Chef David Crews
David Crews started his culinary journey over 15 years ago at Airport Grocery in Cleveland, Mississippi, mostly as a way to get off the family farm. What started out as just a job slowly turned into a career, then an absolute love affair with food. After more than two years at Airport Grocery, an opportunity to move to KC’s Restaurant—a AAA Four Diamond restaurant—opened, he jumped at the chance. It was at KC’s where he had his first look at fine dining and where he decided to make food his life.
He enrolled in the Culinary Arts Institute at Mississippi University for Women, where he graduated at the top of his class with a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts. While in school, Crews was fortunate to be able to train and work with the late Chef Joseph Broussard of J. Broussard’s, where he studied the art of New Orleans cuisine, large-scale butchery and kitchen productivity. Upon graduation, he was recruited by the Viking Range Corporation as a product test chef, and within a year, he was promoted to executive chef and director of food and beverage at Viking’s new hotel, The Alluvian.
In 2004, Crews started Crews Culinary Investments, a private dining and consulting business, which over the next few years developed a following that was receptive to his creative look on the culinary world. It was this creative look that opened the door for his invitation to prepare a course for an Outstanding in the Field dinner hosted by Chef John Currence (Best Chef: South 2009, James Beard). It also caught the eye of local restaurant owner Andrew Westerfield of Crawdad’s in Merigold. In 2005, Crews took over the reins of Crawdad’s—a 300-seat steak house—and over the next few years led Crawdad’s to numerous awards such as Best Restaurant, Best Steakhouse and countless others.