We’re excited to announce we have a new addition to our culinary team at Strong Waters Craft Cocktails & Kitchen – our Executive Chef Javaughn Spence! He has a passion for food that can be seen in the creativity of the menu items he has created for us which are unique, flavorful and whose presentation is appealing to both the eye and palate alike!

Executive Chef Javaughn took some time to answer a few questions in regards to his culinary experience, inspirations, and even his favorite handcrafted cocktail on the menu. Enjoy getting to know the man behind the amazing cuisine being served up at Strong Waters in Myrtle Beach!

1. What is your culinary background?

When I was younger, my brother had already started in the culinary industry. One summer I went to visit him and not only got to see the inner workings of the kitchen, but was able to help cook and create the dishes they were serving customers. Shortly after I began my career in the culinary field, working as his apprentice. When I got to high school, I became more serious about my career – attending vocational school for years and competing in competitions. I kept working hard and pursuing my passion – which led me to the opportunity to become Executive Chef at Strong Waters in Myrtle Beach.

2. What inspires you when creating a new dish?

I am inspired by looking at all the local, seasonal produce and brainstorming ways of creating dishes that equal an amazing experience for my guests. I enjoy seeing the reactions of people when they see the presentation of the dish, as well as when they taste that first bite!

3. How many years have you been a chef?

I’ve been a chef for 3 years.

4. Are there any famous chefs that you follow or are inspired by?

For famous chefs, I would say Gordon Ramsey. Not because of this television shows, but mainly because of how much he loves and respects his food. He puts so much passion in his food, which reminds me of myself and makes me strive to be even more caring and passionate.

5. What is your favorite dish to cook at Strong Waters?

My favorite dish is the market fish, which is a menu item that changes weekly. I enjoy being able to create a dish based around what’s available locally and in season.

6. What new menu items can we expect to see?

I will be adding more constructed and well-rounded items to the menu. They will be unique and something unlike Myrtle Beach has ever seen. The flavors, presentation – the whole experience – will keep you coming back for more!

7. What do you enjoy most about working at Strong Waters?

I enjoy the staff, the people and my team the most – without them I couldn’t do the things I love to do.

8. Can you share any details about what you’ll be serving at the Coastal Uncorked Farm to Table event?

I will be doing a local ceviche, which will include octopus, snapper, shrimp and scallop, marinated in coconut Kaffir lime.

9. What’s your favorite cocktail or craft beer to order at Strong Waters?

Personally I love the Smokin’ Oldy, especially since we smoke it with wood chips right in front of our guests

10. Do you keep the cocktails and craft beer in mind when you create a dish?

Yes and no. For the main dishes I don’t really pair them with the drinks, but for the appetizers and bar food – I make sure the flavors compliment a cocktail or craft beer.

11. Do you use any of the cocktails or craft beer in your dishes?

Yes – I make the candy bacon using the Holy City Pluff Mud Porter – which is one of the current craft beers on draft.

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