Chef Kyle McKnight’s need for new sneakers landed him in a restaurant – and he’s been running around in kitchens ever since. As a teen, the Woodbridge, Virginia native needed money for a pair of Adidas and landed a job washing dishes in a local restaurant. Two decades later, the Johnson and Wales graduate continues to earn his stripes with a scrappy, can-do attitude.
McKnight’s culinary career includes stints in Europe, Charleston, Miami, St.
John, and Argentina, and he’s cooked with acclaimed New York restauranteur
Tom Colicchio, legendary Charleston chefs Frank Lee and Phil Corr, his childhood best friend, D.C.’s Chris Edwards, and some French guy. Under McKnight’s direction as Executive Chef at Highland Avenue, Southern Living named the Hickory, N.C. farm-to-fork restaurant as one of “The South’s Best Restaurants” in 2015.
In his newest venture as Director of Food Operations for Durham-based Fullsteam Brewery, Kyle combines his love for local food systems with his passion for fostering true community. His commitment to local farms and seasonal cooking is a perfect match for Fullsteam’s “plow to pint” ethos. In fact, Kyle and Sean first met at the 2013 Good Food Awards: Kyle for his Iberico Americana long leg ham, and Sean for First Frost, Fullsteam’s foraged persimmon ale.