Chef Regina Charboneau
Regina is a Mississippi maven. Born and raised in Natchez, Mississippi, the River runs through her veins. Chef Charboneau has worked as a camp cook in the bush of Alaska, created and owned restaurants in San Francisco, been chef de cuisine on a set of luxurious vintage railway cars, served as the culinary director of the American Queen Riverboat, and written cookbooks. It did not matter if Regina was living in Alaska, Paris, or San Francisco because she brought the South and Southern Cooking with her.
A key figure in the American food scene in California that happened in the 80’s, she opened the eponymous Regina's at the Regis in 1985. Located in the heart of the San Francisco's theater district, Regina's was a favorite late nightspot for theatergoers as well as directors, musicians, and actors. In 1995, Regina created Biscuits & Blues nightclub in San Francisco. Featuring classic southern cuisine and live music nightly, Biscuits & Blues has won multiple WC Handy awards for Best Blues Club in America. Biscuits & Blues is still going strong today, having celebrated its 20th year in February of 2015.
Regina returned to her native Natchez in 2001 and purchased the historic home Twin Oaks, circa 1832, where she has six guest rooms on the property. She offers cooking classes at Twin Oaks and some of the best hospitality in the South. As Julia Reed wrote about Regina “The first time I met Regina Charboneau, she was making her butter biscuits for our dinner. I’ve returned to Twin Oaks many times for infusions of what those of us lucky enough to be in Regina’s orbit all refer to as “Biscuit Love”- which is also a metaphor for her great company, innate graciousness and bottomless generosity. I would happily follow Regina up and down the Mississippi for an extended dose of her hospitality and her inventive and always superb cooking”.
Her latest venture in Natchez was the restoration of King’s Tavern, circa 1789. King’s Tavern showcases a menu of wood-fired flatbreads, sustainable fish and meats, and handcrafted cocktails. Her husband, Doug, and son, Jean-Luc, operate Charboneau Rum Distillery on the property as well.
Regina has appeared on The Today Show, been a regular guest chef on the television show P. Allen Smith Gardens, and also contributed as a Southern Food writer for The Atlantic Magazine’s website.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium presented Regina with a “Cooking for Solutions” award for being an advocate of sustainable seafood.
Regina’s latest book is “Mississippi Current Cookbook: A Culinary Journey down America’s Greatest River.” This marvelous 323-page book contains 200 recipes, 30 menus, 150 gorgeous photographs by Ben Fink, and a slew of fun stories and informational tidbits. The Atlantic named it one of the best food books of 2014.
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