About CIK

Chef/Owner, Josh Petty, was born in Burlington, NC and was brought up in a family that loved to cook. He developed an appreciation of cooking from his mother and grandmothers, from whom he learned and became passionate about food and the joy of serving others. Having a family garden, Josh also grew to appreciate the value of fresh vegetables and local products. Many of the dishes that appear on Chef Petty's menu come from old family recipes that he has re-created with his own twist. He is devoted to executing dishes using fresh local and North Carolina based products and services. Josh and his wife, Drea, strive to make Cast Iron Kitchen a community and family oriented restaurant that embodies “Southern hospitality” at its finest.


Cast Iron Kitchen opened Memorial Weekend 2016. After being open for one year CIK was awarded Best New Restaurant by Encore Magazine. Early in 2018 Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives asked CIK to be featured on their show. Along with the airing of DDD, CIK also won 3 best breakfast/brunch awards in local competitions. 2019 brought more Food Network with Josh and his dad, Wayne, competing on Guy's Grocery Games…2 times!!! 2020 has been the most challenging year yet. CIK won best Soul Food with Encore Best of Awards, Best Brunch with WWAY Viewer's Choice Awards, and Best Breakfast with Wilmington Magazine Reader's Choice Awards. We would love to celebrate but COVID-19 won't allow it.

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  • 2017 New Restaurant
  • 2018 Breakfast
  • 2019 Soulfood
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  • 2018 Best Sunday Brunch
  • 2020 Best Brunch
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  • 2 Time Winner Best Breakfast


Josh is a graduate of NC State University, with a Bachelor's Degree in History. He attended Johnson and Wales University in Charleston, SC and earned an Associate's Degree in Culinary Arts. After attending Johnson and Wales, he worked in Charleston learning from respected chefs and restaurant owners. Josh worked in restaurants in the Raleigh area and then became head chef at the Mad Boar in Wallace, NC at the age of 25. He worked as a private caterer in the Wilmington area and then ran, as executive chef, a very well known local cafe and pub. It was there that Chef Petty grew quite a following. After 8 years he left to fulfill his dream to open a Southern inspired restaurant and Cast Iron Kitchen was born.


Owner/General Manager, Drea Petty, was born in Des Moines, IA. She moved to Greensboro, NC in 1997. After high school Drea attended UNCG and worked a semester at the College Program at Walt Disney World where her knowledge for customer service grew and grew. Drea then attended Leon's Beauty School where she became a licensed Cosmetologist. After moving to Wilmington in 2003 Drea had a long and successful career in hairstyling. Drea and Josh met in 2006 and were married in 2008, they became parents to their daughter, Emerson, in 2012. After opening CIK in 2016 Drea realized she still had a passion for the restaurant business. At the end of 2018 Drea decided to close her salon business for good and be 100% involved at CIK. You can find Drea doing just about anything and everything at CIK.

Cast Iron Kitchen, located in the Porter's Neck area of Wilmington, NC, offers table service with a full bar and special brunch menus on the weekends as well as a unique Southern Deli. The menu items and ingredients are sourced using North Carolina businesses and farms across the state to promote growth in the NC economy.

CIK is an homage to Chef Petty's upbringing in a very traditional Southern family, paying tribute to the matriarchs of his family, from whom he learned to cook using fresh local ingredients. He became passionate about food and the joy of serving others. He recreates and re-invents his culinary memories by using the freshest local ingredients at the peak of their season in new, creative ways.



The many traditions of Southern food are deeply rooted in local, family farms that were often the backbone of communities and provided not only a source of income, but also the character and quality of the food that people ate. At Cast Iron Kitchen, we seek to carry on these traditions. We work with a variety of local farmers to bring you the highest quality, freshest ingredients from their farms to our tables.


8024 Market Street
Wilmington, NC


Wed - Sun: 8am - 2pm
Monday and Tuesday: CLOSED
Available for private parties or events Monday - Saturday 4 - 10pm