Chef Craig Deihl of Cypress - Biography

Charleston, SC

November 2011

Chef Craig Deihl doesn’t put on the chef airs, or offer up a side of haughty attitude along with his rich Southern cuisine. Instead you’ll find the “Real Deihl” inside the charming dining room of Charleston, S.C.’s Cypress (the quip is also the name of Deihl’s thoughtful tell-all blog. A devote of locally grown foods and the Sustainable Seafood Initiative, Deihl started the CSA-like Artisan Meat Share in 2009 to help boost the availability of local charcuterie (and offer a helping hand to struggling farmers) and shares his globally-inspired Southern recipes in the Smithsonian Institute’s One Fish, Two Fish, Crawfish, Bluefish, as well as his own Cypress: A Lowcountry Grille.

And while his cuisine is dotted with worldly flairs, the Danville, Pennsylvania native didn’t venture far from home to begin his culinary journey; Deihl found his first culinary experiences in the kitchen of the landmark Pine Barn Inn in his hometown. After attending Johnson and Wales University in Charleston, SC on scholarship, Deihl began training under acclaimed Chef Donald Barickman of Magnolias. After five years of hard work Deihl helped open Cypress in 2001, where he was quickly promoted to executive chef after only six months.

As one of the South’s most talented young chefs, Deihl was a James Beard Foundation nominee for Best Chef: Southeast in both 2010 and 2011 and was named Chef of the Year by the Charleston chapter of the American Culinary Foundation in 2011. Awards aside, Deihl’s commitment to all things culinary also brings him the upmost in unique opportunities: a recent partnership with the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy and Farmer Gra Moore of Carolina Heritage Farm, afforded Deihl the opportunity to be the first chef in over 100 years, and currently the only chef in the nation, to cook the rare American Guinea Hog.