Rising Star Artisan David Schnell of Brown's Court Bakery - Biography

Charleston, SC

November 2013

This is the era of the artisan—the coffee roaster, craft beer brewer, chocolatier, charcutier, and, yes, the baker. Indeed, among his craftsman counterparts, the baker may well be the most long-awaited of the artisan renaissance, with in-house bread programs and stand-alone bakeries breathing much deserved personality into the high standards of professional bread making. And into that paradigm, at just the right time and seemingly in just the right place, stepped David Schnell.

Well, almost. Schnell got his introduction to hot air (ahem) in the world of politics, where he worked for several years after returning from an extended trip abroad. Fortunately for carb-lovers everywhere, not to mention Charleston restaurants, Schnell’s now-wife convinced him to follow a deeper passion and attend culinary school.

A Georgia native, Schnell attended Johnson & Wales in Charlotte. After graduating, he found he wasn’t powerfully drawn to the savory or pastry kitchens. Instead, his path and passions took him to one of cuisine’s oldest professions: baking. Schnell’s original plan was to open somewhere in Savannah, but the tight-knit, local-obsessed food community of Charleston proved a better fit all around, so in late 2012, Schnell opened Brown’s Court Bakery. Despite being tucked away in a slightly hidden spot in Charleston, Brown’s Court is already incredibly popular among retail and wholesale customers, who can count on Schnell for anything from traditional brioche and baguettes to sriracha croissants and the mottled crust of a classic Dutch Tijgerbrod. In 2013, Schnell earned a StarChefs Rising Star Artisan Award for his work at Brown's Court.