Nashville native Adam Close began his career in the restaurant industry as a line cook while working towards a degree in criminal justice from the University of Tennessee. It was fast-paced environment of the restaurant industry that attracted Close to the kitchen, and as he sharpened his skills, his passion for cooking emerged. After deciding to pursue the culinary field full-time, Close headed east to attend Johnson & Wales University in Charleston, S.C. During this time, he began a three-year position as a line cook at Magnolias, part of a family of restaurants owned and managed by Hospitality Management Group, Inc. that also includes Cypress and Blossom.
Close left Charleston in 2003 to train in the Atlanta kitchens of two of Buckhead Life Restaurant Group's top venues, the four-star, four-diamond flagship restaurant Pano's & Paul's, and the highly praised Italian venture, Veni, Vidi, Vici. Under Pano's & Paul's renowned chef Gary Donalick, Close's palate evolved and he developed his ability to highlight ingredients’ natural flavors by enhancing them with simple preparations and flavor profiles.
After three years in Atlanta, Close was drawn back to the Lowcountry by the burgeoning culinary community and its growing commitment to sustainable seafood and local harvests. As executive chef at Blossom, Close has the opportunity to focus on ingredients and delight diners at one of Charleston’s favorite restaurants.
Close escapes the heat of the kitchen by spending free time outside, where he enjoys hunting and fishing. He also unwinds with music and is an accomplished banjo player. As an avid NFL fan, Close loves cooking BBQ tailgate fare such as ribs, wings and whole pigs.
Andrea Upchurch, a South Carolina native, has always had a passion for food and art. Her interest in cooking led her to the Culinary Institute of Charleston, where she developed a passion for pastry and graduated with associate degrees in both Culinary Arts and Hospitality and Tourism Management.
After a variety of positions throughout the Lowcountry, she joined Cypress and Magnolias as an Assistant Pastry Chef in 2005. Upchurch is currently the executive pastry chef at Magnolias, Blossom, Cypress & Artisan Meat Share where she oversees the production and menu develop of pastries.
Upchurch has a B.A. in Arts Management and Business from the College of Charleston. During her time there, she also worked with Eye Level Art, a contemporary art gallery. She maintains her love for art through volunteering with a variety of arts organizations throughout our community.