An artist at heart, McCrady’s and McCrady’s Tavern Executive Chef Jim Stein embraces cooking as an artform, using ingredients, technique, and plating as a creative outlet in the two Charleston kitchens. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Stein got his start at local pizza restaurants during high school and throughout college while studying studio art. After falling in love with cooking and discovering it as a catalyst for creative expression, Stein decided to enroll in culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu. He graduated with honors and embarked on a career in fine dining, beginning at Casbah in Pittsburgh working alongside chefs Eli Wahl and Dustin Gardner.

Stein headed south to Charleston in 2012 to join the Neighborhood Dining Group as Chef de Partie of McCrady’s, training under chefs Sean Brock, Jeremiah Langhorne and Daniel Heinze for two years. Returning to Pennsylvania in 2014, Stein spent a year at Cure, honing his skills as sous chef for esteemed Chef Justin Severino. 

When McCrady’s transformed to a tasting-menu only restaurant in 2016, Stein returned to the Holy City to join the team. McCrady’s orchestrates an intimate and adventurous dining experience for guests in the 22-seat dining room. In July 2018, Stein was promoted to Executive Chef and now leads the culinary team, working with purveyors to craft an ever-changing menu that celebrates ingredients in a unique and elevated fashion.  In 2018, McCrady’s received the high honor of a AAA Five-Diamond Award, the only restaurant in South Carolina with this esteemed distinction. 

In February of 2019, Stein was promoted to oversee the adjacent McCrady’s Tavern, and now drives the culinary programs at both 2 Unity Alley concepts. At the lively, everyday gathering place which is one of America’s most historic restaurants, Stein honors its rich history by serving dishes highlighting the best ingredients of the Lowcountry with an ever-evolving seasonal menu.

Stein spends time biking and going to the gym to create balance and relieve stress outside the busy kitchen and is a die-hard Pittsburgh sports fan. He continues to love many forms of art, including food photography, which is regularly featured on the McCrady’s and McCrady’s Tavern Instagram accounts.

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