After working as a chef in some of the world’s best restaurants — the Michelin-starred Daniel in New York, the AAA Four Diamond Peninsula Grill in Charleston — and running a catering company, Bon Vivant Culinary, based out of Charlotte, James Beard nominee Garrett Tallent and his wife and manager, Emma, recently went small town with a big plan. The two are opening Azalea Bistro in Saluda, offering French and Low Country cuisine. Garrett grew up visiting his family in Alsace, France, and spent much of his time there in the kitchen. “This is really where my motivation to cook started,” the chef tells Bold Life. “My goal is to have a really nice upscale-casual cuisine that is accessible to regular folk like you and me. It may sound high-end on paper, but the prices won’t reflect that.” The menu will change every three months and include items like short ribs, fried green tomatoes, and steak-frites. “I will be serving the familiar and the unfamiliar,” says Tallent. “My kitchen in here is the size of a two-car garage, so I am up for a challenge — but I’m excited to play.” With its interior designed by Sonya Sterling, the restaurant will evoke themes that touch on the culture in Charleston and Paris, including many artworks hung by Charleston artists.
Azalea Bistro is set to open by early May. No reservations required. 40 E Main St., Saluda. Hours are Monday, 5-10pm; Tuesday through Saturday, 11am-3pm and 5pm-10pm; and Sunday brunch, 10am-3pm. For more information, visit aazaleabistro.com or see Azalea Bistro on Facebook and Instagram: @azaleabistro. 828-769-9022.