Mary Freeman is a native of Kingstree, South Carolina where she was raised on Low Country vinegar-based BBQ, farm-raised beef and pork, and homegrown vegetables. Mary credits her mother and grandmother for her culinary skills - it was in their kitchens she learned to fry chicken, bake a pound cake, and can jelly. Her father taught her how to grow vegetables, hunt and fish, and prepare wild game and fish stew. All of his recipes began with, "first you fry up a piece of fatback.” Mary was a chef for Chop! Cancer’s 2016 winning team Culinary Kaleidoscope and has served on the CSPA Planning & Development Committee.
Accustomed to singing for her supper, Mary received a Bachelor of Music degree from Columbia College. Over the past 36 years she has been actively involved in the arts communities in Alexandria, Virginia and Greenville where she has performed in over 75 stage, commercial, and musical productions. Mary has taught elementary and pre-school music, sang with chorales, and served on several arts boards. She is the immediate past Chair of the Greenville Theatre Board of Directors. Greenville audiences have seen her in lead roles at Greenville Theatre, Centre Stage, Warehouse Theatre, and the South Carolina Children's Theatre.
Mary and her husband Caleb are the developers for the Acadia community and the proud parents of adult sons John and Thomas Freeman. Fourteen years ago, Caleb and Mary started the GHS Dragon Boat Upstate Festival to raise money for cancer research and survivorship programs. Whether it's on the water or in the kitchen, Mary would like to honor all of the cancer survivors in her life. She dedicates her on stage CHOP! efforts in loving memory of her father, both grandfathers, dear friends, and other family members who have lost their battles with cancer.
Chef Francis Turck’s culinary career spans more than 25 years. He is an Honors graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and has trained under Michelin Star Chef Jean Gorges Vongeritchen and James Beard Award Winning Chef Larry Forgione. Chef Francis’ passion not only extends to food, but also to wine. He recently achieved his Certified Sommelier designation through the Court of Master Sommeliers. Currently, Chef Francis holds the position of Senior Executive Chef at The Cliffs luxury golf communities. In this position, he supports six other Executive Chefs and the diverse culinary programs across all seven of the Cliffs Communities. Chef Francis’ cuisine has been described as American with regional flair. He takes inspiration from local, seasonal ingredients and has worked to develop dishes that promote healthy living and wellness.
“I am honored to be a judge in this year’s CHOP! Cancer event to support the Cancer Survivor’s Park Alliance. My wife has been an oncology nurse for the past 17 years, and I am amazed by all the advancements made in cancer treatment over the years. This park is a wonderful addition to the downtown area and provides many great services for those affected by cancer”
Since 1981, Charles Brewer has worked at the Poinsett Club, and is currently enjoying his 37th year of service as Operations Manager and Wine Director. His responsibilities include management of all dining, beverage, and bar services, all service staff, wine dinners and tastings, and ensuring membership satisfaction. His first and only job has been at the Club where he began working at the age of 16 as the pot washer after school. Over the next 19 years, he was promoted from the steward to the chef gormange. Subsequently he became the Su-Chef where he won two medals in hot food competitions. In 1999, he was promoted to front of the house Dining Room Manager, a position he held for five years. In 2005, he became the Operations Manager and Wine Director at the Club.
In addition, Charles is a certified wine expert and has traveled extensively to the Carneros Wine Region including Sonoma, Napa, and Carmel, California, as well as France, Italy and Germany, to become more knowledgeable about wine. In 2008, he spent sixteen days on an educational trip to Europe. Future trips include Argentina, Australia, Chile, and Spain.
"I love what I do and bring an unrivaled energy with me everywhere I go. There's always a way to make it happen."
Chef Adam Hayes joined the Larkin's family in April of 2019 and has already been instrumental in adding depth to Larkin's culinary profile. His passion for creating amazing dishes and devotion to developing the culinary team are just a few characteristics that make him a valuable member of our leadership team.
Prior to joining Larkin's, Chef Hayes developed and honed an impressive resume including winning the Food Network's "Cutthroat Kitchen" and hosting two dinners for the James Beard Foundation. Additionally, he worked in several notable restaurants between North Carolina and Georgia including Red Stag Grill at the Grand Bohemian in Biltmore Village, Canyon Kitchen in Cashiers, N.C. and Barnsley Resort in Georgia.