top of page

Episode 82 - From Ski Bum to Chef... A Chef's Story

Chef Sean Fowler of Mandolin Restaurant in Raleigh, NC

How does one fuse creative drive with practicality? How about be a ski bum for a few years then decide to go to culinary school?

Growing up, Sean’s father made Golden Corral a successful national restaurant chain, but that didn’t push Sean into restaurants. Sean worked restaurant jobs to support his skiing habit and after a few years realized he needed a steady job. He decided to go to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY and hone his culinary skills there. While in New York City he worked at some notable establishments, most impressively, was the time he spent learning from Chef Eric Ripert at Le Bernadin.

After working at Le Bernadin and sharpening his technique, the call of home, North Carolina began to ring. Eventually, Sean used both practical and creative parts of his brain to run his own business. In order to learn how to become a business owner in North Carolina, Chef Sean worked his butt off at the Fearrington House for seven years; eventually he became the Catering Chef. During his time, Fowler met his wife Lizzie by wooing her with his culinary delights.

Lizzie and he were ready to strike out on his own when the Fowlers created Mandolin. The location for their new project serendipitously happened to be Sean’s childhood stomping ground.

Since 2011, Mandolin has been a staple of the Raleigh farm to table culinary world. The Fowlers planted a farm in order to supply the restaurant with all sorts of produce. Mandolin is in elite company in the Triangle of North Carolina as one of the few restaurants to be awarded 4.5 stars from the News and Observer. Enjoy Chef Sean Fowler's song on his Mandolin...

bottom of page