The Culinary Talent Equation for Who Makes Dine + Wine = Perfection:
2019 Florence Wine & Food Celebrity Chef
2018 South Carolina Chef Ambassador
Heidi Vukov moved from Pennsylvania to South Carolina in the early 1990s, and shortly thereafter opened Croissants Bistro & Bakery in Myrtle Beach. Since then, Croissants has become a destination restaurant on the South Carolina coast, winning several awards and attracting locals and tourists alike. Vukov was named 2010 South Carolina Restaurateur of the Year. She went on to write a cookbook, “Bonjour, Y’all!” that was published in 2015. In 2018, Vukov was appointed by Governor Henry McMaster as a 2018 South Carolina Chef Ambassador. As a Chef Ambassador, she represents the state of South Carolina at key tourism and agricultural events. Vukov is the first in the state with a pastry background to be chosen as a Chef Ambassador.
After 22 years in the restaurant business, Vukov wanted to make a difference in the industry and the Myrtle Beach community with her legacy project, Heidi’s Corner Restaurants. In July 2017, Vukov opened a second location of Croissants Bistro & Bakery, as well as a new sustainable seafood restaurant, Hook & Barrel. The restaurants feature the first two “green” kitchens in South Carolina for full-service restaurants. The kitchens contain no gas for cooking and utilize energy-efficient induction cooking technology. This environmentally-friendly equipment creates a cleaner, safer, and healthier place to work and visit.
Vukov’s passion for the food service is matched with her love of the Southern lifestyle and the people of the South Carolina coast. Vukov believes in sourcing local ingredients seasonally from locally-grown produce to locally-caught seafood.
Heidi Vukov lives in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with her husband, Gary. Her four children all live in South Carolina and two are involved in the family business.
2015 South Carolina Chef Ambassador
Chef Thomas is the only chef from the Pee Dee Region selected by Governor Nikki Haley for the inaugural team of SC Chef Ambassadors. Cooper obtained the Bachelor of Science in Food and Beverage Administration from the Johnson & Wales Culinary Program and the Bachelor of Arts in Communications from College of Charleston. His love of simple food with a “fancy” edge is evidence of his devotion to innovation and his joyful approach to food. Cooper lives in Florence with his wife, Paige, and their two children.
2019 South Carolina Chef Ambassador
Kelly Vogelheim, originally from Rogers City, Michigan, now resides in Florence, SC, as the Executive Chef of Town Hall Restaurant and Bar. Her passion for food began early on, cooking with her mother and grandmother in the kitchen at home. At the young age of 13 she began working in the restaurant industry and fell in love with it. The opportunity for creativity and the fast-paced environment truly won her over from the beginning.
Kelly earned her Associates degree in the Culinary Arts at the Great Lakes Culinary Institute in Traverse City, Michigan and continued to grow in her career from there. Straight out of school she worked as a head Chef for The Interlake Steamship Company, cooking on numerous ships for the crew and their passengers. In January of 2017, she decided to make a move to Charleston, South Carolina.
In Charleston, Kelly accepted the position of Sous Chef at Lowcountry Bistro and was quickly promoted to Chef De Cuisine. After almost two years in Charleston, she was lead to the position in Florence where she has found a place to call home. When Kelly is not working, she enjoys being outdoors, skiing, and long walks with her dog, Copper.
Jamie Verstoep, born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, started his career as a line cook in Southbend, IN, at The Wharf. After working his way up to the sous chef position, Jamie moved to Florence to work as sous chef for Dale Barth at PA’s Restaurant. After 4 years at PA’s, Jamie moved to Dale’s Red Bone Alley to continue working as a sous chef for 2 years. Soon, Jamie started leading the ship at Red Bone Alley as head chef, maintaining that position today, 20 years later. In addition to his work at Red Bone Alley, Jamie has been frequently featured on cable’s Sportsman’s Channel, preparing wild game recipes.
Executive Chef, Chris Moebus, a New York native, fell in love with food at a very young age. Spending time with his father in the kitchen is one of Chris’ most memorable life moments. Chris graduated from the New York Hotel & Restaurant Culinary Arts School in 1991. After culinary school, Chris searched for a stable and safe location to build a life and possibly a family and South Carolina met those needs. Once moving here, he met his beautiful wife of 23 years, Caroline, and they have 5 children: Destynee, Little Chris, Travis, Patrick, and Christina. Chris formerly served as the Executive Chef for the Country Club of South Carolina and is now the Executive Chef for Pee Dee Catering, where he has been preparing culinary delights for almost 2 years. In his spare time, Chris enjoys coaching basketball in Marion, SC and cooking with his children, just as he and his father did when he was growing up. Being from New York, of course, his favorite food is pizza right from the city and he mostly enjoys making Italian dishes!