Charlotte A. Jenkins grew up in Awendaw, South Carolina. She started cooking at the age of 9. Charlotte attended Johnson & Wales University’s School of Culinary Arts and after graduating in 1988, she started her own catering business. In 1995, Charlotte opened her restaurant, Gullah Cuisine; it later closed in 2014. In 2010, she published her cookbook, Gullah Cuisine: By Land and by Sea.