Beau Owens

Executive Chef

Beau Owens joined the bustling kitchen of The Lazy Goat as Executive Chef in 2019, bringing his extensive knowledge and flavor profiles to the restaurant’s unique Mediterranean menu.

A South Carolina native, Beau was raised in Columbia where he first got his introduction to the restaurant business at the age of 14.  Working as a host, he learned the business “from the ground up” and knew that he wanted to focus on culinary arts.  He headed to Johnson and Wales University in Charleston, SC, after high school where he earned his associates degree.  He continued his formal education at the University of South Carolina, earning a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Tourism Management.

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While in school, Beau gained invaluable experience working at Auberge Resorts at The Inn at Palmetto Bluff.  Three years later, he moved to Columbia and accepted the position of Executive Chef at The Members Club of WildeWood and Woodcreek.  He was enticed back to the coast to work as part of the opening team for the 200-room hotel, Montage Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton, SC, and was later promoted to Chef de Cuisine where he led the opening of the resort’s restaurant, Coles.  In May, 2019, Beau moved to Greenville to be closer to family and accepted the position of Executive Chef with Table 301 and The Lazy Goat.

Beau’s culinary passion stems from his love for creating and sharing delicious meals with family and friends.  He embraces this same passion in his professional career, whether he’s serving guests in the restaurant, catering a special celebration on The Lazy Goat outdoor patio or planning and preparing dinner for a 200-guest wedding party.  Providing dining experiences that exceed the guest’s expectations is the key.

During his spare time, Beau enjoys spending time with his fiancée, Stephanee and their three children.  He also holds a 3-degree blue belt in Jiu-Jitsu and is an avid football fan – rooting for his alma mater University of South Carolina’s Gamecocks and the Dallas Cowboys.

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Ken Preston

General Manager, The Lazy Goat

 

A native of Riverside County, CA, Ken Preston got his start in the restaurant profession as a server assistant and worked his way up the ladder. He was attending college studying business when he moved into management with The Old Spaghetti Factory and Buca di Beppo, and it was here that he discovered his real passion for the hospitality industry.

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A position with Darden Restaurant Group and Yard House allowed him to travel across the country helping to open new locations.  When his extended family began to move away from the west coast, he requested a transfer “as far east” as possible.  In 2015, he landed in Greenville, SC, (sight unseen!) and soon after was offered a general manager position with Mac’s Speed Shop.  In 2019, he joined the Table 301 team working first at Soby’s and now as general manager of The Lazy Goat, where he oversees all operations and associates.

For Ken, the experience is what it’s all about.  “I’m driven to offer guests a memorable dining experience – from the moment they walk through the door everything should be unforgettable in the best of ways.”

One of Ken’s interests and longtime goals is to become a Certified Cicerone or beer expert.  He was able to teach beer classes at some of his past jobs and continues to build his knowledge about the brewing industry.  When he’s not working, he’s tackling his “honey-do” list at home with his wife, Becca, and spending time with their two children.  He loves playing guitar and, on occasion, stretching out for a long nap on the couch.

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Matthew Ballaro

Sous Chef

 

As a Sous Chef at The Lazy Goat, Matthew Ballaro is in the kitchen daily creating new menu items and features, assisting with the ordering process, scheduling and preparing delicious Mediterranean dishes for guests.

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Born in Charlotte, NC, Matthew moved to Greenville, SC, at age 15 where he attended Riverside High School.  After studying business at Greenville Technical College, he took some time off and headed to Charleston where he became involved in the restaurant business.  The restaurant industry wasn’t something new to Matthew.  His father was a chef, and he grew up spending a lot of time in the kitchen with his dad who gave him his first cookbook at age 6 and liked to ask him, “What part of the world do you want to eat tonight?”

In 2015, Matthew and his future wife made a move back to Greenville where Table 301’s The Lazy Goat hired him as a line cook.  His passion for cooking intensified and he started to develop his own personal style by researching new trends, recipes and observing other chefs various culinary techniques. His hard work soon earned him a promotion to Sous Chef.  Matthew now enjoys crafting his skills taking traditional dishes and adding his distinctive twist, much to the delight of The Lazy Goat’s guests.

Outside of work, Matthew and his wife Katie (also in the restaurant business) like to spend time with their pets, as well as hiking, visiting art galleries and museums, and eating at new restaurants where he is always looking for new inspiration!