Hi.  My name is John, a chef and food lover based in Charleston South Carolina.  I enjoy smoky tea, dark chocolate, and red wine.  I get excited meeting new people and learning from them. Ultimately my true passions are food, travel, art and music. Mezze & tapas is a way to combine and share these passions with you in a meaningful way. I look forward to our journey together.

Spending over twenty years working in information technology, I lived all over the country and traveled the globe.  I appreciate the similarities and differences among people that make the rich mosaic of life. Always lurking in the background was my passion for food.  About ten years ago, I decided to follow that passion full time. I am a largely self-taught chef, who has an insatiable curiosity and willingness to be a food adventurer. I have my own catering business, and have worked in a many kitchens, learning from all the talented people I have worked with.  

My happiest times cooking are when I am in my own kitchen at home trying out new foods.  I like to say that I love to play with my food — and its true and I am always gaining new skills and insight.  Most importantly, I constantly find myself returning to the foods I have come to love the most — those based around the Mediterranean.  I find the diversity of flavor, color, and aromas simply compelling. Yet there are threads of underlying similarities with all of the cuisines of this rich area.  They can be at once bold and subtle, rich and light, and exotic and familiar. Above all they are sensual and passionate dishes. I hope to convey my love for this food to you through mezze & tapas.   

The Mosaic of Mediterranean Food

The offerings here on mezze & tapas owe a debt of inspiration to all the wonderful foods of the Mediterranean.  I will not pretend that they would pass the “nonna test” — that is as good as someone’s grandmother from “the old country” would make.  But I will promise that the tour around the culture will never be disrespectful of the unique cultures they represent. And I believe this will become your home on the internet for exploring the entirety of the Mediterranean food culture!

Although my heart is in the Mediterranean, for now, I will be writing from my kitchen just outside of Charleston where I recently moved to from Boston. I live with the Elegant Baker, and our cat Tess. Our grown children are spread out across the country, giving us ample excuse to travel!  

Little known facts about me
  • The best thing I have ever had to drink was a glass fresh squeezed Blood Orange Juice in Milan in May of 2000.  
  • In the last thirty years, I have never personally checked a bag when flying.
  • My collection of cookbooks numbers over 200, all of which have inspired meals
  • In high school, I played the bassoon. 
  • I briefly met Queen Elizabeth II, as well as three US Presidents
  • I am afraid of heights, but haven’t let that keep me from too much

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