learn about world cultures through food. His goal was to teach the children not only the differences between our culture and any other, but to show the many ways in which we are all alike.
In 2003 he attended the Italian Institute of Culinary and Pastry Arts where he was instructed in fundamental cooking techniques by Italian Master Chefs. In 2005 he returned to The Pewter Rose as an owner and Executive chef.
In 2010, after the birth of his son, he and his family moved to Asheville and he was honored to accept a position with The Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa. At the Grove Park Inn, he headed up the central restaurant for the resort, The Sunset Terrace. Nine months out of the year his kitchen averaged 600 meals a day and kept him busy. There he had the opportunity to work alongside James Beard award winners and host a wine dinner with the president of the Western North Carolina chapter of the ACF.
In 2012 he moved back to Charlotte where he accepted a position with the Jackalope’s Food Group to head up their new restaurant, The Peculiar Rabbit, a farm-to-fork gastropub. After leaving the Peculiar Rabbit he decided to move towards culinary instruction and helped Sur La Table to establish their cooking school at SouthPark Mall. He is currently working as a personal chef with a focus on culinary instruction.
He is excited to be back in the city he calls home, close to family and friends and working on a project he feels will help to shape Charlotte’s already explosive culinary scene.