David Carson developed his love of cooking with his grandmother, Mary Ellen Babcock, making the simple food of childhood: banana and brown breads, casseroles, bubble bread, and cream of wheat. He turned that love into a profession when at 17, taking his first job as a grill cook at Orlando, Florida restaurant Max’s. It was there, working alongside Chefs Rocky Tarantello and Matthew Alexander, that Carson added a serious respect to his love for the craft of culinary arts.
From Florida, Carson worked his way through kitchens in New Jersey, Vermont, and Knoxville before heading to South Carolina to solidify his culinary education at Johnson & Wales. After graduating in 2001, Carson led a successful culinary team at Vintage Restaurant as executive sous chef, eventually moving on to become a chef and leading saucier at the Zinc Bistro & Bar on the Charleston Harbor. Carson also helped create an eclectic, seasonally inspired global menu at Tristan, which earned the restaurant the AAA Four Diamond Award.
From South Carolina, Carson headed to Atlanta, where he took a position with Clifford Harrison and 2007 Atlanta Rising Star Mentor Chef Anne Quatrano at Bacchanalia. In the days before farm-to-table was de rigueur for responsible chefs, Carson worked with Quatrano to bring in whole animals, finding creative ways to use every part on their menu. And after working through the ranks of one of Atlanta’s most renowned kitchens, Carson has not only become head chef at Bacchanalia, he’s also one of chef Quatrano’s most celebrated protégés (as well as a StarChefs.com 2012 Atlanta Rising Stars Chef)—though some credit, no doubt, is due to his grandmother.