Newton and I recently had lunch at The Cookery, a new restaurant in Nashville. If you haven’t been to this place yet, you need to check it out. This restaurant is owned by Brett Swayn and Terry Kemper and is one of my new favorite places to visit. There are a number of things that make this place extraordinary.
The FoodThere are so many incredible dishes, and Newton and I will be going back to try them all. The menu selections provide a nice variety and include salads like the Rockin Moroccan Chicken Salad. It had tender pieces of juicy chicken browned in Moroccan spices and served with an almond relish and fresh oranges mixed in with the greens. Even the dressing was freshly made and delicious. We also tried the Down Under Blunder burger which is incredible with or without the grilled Pineapple. For those of you on a low carb diet there are lettuce wraps, such as cajun whitefish lettuce wraps (which I’m going to try next). They also serve coffee and smoothies if you're just looking for a snack or a place to hold a casual business meeting. The desserts look awesome, too.
The PeopleThe staff are extremely friendly and personable. It’s not unusual for the chef to come out and talk with customers to share the story of how this restaurant came to be. It’s a beautiful story, too.
The PurposeThis is related to Brett’s story. The Cookery is part of Lambscroft Ministries and is a training facility for teaching culinary skills to the homeless. The program works with these individuals to help them off the street. As he will tell you if you go there, Brett spent four months on the street and eventually recovered his life when he was given a job at Fleming’s Steak House. Eventually Brett trained, became a sous chef and went on to train other chefs for Fleming's. If you have a moment, take the time to read more about Brett’s story on the website — or better yet, visit The Cookery and listen to him tell it himself. The passage below is from their website and describes their purpose:
"Our aim, however, is to re-establish identity and sense of purpose and destiny. If we can help break cycles of hopelessness, bad choices and regret, while loving and teaching… we may have students who will not only secure jobs, but also be confident to enter relationships with their communities once again."
The Atmosphere.The Cookery has a very positive atmosphere. As soon as you walk in the door you feel surrounded by hope. Brett believes in miracles and saw many of them while he was on the streets of Nashville. The Cookery is a place of hope. What’s more important is that these things are real at The Cookery.
Newton’s AssessmentThere’s not much evil to hunt down at The Cookery, which is okay because not having to work frees up a gargoyle’s time so that he can spend more of it eating. Newton is, after all, a foodie who enjoys a good meal. Newton also reports that while the Lion in the picture below is a pleasant chap, he’s not much of a conversationalist.
Read more about the story of the Cookery here.
And follow them on Facebook here.