Cru Café's John Zucker signs on as Oak's new executive chef

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The Indigo Road and Steve Palmer have announced that John Zucker will join the iconic Charleston restaurant Oak Steakhouse as executive chef.

“John is a talented and well-respected chef and established in the Charleston community,” said Steve Palmer, managing partner of the restaurant group, which also owns and operates O-Ku Japanese Cuisine. “First and foremost, it was important for me to partner with a local chef and I couldn’t be more honored to work with a culinary professional such as John.”

In addition to owning and operating his restaurant and catering businesses, Cru Café and Cru Catering, Zucker will take the helm of Charleston’s most pronounced steakhouse on November 1. “I’m excited to take on this endeavor and to enhance what is already a great product at Oak,” said Zucker. “For those who are looking for a great steak served with local, fresh ingredients and exceptional service, Oak is the place to go.”

Zucker’s training began at the Cordon Bleu in Paris, where he graduated at the top of his class and then trained under Wolfgang Puck at famed Spago restaurant in Las Vegas. He then moved to Atlanta to serve as sous chef at James Beard-nominated Canoe restaurant, where he met Palmer. The two quickly hit it off and have been industry colleagues and friends for the past 15 years; it was a weekend trip with Palmer to Charleston that inspired Zucker to make Charleston his new home.

While in Charleston, Zucker has consulted for top restaurants such as McCrady’s, Rue de Jean and Fish. He was also executive chef at The Sonoma Café. Zucker started Cru Catering in 1999 and opened Cru Café in 2002 – both feature eclectic modern American cuisine. Zucker’s comprehensive culinary experience combined with Palmer’s hospitality expertise will elevate Oak’s status as the premier steakhouse in the Southeast.

Oak Steakhouse is located at 17 Broad Street.

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