David Vagasky and Mark Gray

David Vagasky and Mark Gray

Chefs Mark Gray and David Vagasky have a storied history in the culinary world both regionally and nationally. 

Combining over 30 years of experience in industry, crossing paths initially at the Greenbrier Hotel, they have found a kinship in culinary pursuits, most notably in the word of chocolate. 

Chef Mark Gray

Mark began his career at the Greenbrier Hotel in the late 1970s. After completing his degree at the hotel’s culinary academy, Mark ultimately went on to develop and implement the Hotel’s retail and mail order chocolate and confectionery programs which continue to this day.

From 1984-1996, Mark operated Cacao’s Handmade Chocolates in Charleston, South Carolina, serving a dedicated local group of patrons while receiving national notoriety in cities and organizations across the country. A testament to the level of product quality, Cacao’s realized distribution in major retailers Saks Fifth Avenue and I. Magnin as well as reached the rare distinction of Cacao’s chocolate being served in the White House. 

Since that time Mark has continued to hone his craft through private engagements and requests made on behalf of the many followers he gained over the years in addition to conducting classes and seminars on chocolate. Realizing a desire to move back into chocolate-making full-time, Mark came full circle and reformed his partnership and business with Chef Vagasky in 2013.

Chef David Vagasky

David's career started unassumingly in the culinary arts, quickly rising to a level of mastery of his craft and different disciplines within. 

During his studies at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), he completed his externship at The Greenbrier Hotel. It was at The Greenbrier that David trained under Chef Gray and ultimately joined him in successfully operating Cacao’s in Charleston for over 10 years.

Carrying on with his culinary pursuits, David opened St. Johns Island Café on Johns Island, South Carolina, in 1989. The restaurant gained a loyal following and positive reputation once again demonstrating David’s commitment to the culinary arts. 

In 2005 David left the restaurant business to continue passing on his craft through teaching at Culinary Institute of Charleston at Trident Technical College. In addition, David successfully operated David’s Confections until the advent of Cacao’s Artisans Chocolate and its sister operation, Charleston Chocolatiers.