Meet Chef Shaun Creef
Chef Shawn holds a degree in culinary arts technology from the Culinary Institute of the Carolinas at Greenville Technical College. He has worked as Chef de Partie, Sous Chef, Executive Sous Chef and Executive Chef at The Piedmont Club in Spartanburg, South Carolina; Larkin’s Restaurants and Rick Erwin Dining Group in Greenville, South Carolina; Lake Lanier Tea House in Landrum, South Carolina; and The Cliffs Valley and The Cliffs at Glassy.
WHAT EXPERIENCES BEST PREPARED YOU FOR BECOMING A CHEF AT THE CLIFFS?
I most definitely learned about culture and work ethic while playing high school and collegiate soccer. From a food standpoint, I’ve had the opportunity to work in a wide range of environments from fast-paced pubs to high-end restaurants to banquet outlets. On any given day at The Cliffs, we can be a pub, a fine-dining establishment, a special-event outlet, and a wedding venue; I’m able to draw from all work and life experiences to keep things fresh and new.
WHAT’S YOUR BEST ADVICE ON FOOD WINE PAIRING?
Drink more wine! The more variety you taste, the better you understand different flavor profiles. I like to include as many people as possible when writing menus for wine dinners. Typically, my sous chefs and our sommelier sit down together to talk about flavor profiles and craft the menu. Later, we pick out the wines, which we all taste throughout the process. At The Cliffs, we’re fortunate to have so many sommeliers to lean on for pairings; our members have the same access!
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE FOOD MEMORY?
Most definitely my childhood at Maw Maw and Grandaddy’s house in Waynesboro, Virginia. We used to call before leaving South Carolina to “place our order” for dinner after our eight hour drive … I always asked for fried chicken, stewed green beans, mashed potatoes, and one pot mac & cheese. My grandparents teamed up for breakfast, with Maw Maw taking care of the cheddar cheese stuffed biscuits and Grandaddy tackling the sausage, bacon, and fried eggs. We grandchildren always had to go down to the basement – a really scary place for a young kid! – to bring up homemade jams and jellies, zucchini pickles, and beans that Maw Maw canned the year before. After getting over my fear, I remember being fascinated by the amount of neatly preserved food that lined the walls.
Baby Back vs St. Louis Ribs
“This recipe works for both St. Louis cut ribs and baby back ribs – I prefer St. Louis.”