Three South Carolina chefs were named Chef Ambassadors Thursday for 2023 | Provided

Executive chef Marcus Shell from downtown’s French restaurant 39 Rue de Jean was named one of the three new Chef Ambassadors for South Carolina. Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette announced Thursday the three new chef ambassadors for 2023. 

“We’re proud to have these three outstanding chefs represent South Carolina this year as Chef Ambassadors,” Gov. Henry McMaster said. “The incredible culinary skill of these chefs and other chefs like them around our state greatly strengthens our cultural heritage and helps to bring millions of visitors to our state each year.”

South Carolina Chef Ambassador 2023 – Chef Marcus Shell of Rue de Jean

Shell is a New England native trained in classic French cuisine at Le Cordon Bleu in Boston, Mass. He later honed his culinary skills at some of Boston’s finest establishments and made his way to Charleston in 2021, with a stint at 82 Queen. Shell now helms the kitchen at 39 Rue de Jean. 

The other two South Carolina ambassadors, Rob Masone and Erica McCier, hail from Rock Hill and Abbeville, respectively. Masone worked in kitchens across the country before returning to Rock Hill in 2020 to open Kounter. McCier is the executive chef and owner of Indigenous Underground, a Southern restaurant with global influences in Abbeville.

The South Carolina Chef’s Ambassador program, now in its ninth year, was created to unite agribusiness and tourism, two of the state’s largest industries, contributing tens of billions of dollars to the state’s economy each year and providing hundreds of thousands of jobs statewide.

“The Chef Ambassador program is a unique example of collaboration between two industries that drive our economy, bring visitors to South Carolina, and help feed the world,” Evette said on behalf of McMaster during the announcement. 

Chef Ambassadors will represent the state at culinary events across the country, using Certified South Carolina produce, meats and seafood, supporting local farmers and purveyors and honoring the state’s food traditions. 

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