Chef Benjamin Dennis. Photographed by Clay Williams. Image from Grub Street.
Born and raised in Charleston, SC, personal chef and caterer Benjamin “BJ” Dennis infuses the flavors and culture of the Lowcountry into his Gullah Geechee cuisine, bringing a new taste to an ever expanding culinary palate of the south.
What differentiates Chef BJ’s food from his contemporaries in “southern” cooking is the homage he pays to the Gullah Geechee culture, brought to the Americas by West Africans, and disseminated along the West Indies and the American South. Dennis infuses the techniques of his ancestors, learned from four years of study in St. Thomas, as well as the lessons of his grandparents about eating from the land, to create fresh interpretations of local dishes focusing on in-season, locally sourced vegetables and seafood. Recent trips to Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti, Barbados, Dominica, U.S. Virgin Islands, Angola, Bahamas and Benin has brought his work full circle. Connecting the people and cultures of the African diaspora through food. Bringing back a true taste of Gullah Geechee culture.