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Our Story

Chef Inspired, Laid Back, Counter-Service...

Sea Chef Dockside Kitchen is a labor of love.  With their combined restaurant chef experience, the son and father team of Mac Buben and Jeffrey Buben have joined forces to bring a fun, casual, eating experience to the Outer Banks. 

Chef Mac grew up in the restaurant business with his dad and followed in his footsteps to graduate from The Culinary Institute of America.  With experience in such prestigious restaurants such as 

Le Bernardin, Restaurant Daniel, Jean Georges and The Inn at Little Washington, Mac was able to train with amazing chefs. After moving to the Outer Banks in 2019, his goal was to eventually combine his love of cooking with a mission to support local commercial fishing.

Mac is married to Lauren and has two children. In his spare time Mac enjoys fishing, crabbing and running guided waterfowl trips on his boat the Blind Luck during the winter months.

Chef Jeff has been in the restaurant business for over 45 years. He began his career working in New York at Le Cygne and Sign of the Dove among others. Jeff relocated to DC and worked for several restaurants before opening the award-winning Vidalia Restaurant with his wife Sallie where he won James Beard Best Chef Mid-Atlantic in 1999.

They opened Bistro Bis in 1998 which they closed in 2023 after 25 years to move to the Outer Banks.  Like countless others, fishing out of Oregon Inlet created many memories for the Bubens, adding to the excitement of opening a restaurant in the newly established building.

Both Mac and Jeff consider this a special opportunity to be able to cook again together and create this fun, casual, chef-driven seafood shack in the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center. They are both passionate, creative and stay up until the wee hours of the morning talking about the food and their vision.  Enjoy and please feel free to contact them directly if you have any comments.  They welcome your feedback.  There are a lot of moving parts within the new center and of course a lot of unknowns, so there will be changes along the way!