The Bachan's Family


Born and raised in South Carolina where soul food is the staple cuisine and creating memories at the table was a Sunday tradition at his grandmothers.  There his fling for cooking was ignited.

Q&A With Corey

How & why did you become a chef? 

Well, I’ve had a love for cooking since high school. I never went to culinary school. I decided to pursue occupational therapy, but all through school I baked pound cakes on Saturdays to make extra money for gas and food. I cooked in college and my dorm room was the place everyone would come by and just hang out, eat. I had a friend that pushed me to cook for her mother. I said no four times. But finally I gave in. It’s always been a hobby. It’s still a hobby. I just love cooking. Anyhow, I did it as a hobby for 8 years and this will now be my second year as a personal chef. I love the flexibility, there’s no overhead. My main goal is to develop a lot of partnerships. If I ever do a restaurant it will be small, casual, maybe a brunch spot, but that’s way down the line.

You mention you learned how to cook from your grandma— how did your grandma shape your current tastes or views on cooking and food?

My Grandma was a huge impact on my cooking, even just my love for food. Her house was the place every Sunday. It’s where family would come together and we’d eat soul food. No discredit to mom, but grandma is the GOAT when it comes to cooking. She taught me how to make biscuits and gravy, fried chicken. I still call her today for advice. She changed how and what I thought about food. She gave me the mindset to try new things.

Do you have any fun stories about her, her cooking, family gatherings she cooked at, her signature dishes etc. —would love to hear/have you elaborate more on those as well. 

Where do I start? Every holiday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, her house was the place to go. She’d fill cookie tins with chocolates and candies, have floral arrangements everywhere, and her house would be filled with the smell of delicious food. Her home was always so inviting. It was the best to just sit around the table together and create memories.

How did it feel to come up with a Japanese Southern BBQ menu?

It was exciting! Southern food and barbecue go hand-in-hand, adding in Japanese flavors just elevated everything. My favorite was trying to figure out the chocolate cheesecake [featuring Bachan’s Miso Japanese Barbecue Sauce]. I new miso paired well with chocolate, but it took some trial and error to get it right. When I did, it was the dish I was most proud of. I loved this challenge.

What about the Bachan's sauces inspired you to create the dishes you did? 

It’s definitely inspired me. I could relate to the flavors and ingredients in the sauces. I’m always hoping to open people’s eyes to what you can do with Southern food, and this experience did just that. Now, when I cook for clients I mix Hella Hot with honey and they dip fried chicken in it, I use it on collards, and in syrup for a kick. I continue to experiment.

How have you seen the cooking & barbecuing scene evolve over the last few years with the rise in popularity of culturally diverse flavors?

In the past I’ve seen a handful of Korean barbecue food trucks and now Korean barbecue restaurants where you prepare the meat yourself have become very popular locally. Hibachi is also popular. I would love to see more Japanese flavors included in Southern barbecue.

If you could only pick 1 main dish and 1 side dish to eat at a summer BBQ what would they be?

I definitely love a good brisket anytime of the day, fat and juicy. And, baked beans with a little grilled hamburger mixed in with barbecue sauce. Yeah, brisket and baked beans sound great.

What is 1 piece of advice you’d give to home cooks to up level their BBQ/grilling game?

Be consistent. If you cook a brisket, ribs, whatever it is, consistency is key.


Simple, non-GMO ingredients are the only kind we use. It's been that way for generations, and it's not a tradition we care to mess with.

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