TANDY WILSON, CITY HOUSE, NASHVILLE
Tandy Wilson opened City House in Nashville’s historic Germantown district in December 2007. Offering dishes that feature quality, local ingredients and hand-cured meats, City House has emerged as one of the bright stars in Nashville’s local restaurant scene. After graduating from Scottsdale Culinary Institute and working under the direction of Chef Nate Appleman at Tra Vigne in California, Wilson left to explore the cuisine and regional cooking of Italy. He returned to Tennessee in 2005, working for two years as sous chef for Margot McCormack at Margot Café and Bar. Tandy is a member of the Southern Foodways Alliance and has been a James Beard Foundation nominee every year since opening City House. In 2013, 2014 and 2015 he was a JBF Semifinalist for Best Chef Southeast.
KARL WORLEY, BISCUIT LOVE, NASHVILLE
Karl Worley received his culinary degree from Johnson & Wales University in 2010. After spending time in the kitchens of Rioja in Denver, he further developed his passion for sustainable agriculture and farm-to-table restaurants while working for the Coon Rock Farm in NC. Together with his wife Sarah, he founded Biscuit Love (Truck) in 2012, offering an assortment of southern menu options sourced from local purveyors and farms. The Worley’s re-envisioned their food truck concept and opened a brick and mortar Biscuit Love restaurant earlier this year. Their menu and offerings have expanded significantly, yet they are still committed to sourcing locally.
SEAN BROCK, HUSK, NASHVILLE
Chef Sean Brock attended Johnson & Wales University and worked in acclaimed restaurants throughout the South before accepting a position with the Neighborhood Dining Group (NDG) as executive chef at McCrady’s in Charleston in 2006. In 2010, Brock opened Husk, also in Charleston and named “Best New Restaurant in America” by Bon Appétit in 2011, followed by Husk Nashville in 2013, named one of “12 Most Outstanding Restaurants” by GQ and one of “America’s Best New Restaurants” by Esquire in 2014. Husk is a celebration of Southern ingredients, only serving food that is indigenous to the South, with an emphasis on the ingredients and the people who grow them. In October 2014, Brock opened Minero in Charleston, inspired by the flavors and culture of Mexico, and Minero Atlanta will open spring 2015. Brock won the James Beard Award for “Best Chef Southeast” in 2010, and was a finalist for “Outstanding Chef” in 2013, 2014, and 2015. He hosted season two of Anthony Bourdain’s “The Mind of a Chef” on PBS, for which he was nominated for an Emmy. His first cookbook, Heritage (Artisan Books), was released in October 2014 and is a New York Times bestseller. Brock divides his time between Charleston and Nashville.
LEVON WALLACE, COCHON BUTCHER, NASHVILLE
Levon Wallace is a California native and graduate of the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. His culinary skills earned him recognition from Zagat and the Los Angeles Times and garnered AAA Four and Five Diamond Restaurant Awards for Maravilla at the Ojai Valley Inn. Switching to the Atlantic coast as Executive Chef in some of New England’s most prestigious restaurants and resorts, he focused on reinventing classic New England flavors. He then became executive chef at Proof on Main in Louisville’s 21c Museum Hotel. Earlier this year, Wallace came to Nashville to be the chef at Cochon Butcher, opening in Germantown.
ROB NEWTON, WILMA JEAN, BROOKLYN
Rob Newton is an Arkansas native with an impressive resume that includes Tabla, Aquavit and Le Cirque. Newton then became the chef and co-owner of Seersucker in Brooklyn, which now houses his Vietnamese restaurant, Nightingale 9, and is also co-owner of Smith Canteen coffee shop. Inspired by all things seasonal and Southern, Newton’s latest venture is Wilma Jean, named afterRob’s grandmother. Located in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, Wilma Jean specializes in fried chicken, burgers and comfort food classics.
SCOTT WITHEROW, OLIVE AND SINCLAIR, NASHVILLE
Scott Witherow is the founder/owner/maker of Olive and Sinclair, Tennessee’s first and only bean-to-bar chocolate company. After working in the food industry since age 14 and spending time in various restaurants in Nashville, around the country and in England, he began his focused adventure with chocolate in 2007. Within two years, Witherow created Southern Artisan Chocolate™ and continued experimenting, testing, designing and perfecting his bean-to-bar process before finally building his factory located in the heart of East Nashville.