2018 Charlotteans of the Year: Greg and Subrina Collier

BEWILDERMENT replaces chef Greg Collier’s signature smile. Usually, his voice rings out with laughter in the kitchen, no matter how busy it is. But not this time. He tosses the light red watermelon Italian ice into a trash can. He knew one of his diners had a gluten allergy, but he didn’t realize the person also had a melon allergy.

He pours a plate full of peaches into a fancy blender to make a peach Italian ice.

“You gotta figure shit out on the fly,” Greg says, as he tackles the next food order inside the kitchen of Loft & Cellar.

Tonight is especially busy at the uptown restaurant where he recently became executive chef. There’s a high school reunion on the main level and a WNBA player’s birthday party on the top floor of the three-story restaurant. The kitchen is low on biscuits and pancakes, but Greg doesn’t worry.

Figuring stuff out is a specialty of Greg and Subrina Collier, the husband and wife partners who opened The Yolk restaurant in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and helped to start Soul Food Sessions, the popular pop-up dinner series that celebrates and supports people of color in the restaurant industry.

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