Chef Sean Brock’s fourth Husk location opens its door on Wednesday, January 3 in Savannah. Chef Tyler Williams, formerly of Atlanta’s TAP and shuttered Woodfire Grill, heads the kitchen as its chef de cuisine. The Savannah outpost comes on the heels of Brock’s third Husk location which opened a month ago in Greenville, South Carolina.
The 230-seat restaurant occupies a 118-year-old, three-story home with a grand side porch on West Oglethorpe Avenue in Savannah’s historic district. When asked why Brock chose Savannah over a larger city like Atlanta, his answer was simple, “This house is in Savannah. It already felt like Husk.”
His instincts also compelled him to make another key decision for Husk Savannah, that of its chef. Williams was already living in the city with his wife whom he had recently married when Brock approached him about the job.
“I’ve known Tyler for a long time. I knew his pedigree, and once I had a formal interview with him, his perspective matched mine exactly.” Brock says of his decision to hire Williams. “The passion for research, products, trying to be a better cook—it’s like he’d been working for me for 10 years.”
A lover of history and culture, Williams was digging into the culinary history of Savannah after moving to the river town on the Georgia coast. When he met with Brock about heading the Savannah kitchen, the two chefs clicked.
Brock didn’t interview anyone else.
Writing a Menu for Husk
Brock writes his menus using what he calls the P.I.E. theory (products, ideas, execution); a disciplined, months-long process where he and his team collect recipes, stories, and ingredients in notebooks, on voice recorders, or in photographs. This, before sitting down to brainstorm and make lists, followed by daily test cooks of the best ideas from his team of chefs. The process can take several weeks before perfecting the final menu.
Like Charleston, Nashville, and Greenville, Savannah’s menu focuses on hyper-regional ingredients that have been grown or fished locally from the surrounding area.
“A lot of the people we’re using in Savannah are very small, especially the fisherman,” Brock tells Eater Atlanta.
This includes E.L. McIntosh and Son, a family-owned shellfish company out of Townsend, Georgia who have harvested oysters for generations. Now the family’s company is cultivating their own oysters with the help of a UGA Extension Marine and Georgia Sea grant.
Brock and Williams have also included on the menu ingredients from Franklin Farms out of Statesboro who grow Georgia citrus like satsumas and RainWater Mushrooms from just over the state line in Hardeeville, South Carolina.
“Each artisan and farmer we choose for a Husk brings the unique flavors of that region alive on the menu,” says Brock. “Tyler understands that and really threw himself into the research for Savannah.”
That research, the city’s culinary history and culture along with the stories and ingredients collected over the last six month by Brock and Williams have formulated a menu unique to the Savannah restaurant. Brock calls his time in Savannah with Williams a “treasure trove of discoveries.”
Despite being two hours from Charleston, Brock and Williams say Savannah does indeed have cuisine of its own and that should be reflected on their menu at Husk.
“I have a theory that the South is divided up into micro-cuisines throughout the region. What Savannah has proven to me is there’s even micro-cuisines inside of micro-cuisines,” Brock explains. “It’s the whole idea behind Husk. It explores the cuisine, the culture, the history of a place and, hopefully, contributes to its future.”
Husk Savannah is now open at 12 West Oglethorpe Avenue.
Here’s the opening weekend menu: