Chefs Richard and Ryan established Marrow in 2018 with a singular goal: to prepare and serve excellent cuisine while providing the most relaxed and carefree dining experience on the Emerald Coast. Whether you’re enjoying a simple, family-style table spread, a dinner party with a four course meal, a 10 course culinary extravaganza, or a catered event with 200 of your friends, you’ll find that the level of service, the attention to detail, and the passion for cuisine with the chefs of Marrow is second to none.
Meet our Chefs!
Chef Richard McCord
"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." -Virginia Woolf
Chef Richard has lived his entire life in the Southeast. From the Florida-Georgia line up to Tennessee through Alabama and back, he has always felt a strong pull from the Gulf of Mexico and the Emerald Coast. These experiences and cultures have shaped the foundation of the way he approaches food with a Gulf Coast rendition of feel-good cooking. There is a definite passion from low and slow on the BBQ pit accompanied by the enjoyment of finer things with everything from pulled pork sandwiches to gourmet cuisine.
With jobs from construction to sales, nothing seemed to fit. As it often seems to happen, tough times brought direction and clarity; while between jobs, Richard picked up a freelance opportunity at a restaurant and never looked back. Starting at the bottom and working his way up through the hierarchy of the kitchen, Richard found himself the head chef at a coastal restaurant. After grasping the requirements as a head chef, Richard's dedication allowed him to grow the restaurant while continuing to grow his love of food.
Chef Ryan McNay
"It was God who invented apples and oysters, and you can't improve on recipes like that, but as chefs it is our duty to try." -Jean Luc
The son of a chef father and a mother who managed restaurants, and having grown up next door to the kitchen of a family owned catering business - all right here in South Walton - one might say Ryan was bred to be a 30a chef.
Ryan started cooking professionally for Family Affair Catering at the ripe age of 9 years old, making chicken scampi & sweet and sour meatballs. 21 years and 85ish restaurant kitchens later, he found his true calling in the private dining world, and hasn't looked back since.
Having grown up here in South Walton, his style of cuisine is heavily influenced by coastal ingredients and tastes, but his roots in a large southern family bring all manner of southern tradition and flavor to bare in his food as well. After honing his skills at some of the area's most notable restaurants - including Cafe 30a, Bud & Alley's, and Stinky's to name a few - he brings all of that combined experience and knowledge to bare at Marrow Private Chefs.
Chef Chris Mongogna
"Don't eat to live. Live to eat." - Chris Rose
Chris grew up in Kenner, LA - right outside of New Orleans - and started cooking for his family for fun early on, but didn't turn pro until the age of 34 when he went to work at Restaurant Fire in New Orleans. When the restaurant relocated to South Walton in 2007, he moved here with it, as well as his two daughters, Karley & Sophia, and became the restaurant's Pastry Chef. Since then he has been the Chef/Owner of The Marigny Restaurant and the Sous Chef at Emeril's Coastal Italian.
Chris brings a wealth of knowledge about cajun & creole cuisine, a passion for food and life, and a positive, carefree spirit that daily continues to grow and expand the breadth and depth of Marrow.
Chef Joey Lee
"Food may be essential as fuel for the body, but good food is fuel for the soul" -Malcolm Forbes
Chef Joey has been a valued team member at several South Walton restaurants for many years as a talented, dedicated, and experienced...bartender. After many years of pouring drinks, he caught the cooking bug and decided he wanted to try his hand in the kitchen.
We couldn't be happier at Marrow that he's chosen to explore that new passion with us. Though his culinary journey has only recently begun, he has a hunger for knowledge, a dedication to the craft, a tireless energy, and a precise disposition that he's discovering are exceedingly useful tools in a chef's arsenal. And the more he learns, the more excited he gets, as do we along with him.
Chef Nicki Hibbard
"You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces - just cook good food from fresh ingredients." -Julia Child
Chef Nicki grew up a military brat, moving constantly from place to place. As such, her family was her real home, and one of the things that kept them close was always cooking together as a family - tasting and trying different foods and ingredients.
She turned pro at the age of 20, starting as a dish washer at Bonefish Grill in Panama City. With a tireless desire to learn, she worked her way up through the kitchen ranks, eventually becoming the restaurant's Culinary Manager, which presented her the opportunity to travel with the company and open new restaurant locations.
In the end, the pull she felt from the Emerald Coast was too strong, and she landed back on the beaches of 30a, where she continued to develop her craft and love of cooking at local spots like Whiskey Bravo, Fleming's Steak House, & The Wine Bar.
When she landed at Marrow, everything clicked. Now she shares her love of the area, her creativity, and her enduring desire to keep learning with our guests, providing a quintessential Marrow dining experience, which she loves every bit as much as they do.