Get to Know Wild Common’s James Beard Award-Nominated Chef

Chef Orlando Pagan

Chef Orlando Pagán leads the distinguished culinary program as Executive Chef of Wild Common and our sister property, events venue, Cannon Green. Nominated for Best Chef Southeast by the James Beard Foundation, the team here at Wild Common believes he is the best Chef every single day. Get to know our talented and fun-loving Chef a little more.

Wild Common Chef Orlando Pagan

A Chef Is Born

Pagán grew up in Puerto Rico around food and always enjoyed cooking and experimenting in the kitchen. He started by cooking with his family and working in a restaurant as a busboy. He knew his dream of food was bigger than the island he was on and he would have to move where the best chefs trained and worked. After leaving home at 21 to attend Johnson & Wales University in Miami, he met his wife and started working at the Ritz Carlton Coconut Grove. Later, he headed to San Francisco to work as Chef de Partie at Michelin starred Gary Danko, Chef de Cuisine at Mandarin Oriental’s Silk, and Executive Chef at Michelin starred Ame and The Village Pub.

Wild Common Chef's Table

Anything But Common

After he and his wife, Nora, had children, Pagán wanted to get back to the East Coast to be closer to family. Drawn to the burgeoning culinary scene of the Lowcountry, Orlando found a new home for his family and his cooking in Charleston. He joined McCrady’s restaurant in 2017 starting as Chef de Cuisine under Chef Sean Brock who promoted him to Executive Chef a year later. He quickly caught the attention of Easton Porter Group (whose portfolio of Charleston properties includes Zero George Hotel and Zero Restaurant + Bar) who asked him to open the new Wild Common in 2019. The restaurant is now on the map as one of the city’s most delicious and adventurous tasting menus around. 

Wild Common Experience

Creating An Experience

Pagán’s cooking style is all about the senses and the experience. He wants you to be hit with a nice aroma as the plate heads to your table and for your eyes to feast and your mouth to salivate as the plate is set down in front of you. And of course, he wants you to love what you’re tasting. After leaving the table, Chef Orlando wants you to remember the experience Bringing unforgettable experiences onto a plate is his true passion and life’s work.

Wild Common

Follow the Leader

As a boss, Pagán believes in leading by example. Early in his career, he heard many head chefs yelling and making a scene, inevitably causing trouble for their kitchen staff.  Chef Orlando knew that he wanted to do things differently when he became an Executive Chef as he firmly believes that a team can’t succeed if they don’t feel safe. So, he walks into his kitchen with a calm and easy-going demeanor, making sure his team knows he’s with them in the thick of it and he doesn’t ask anyone to do anything he wouldn’t do himself. A true teammate and leader in all respects.

Chef Orlando Pagan

No Place Like Home

In his kitchen at home, you can find Pagán cooking with lots of vegetables and very little fat. He is a big advocate of clean eating saying that if you’re nervous to start cooking for yourself, you just have to try and make it fun. Start with a simple whole chicken, put a lemon inside, sprinkle some thyme, and roast it. Don’t worry about making mistakes, that’s how you learn! Outside of the kitchen, you can find Pagán spending time with his wife and kids and playing golf.

Reserve Your Seat at Pagán’s Chef’s Table Today

Chef Orlando Pagan
Get to Know Wild Common’s James Beard Award-Nominated Chef

Chef Orlando Pagán leads the distinguished culinary program as Executive Chef of Wild Common and our sister property, events venue, Cannon Green. Nominated for Best Chef Southeast by the James Beard Foundation, the team here at Wild Common believes he is the best Chef every single day. Get to know our talented and fun-loving Chef…

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Dining for Jazz at Wild Common

Join us on Sunday, November 7th at 7:00 PM for a cocktail reception while enjoying a jazz performance by vocalist Alva Anderson, followed by a seated multi-course menu with wine pairings prepared by Executive Chef Orlando Pagan. Dinner tickets are $265 and are all inclusive for dinner, drinks, tax + gratuity. Click here for ticket information! Wild…

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Chef Collaboration Dinner Series: Wild Common X Mansueta’s

Join us at Wild Common for our First Chef’s Collaboration Dinner featuring Chef Nikko Cagalanan of Mansueta’s Filipino Food. Enjoy a feast of combined cuisine and unique flavor. The five-course dinner will weave together Chef Orlando Pagan’s fine dining cuisine of Wild Common with the refined flavors of Chef Nikko Cagalanan’s Filipino Food. About Chef…

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Wild Common X Freemark Abbey Cooking School

Watch and Learn from our Culinary Team and Barry Dodds of Freemark Abbey on Wednesday, April 28th! Your evening will begin with the clink of a champagne glass in our courtyard, with canapés to snack on. Following the welcome toast, you will have exclusive access to our Chef’s Counter for a cooking demonstration. Here, you’ll…

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Wild Common X Indigenous Selections Cooking School

Watch and learn from our Culinary Team and David Dubou of Indigenous Selections about the art of cooking and how to successfully pair your meal with Italian wine on Wednesday, April 7th. Your evening will begin with the clink of a champagne glass in our courtyard, with canapés to snack on. Following the welcome toast,…

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Cooking class
Wild Common X Revana Family Vineyards Cooking School

Join us & The Revana Family Vineyards for an intimate night of delicious wine & food pairings on Wednesday, March 24th. Beginning with canapés and cocktails in our courtyard, you’ll enjoy your first course under the Charleston night-sky. Next, you’ll be seated at the Chef’s Counter to watch and learn from our Culinary and Beverage…

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Valentine's Day Turtles
Valentine’s Day Weekend 2021

Love is in the air, and our heaters are lit to keep you warm! Come celebrate Valentine’s Weekend with the one(s) you love– including us. What better way to treat yourself (or others!) than a delicious night out in one of Charleston’s most picturesque venues! Our family at Wild Common invites you to indulge with…

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Truffle Weekend 2021 – January 22nd & 24th

The most sought after culinary treat is back! Join us for the first of the 2021 season’s truffles on Friday, January 22nd and Sunday, January 24th. Chef Orlando Pagán has prepared an delicious five-course menu, highlighting the most decadent aspects of the truffle. Additionally, our team has curated an (optional) list of wine pairings to…

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restaurant week 2021
Charleston Restaurant Week 2021

Treat yourself to an out-of-the-house adventure this winter season, and join us at Wild Common for Charleston Restaurant Week Thursday, January 7th through Sunday, January 17th! Chef Orlando has prepared a delicious 4-course Tasting Menu for $55 per person, including local favorites like the Seared Diver Scallops and our delicious Milk Chocolate Marquise. Come for the…

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steamed buns
Wild Common Reopening 10/14

Wild Common is reopening for dinner service on Wednesday, October 14th with indoor and outdoor (safely spaced) dining options. Chef Orlando has created a wildly delicious 4-course Tasting Menu for $65 per person with classic wine pairings for $55 per person. The Chef’s Counter is also available for limited seating, so don’t miss out our…

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