Mingling European and Southern flavors was a relatively novel idea along the Grand Strand
when Heidi Vukov moved to South Carolina in 1992 and, subsequently, opened Croissants Bistro & Bakery
. Though pastries and lunch were the focal point when the enterprise began in 1995, she soon went full throttle and developed a comprehensive menu influenced by French and Lowcountry cuisines and expanded to two locations in Myrtle Beach. Today, the restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, while the bakery showcases Vukov's masterful pastry skills. Vukov's latest venture is a new restaurant that takes full advantage of South Carolina's rich coastline with a menu bursting with fresh, luscious seafood. And you'll find some scrumptious sweets available too when you visit Hook & Barrel
Her contributions to creating a vibrant coastal culinary scene has earned Vukov a place on the 2018 South Carolina Chef Ambassador roster. An initiative begun by former Gov. Nikki Haley, each year four chefs from across the state are selected to promote South Carolina's culinary heritage and local food culture through cooking demonstrations, guest appearances and educational programs.
Vukov's many successes have more than prepared her for the challenge. Croissants remains distinguished among the state's coastal eateries, making dedicated fans of locals and tourists, alike. In 2011, the South Carolina Hospitality Association honored Vukov by naming her South Carolina Restaurateur of the Year. She went on to co-found the Coastal Uncorked Food & Wine Festival and wrote a popular cookbook based on her European/Southern fusion recipes, aptly titled, "Bonjour, Y'all." Most recently, she opened a new Myrtle Beach eatery, Hook & Barrel, with a focus on sustainable seafood and local produce, as well as a second location of Croissants.
Inspired by the dishes that issued from her grandmother's kitchen in Germany, the Pennsylvania-born Vukov has enriched the coastal culinary scene with her love for European and Southern foods. Here, she shares a bit of her remarkable story.