14 15 www.htcinc.net | Spring 2017 Spring 2017 | www.htcinc.net Some people feel they must travel to Paris or New York for world- class dining, but Lowcountry locals need only journey to a Little River neighborhood just off of Highway 17. The Brentwood Restaurant & Wine Bistro offers a menu that fuses traditional French flavors with local, fresh ingredients and seafood. Housed in a beautiful Victorian home, the elegant restaurant is surrounded by a lawn of freshly cut grass and guarded by decades-old oak trees. Hanging ferns adorn the porch like earrings; the archway is blanketed in vines. Little River has owner and chef Eric Masson to thank for this Grand Strand gem. Originally from Brittany, France, Eric’s passion for cooking — planted and nurtured by his grandmother — blossomed from a young age. He explains his story in a voice that is elegant and warm, dripping with a subtle accent that could make just about anything sound appetizing. Though his English is flawless, the softened “s” sounds and melodic rhythm of his tone deliver poetic symbolism between his history and the exotic fare he serves here in the South. The Brentwood BRINGING THE TO THE Lowcountry Flavors of France “I got started early,” Eric says. “I come from a big family, and there was always lots of food around — great pastry, bread, oysters and duck.” Eric started working in a restaurant when he was only 13. Later, he received his first and second culinary diplomas in Brittany, and then completed a third degree in Paris. After working in London and Paris restaurants, he knew he needed to expand his education to include the other facets of owning a restaurant — things like human resources, accounting, marketing and an extensive knowledge of wine. He perfected these skills at the The Brentwood Restaurant & Wine Bistro has won many awards over the years, including “Best French,” “Best Service,” “Chef of the Year,” “Most Romantic Restaurant” and “Best New Wedding Venue” from a variety of local publications and media outlets. Notably, Chef Eric Masson won first place at the 2011 and 2012 Coastal Uncorked Iron Chef competitions in Myrtle Beach, S.C.