Rob McDaniel

Rob McDaniel under a portrait of his grandmother, Helen
Title: Recipe Developer and Chef
Education: Auburn University, New England Culinary Institute
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Expertise: Meat, Hunting, Fishing , Foraging, Cooking

Rob McDaniel has developed a passion for Southern foods, foraging, and sustainability that has evolved into the culinary style that he is known for today. His philosophy of respecting the land and using it as inspiration is showcased through his dedication to simple recipes enhanced by flavorful ingredients. McDaniel is a five-time James Beard Foundation Best Chef: South semifinalist (2013-2017), and was honored as Auburn University’s 2012 Outstanding Hotel and Restaurant Management Program Alumnus.


  • Frequently published in local, regional, and national media including Food & Wine, Condé Nast Traveler, Esquire, Forbes, Garden & Gun, and StyleBlueprint 
  • McDaniel attended Auburn University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant management
  • McDaniel studied at the New England Culinary Institute, and honed his knowledge of and appreciation for sustainable cooking and became an advocate for supporting local farmers and preserving regional resources.
  • McDaniel is a five-time James Beard Semi-finalist nominee


In his previous positions, McDaniel worked under prestigious chefs such as Johnny Earles at Criolla’s in Grayton Beach, Florida; Chris Hastings at Hot & Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, Alabama; and Drew Robinson at Jim ‘N Nick’s BBQ in Birmingham, Alabama. In 2009, McDaniel accepted the position of executive chef for the soon-to-debut SpringHouse restaurant.  


McDaniel attended Auburn University, where he decided to pursue this passion as a career and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant management. After graduating, McDaniel headed north to Montpelier, Vermont, where he studied at the New England Culinary Institute. 

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