Hailing from Forest, Virginia, Chef Wykle grew up in a family deeply rooted in the tastes and traditions of the South. His true passion for music led him to the school of journalism at The University of Mississippi. There he explored the Delta, including the blues music culture and foods native to Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. Working at the renowned City Grocery in Oxford, Chef Wykle gained recognition for his developing talents. Ultimately becoming consumed by the food world of the South, he changed his major and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Family & Consumer Sciences, with an emphasis in Hotel & Restaurant Management.

Chef Wykle migrated back to the Virginia food scene, following graduation from Ole Miss in 2005. He resided in Charlottesville, which was evolving into an epicenter for edgy restaurants and winemaking. Chef Wykle played an integral role in seeing through The Clifton Inn’s induction into The Relais & Châteaux. He also held the position of Chef de Cuisine at Farmington Country Club, which consistently ranks as one of the top five country clubs in the nation. He was progressively drawn to the salty waters of Virginia Beach, where his dear parents grew up and were married, and relocated to Tidewater in 2009.

While in Hampton Roads, Chef Wykle has honed both his culinary and leadership abilities. He had the honor of opening two restaurants in the region, cooking at the famous James Beard House in New York City, and currently leading the kitchen at acclaimed Zoës Steak and Seafood. Chef Wykle has been a devoted participant in numerous charities, including the Chesapeake Bay Wine Classic, Southern Foodways Alliance (founded at Ole Miss), Toby’s Dream, and Seton House. He has become skilled in the craft of charcuterie and organic gardening, and has earned his level one sommelier certification, further sharpening an already keen ability to pair food and wine. In 2011 he married his supportive wife, Ashley, and has since welcomed two precious sons, 4-year-old August and infant son, Judson.

December 2014 Virginia Pilot Restaurant Review | New chef, same paradise at Zoës