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Robert Carter

Executive Chef of "Peninsula Grill" in Charleston, SC

Executive Chef of "Peninsula Grill" in Charleston, SC

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South Carolina, USA
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Robert Carter Biography

Upon his 1987 arrival in Charleston to attend Johnson & Wales University, Tallahassee-native Robert Carter started to make epicurean wavelets that augured his future success in the South's most exciting destination. To fund his education, the enterprising Carter began cooking for one of Charleston's most aristocratic families. Their kitchen became the envy of their social set, which inveigled Carter for a shot at his services. Inspired by their admiration, Carter took on the role of hired gastronomic gun - he was the principal and sole employee of a popular catering operation called Rent-a-Chef.

After his 1989 graduation, Carter charted a culinary course that included an apprenticeship with certified master chef Victor Gielisse in Dallas and a stint at Tennessee's The Inn at Blackberry Farm before docking at Key West in 1991 as executive chef for Café Marquessa. Along the way he had begun to develop a reputation for his exquisitely robust cuisine, defined by a deceptively simple approach which bolsters the essence of each ingredient thereby creating extraordinarily distinct layers of flavor. Carter had also developed a hankering to return to Charleston, a desire that prompted him to invite hospitality industry entrepreneur Hank Holliday to lunch one day.

"I had known Hank in Charleston, and I would run into him occasionally in Key West, where he had a vacation home. I knew he had bought the Planters Inn, and I saw that purchase as my ticket back to Charleston," explains Carter. "So I called him up, invited him to lunch, told him the inn needed a fine dining restaurant" and I was the chef he needed to make it happen. Fortunately, he agreed!"

Holliday also agreed with Carter's notion of creating a stylish eatery that would address sophisticated gustatory sensibilities with a menu incorporating classic elements of American haute cuisine from the first half of the 20th century, as well as those of a more contemporary nature. Holliday and Carter were equally in sync about their fantasy restaurant's ambiance - cosmopolitan. They had visions of a swank 1940's supper club, imbuing diners with a sense of occasion.Theirs was an ambitious concept, one that took three years to plan, during which time Carter lent his talent to the Blue Ridge Grill in Atlanta and Asheville's Richmond Hill Inn.

The realization of their shared vision, the Peninsula Grill, opened at the Planters Inn in 1997 to rave reviews and capacity crowds. Indeed, Esquire named it one of the Best New Restaurants of the Year, noting that for a city "with every other aesthetic inducement, Charleston sure could use a few restaurants the equal of Peninsula Grill."

"Peninsula is about real food, real drinks and excellent service," asserts Carter. "It's the restaurant I always wanted, just the right size, at 100 seats, to allow me to continue refining my style." In addition to the bold flavors of his cuisine, Carter is a master of dramatic presentation, which he describes as "artistic by not fussy. I don't believe in food that looks like it has been handled." At Peninsula, Carter embodies his style in signature dishes such as wild mushroom grits with Low Country oyster stew, benne crusted rack of lamb with wild mushroom potatoes and coconut pesto and Bourbon grilled jumbo shrimp with Lowcountry hoppin' John, creamed corn and lobster-basil hushpuppies.

Married to a woman he met at Peninsula Grill and the father of two young sons, Carter is pursuing his latest food related fantasy by building his dream home wherein the state-of-the-art equipped kitchen will be the epicenter for family activity. "It's all a long way from my Rent-a-Chef days! Well, maybe not - I see a lot of the people I used to cook for in my dining rooms these days!"

Robert Carter Videos

Robert Carter Books

  • Instant Pot: Top 100 Only Healthy Recipes
    Instant Pot: Top 100 Only Healthy Recipes

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  • What topics does Robert Carter speak about?

    Robert Carter is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Celebrity Chefs, Food, Lifestyle.
  • Where does Robert Carter travel from?

    Robert Carter generally travels from South Carolina, USA, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. For more details, please contact an AAE Booking agent.
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    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like Robert Carter for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Robert Carter for your next private or corporate function.
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Robert Carter is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Robert Carter for your event is available upon request. Robert Carter generally travels from SC, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Sue Torres, Antoni Porowski, Dean Sheremet, Dominique Ansel and Trish Magwood. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Robert Carter for an upcoming live or virtual event.

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