Leigh Talmadge has been in the food and
beverage industry since he was in High School in New Jersey. Upon
moving to Columbia he began working at the Le Petit Chateau. He
then moved to Sausalito California and became a chef at Richardson's
on the bay, but he just couldn't stay away from South Carolina.
Returning to Columbia he went back to cooking at Le Petit Chateau
until the original owner sold it in 1980. Developing a palette for
fine wines Leigh began working for Associated Wines and then Southern
Wine & Spirits in the Myrtle Beach (Grand Strand) area where
he spent fourteen years as the Branch Manager before he opened Hampton
Bill Murphy's initial foray into the restaurant
business was less than glamorous, while dropping a girlfriend off
at work he was asked if he could fill in for a no-show dishwasher.
He did and after three years and now the sous chef, the business
was sold and he lit out for Mexico where he spent the following
year studying the Aztec culture and conquest by Spain. Broke and
unpublished he wandered up to Reno and was accepted into an apprentice
program at the newly opened MGM Grand. There he cooked omelets for
showgirls and croupiers in the employee cafeteria, haute cuisine
for the Shah of Iran in the prestigious Gigi's and anything else
needed for the hotels seven other restaurants. He returned to Columbia
and worked under Malcom Hudson digesting the historic foundations
and intricacies of French cuisine. After a couple of years working
the seasonal resort circuit he was named chef de cuisine of a small
hotel with large aspirations before he was appointed personal Chef
to Governors Riley and Campbell. But as a reporter longs to write
the Great American Novel so does a chef want to open the Great American
Restaurant and with that he opened a small French restaurant for
five years in Camden where he was recognized by numerous national
publications. After a stint at a country club to work on his newly
found passion but unable to break 80 he and Leigh Talmadge along
with Paul Pittenger gave birth to Hampton Street Vineyard.
Hampton Street Vineyard has developed an
extensive wine list (hence the name), which is always changing to
accommodate the different trends in the wine industry. The Vineyard
has received the "Best of Award of Excellence" for South
Carolina from the Wine
Spectator Magazine for the last five years. This international
award was bestowed to only three restaurants in South Carolina and
less than 400 restaurants worldwide.
Some of the artists and wine dignitaries
who have dined with us include Guy Buffet, Jean
Eve Pecota, Mark
Davis (winemaker from Schramberry), Rob
Hunter (winemaker from Sterling Vineyards) and Marcia
Mondavi to name a few.
Thank you again and please ask to be included
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e-mail notifications for our wine dinners and other special events.