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Chef Chris Coleman was born and raised in the northwest corner of Charlotte’s Mountain Island Lake community. He spent his summers on his grandparents’ farm in Purvis, Mississippi, where he learned to appreciate the importance of local ingredients and fostering community.
When his parents promised him a car if he covered the expenses, Chris took a job bussing tables at a local seafood restaurant at the age of 14. He stayed for four years, working in the front of the house before graduating to expediting. There, he became enthralled with the bustle and creativity of the kitchen. He enrolled at UNC Charlotte to study art and ceramics, but soon decided he wanted to become a chef and moved to Central Piedmont Community College’s culinary program.
During his second semester at school, he landed a job cooking on the line at McNinch House. When the head chef left, he was elevated to executive chef at 21. Chris developed and refined his cooking style over the next eight years, starting to source locally and developing a tasting menu. Of his experience at McNinch House, he says, “I grew up there and developed who I am as a chef.”
He branched out in 2012 to create The Market Kitchen pop-up dinner series using only locally sourced ingredients, while also experimenting with modern techniques. In early 2014, he opened The Asbury, a 40-seat farm-to-fork restaurant at The Dunhill Hotel. Under his direction, the restaurant was awarded two “Best of the Best” BOB Awards by Charlotte Magazine.
Chris joined Charlotte Marriott City Center in 2016 as the Director of Culinary Experience overseeing Stoke Restaurant, Stoke Bar and coffeehouse Coco and the Director. He brings a rustic yet refined take on seasonal American cooking that showcases high quality, meticulously sourced ingredients, while he continues to work with local farmers, producers and artisans.