Food & Wine // 5 min Read

Local Character: Chef Nate

Written by Palmetto Bluff

Jun 26, 2021

Nathan Beriau, known around Palmetto Bluff as Chef Nate, joined Montage Palmetto Bluff in 2015 as executive chef overseeing all culinary operations at the Bluff. Since joining the team, he has supervised the opening of the Inn’s culinary operations as part of the expansion of the resort and three additional dining options on property, including the most recent addition, Melt.

A New England native, he began his career at some of the top restaurants in his home state, ultimately accepting the position of chef de cuisine at the Harraseeket Inn, a four-diamond, premiere hotel in Freeport, Maine. From there, Chef Nate and his wife, Destine, relocated to San Francisco where he worked for Ritz-Carlton San Francisco until arriving here in the Lowcountry.

Q: What goes through your mind as you drive into Palmetto Bluff?
A: My game plan for the first hour of my day. 7:45–8:45 is my time—this is where I line up my whole day and revise and rewrite my mise en place list.

Q: What about on your way home?
A: I think about what’s going to end up on the mise en place list for tomorrow. It’s also an opportunity to decompress a bit. This is my music time.

Q: What is your greatest accomplishment?
A: I would say raising two incredible kids with my wife of 18 years, Destine.

Q: What is your most marked characteristic?
A: It is an act of consciousness, but I would say that I make an effort to be a balanced chef and individual. I learned and came up under a lot of extremists; either they were incredible at the cooking part and tyrants to deal with, or they were great with people and not exactly motivating in the kitchen. From this, I learned that being a well-balanced leader was one of the greatest aspects I could bring to the profession and to the people training under me.

Q: What was the last book you read?
A: This is funny and a total left brain, right brain scenario. I am always reading two books at the same time and alternate nightly. More often than not, I pick one that is going to make me better in one capacity and another just for fun. For instance, I just finished reading Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and shortly thereafter finished a Richard Kadrey Sandman Slim book, as I am a total sci-fi nerd.

Q: If you could have one superpower, what would it be? And how would you use it in your job?
A: Probably mind control like Jean Grey.

Q: What are you doing when you aren’t at Palmetto Bluff?
A: Hanging out with my family, doing something active and outside.

Q: Who/what sparked your love of food/cooking?
A: I would say my dad and my uncle. They were both chefs, so we often joke that I never had a chance of doing anything else.

Q: What word or phrase do you use the most?
A: Probably “does that make sense?” I like confirmation that people get and understand what I am saying or what I am talking about. It’s a phrase that has just stuck with me over the years, probably stemming from working in multicultural kitchens for the better part of 20 years.

Q: What makes you laugh?
A: Animals, my kids as of late have been watching “Americas Funniest Videos,” something I used to watch at their age, and as soon as the animal videos come on, oh boy, the belly laughs start, which then in turn cracks my kids up.

Q: What is your favorite spot at the Bluff?
A: I really like the dock at Moreland landing—that’s my Zen spot. Sometimes I will just go down there solo, sit and listen and observe the water.

Read the original story in the Spring / Summer 2021 edition of the bluff.