When Nathaniel Chamblin was nine years old, his father opened The Icehouse Café, then a small bar in a suburb of Washington D.C. Within a few years, it was one of the city’s top restaurants, branching into California cuisine long before its competitors and pouring microbrews by 1987.
Chamblin is planning to get off to a similarly modest start with Cainhoy Cookin’ Depot, opening next month in Wando. And while he doesn’t have any immediate plans to overtake the city’s leading restaurants, he says, “I have mad respect for all of the talent we have in town. But I wouldn’t mind going toe-to-toe with some of these chefs in an Iron Chef format, and they know it.”
Now 43, Chamblin has been involved in restaurants since he was a boy. After his family in 1991 sold The Icehouse Café, he gravitated toward restaurant consulting, moving to Charleston in 1997. He helped open Bull & Finch and Zinc Bistro, but didn’t spend much time in the kitchen: Cainhoy Cookin’ Depot is Chamblin’s first full-time chef job in 20 years. Continue reading