Bob Waggoner grew up in Southern California and received his first culinary training through a home economics course he took in high school. This quickly blossomed into a lifelong career. He began in the kitchen of Michael Roberts at Trumps in West Hollywood, then went to work for a succession of great chefs in the Burgundy region of France. His first position as Chef was at Members, a private club in Caracas, Venezuela at age 23. He returned to France where he met his wife and became the first American to own his own restaurant in France, the much acclaimed Monte Cristo. He was 26.
A Southern boy at heart, Bob returned to the States with his wife and young daughter after 11 years abroad. He landed on Turnberry Isle in Florida, then joined The Wild Boar in Nashville, earning the restaurant the coveted AAA Five-Diamond Award as well as the Grand Award from Wine Spectator. The rich, multi-cultural cuisine of the Lowcountry drew him to South Carolina, where he was at the helm of the elegant Charleston Grill at Charleston Place for 12 years. This earned him a nomination from the Beard Foundation for Best Chef in the Southeast as well as a slew of other awards and recognitions.
Thanks to his rigorous culinary training in France, he is one of the few Americans to be knighted as a Chevalier with the Ordre du Merite Agricole. He is the only American to have worked with Gerard Boyer, Pierre Gagnaire and Marc Meneau, three of the french honorees with whom he was acknowledged at Gourmet Magazine's event, France's 10 Greatest Chefs. He has made television appearances on CNN, The Travel Channel, The CBS Morning Show and earned an Emmy for his television show "Off the Menu" with Turner South. He is now the host of "Sing for your Supper with Bob Waggoner," a unique, culinary show filmed onstage at the historic Ryman Auditorium.
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