SOURCE: Marriott International

Marriott International

July 15, 2013 15:50 ET

Creative Executive Chef of Upscale Hotel in Charleston Taps Into Local Resources

Michael Harp Brings Years of Expertise to Renaissance Charleston Historic District Hotel

CHARLESTON, SC--(Marketwired - Jul 15, 2013) - South Carolina suits Michael Harp, and as executive chef at an upscale hotel in downtown Charleston, SC, he utilizes his years of culinary experiences and the area's productive farms, sparkling trout streams, and salt water estuaries to create extraordinary cuisine.

Executive Chef Harp brings years of expertise to his position at the prominent Renaissance Charleston Historic District Hotel, where he began his duties on May 12th. Featuring an exciting restaurant in downtown Charleston, Harp's hotel responsibilities include overseeing the Wentworth Grill and Lounge, along with creating catering menus and services for a host of events and occasions.

Developing culinary aspirations at a young age, Harp earned his A.A.S degree in Culinary Arts from the Orlando Culinary Academy, a Le Cordon Bleu School in Orlando, FL, and has rolled out two culinary treats since stepping into his position at the Renaissance. Taking advantage of local produce, his Seasonal Berry Mostarda has become a sensational hit. Combining tangy spices, fruits, whole grain mustard and Carolina apple cider, the impressive condiment is a gracious compliment to many favorite entrées, but is most often served with Harp's Pork Belly Rillettes. Again tapping into local resources, this favorite menu item starts with Greenbriar Farms Pork Belly, cubed, seasoned to perfection, slow-cooked, and processed into a smooth filling that is covered with pork fat and refrigerated before being served with homemade bread and the Seasonal Berry Mostarda.

Harp, who also holds an A.S. degree in Restaurant Management from Indian River State College where he later became an Adjunct Culinary Instructor, is a native of Vero Beach, FL, and was first introduced to South Carolina when moving to Greenville. It was there that he quickly "fell in love" with everything the state has to offer from the tight-knit communities that are proponents of the state's "Smiling Faces and Beautiful Places" slogan to the bountiful offering of produce that make every day a delight for culinary professionals such as himself.

Prior to accepting the Executive Chef position at these stylish accommodations in Charleston, SC, Harp honed his skills at fine establishments such as the Hyatt Regency, Roost, Disney's Vero Beach Resort, Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club and Lodge, and also worked under the Southeast's legendary Chef Bob Waggoner at the AAA Four Diamond/Mobile Four Star Charleston Grill. As an active member of the American Culinary Federation, Harp earned his Certified Chef de Cuisine accreditation and has won numerous recognitions in culinary competitions including a bronze medal this year at the prestigious U.S. Culinary Cup competition in Orlando.

When not sharpening his culinary expertise, Harp enjoys fishing, hiking, reading the latest cookbooks, visiting local farms, and spending quality time with his wife and son.

About the Renaissance Charleston Historic District Hotel

The Renaissance Charleston Historic District Hotel brings contemporary convenience to the classical charm of Charleston's oldest quarter, welcoming guests with distinctive boutique accommodations, lavish amenities and exceptional service. An ideal location for shopping King Street, exploring local events, experiencing the City Market or visiting the College of Charleston, the hotel boasts well-appointed guest rooms, knowledgeable Navigators, a relaxing rooftop pool and state-of-the-art fitness center. Dramatic meeting and event space combined with the support of dedicated event managers, skilled technicians and professional catering allow event planners a unique opportunity to host elegant and inspiring events in one of the city's most treasured districts.

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