After barely losing out as Best Chef in this year’s Best of Charleston readers’ poll, Oak Steakhouse’s Brett McKee was able to lick his wounds and lap up a pretty big accolade: the 2008 Culinary Legend Award at last week’s Charleston Food + Wine Festival. brett-2b.jpg

Brett was lauded for his “culinary innovation, firecracker personality, and inspiring work in the Charleston community.” The busy chef spends a good amount of time volunteering for charitable dinners — three to four a week, according to his PR firm.

He most definitely has avid fans in this town. (We should know. We referred to the Brooklyn native as a ‘carpetbagger’ in a writeup a few years back and had angry phone calls, visits, and letters from his supporters. Say what you will about him, but the man incites the passion and loyalty of his friends and patrons.)

In other award news, his steakhouse was recognized as Best Steak in our readers’ poll again this year. Congrats to Brett.

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