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Damon Wise Out at Scarecrow & Co.

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What’s next for the chef?

Damon Wise
Damon Wise
Leslie McKellar

Just a few short months ago, celebrated chef Damon Wise and brand builder Jonathan Buckley opened the first of their three restaurant concepts on Ann Street, Wise Buck Smoked Meats. The vegetable-heavy Feathertop followed shortly after, and the final space Scarecrow has yet to open.

The tipline burned up last weekend as rumors were flying that Wise was no longer a part of the Charleston restaurant project. A big name local purveyor and almost a dozen food and beverage insiders said Wise was out, but the chef declined to comment. Just now, however, Post & Courier reports that Buckley confirms Wise left and chef Ray England will replace him.

Buckley and Wise came together in 2014 to bring a restaurant to Charleston, which got the rumor mill going. At the time, Wise was a high-profile chef in New York at big deal brasserie Lafayette. Wise had also been a big player in the Tom Colicchio empire, worked at Gramercy Tavern, and cooked under Laurent Tourondel at Cello and Christian Delouvrier at Lespinasse.

Wise's departure is worth noting because his move to Charleston, along with several other NYC chefs like Micheal Toscano, signaled a new level of national attention to the Holy City dining scene.

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