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Chicago Chef Duncan Biddulph Looks to Put Down Roots in Nashville

He and his wife will both be working full time at soon-to-open Fifty First Kitchen and Bar.

Soon-to-open Fifty First Kitchen and Bar.
Soon-to-open Fifty First Kitchen and Bar.
Eater Nashville

Back at the beginning of January, Eater Chicago broke the news that veteran chef Duncan Biddulph would be leaving town and heading south to Nashville with his new bride. Other than that, not much else was known about his departure or what he would be doing in Nashville. But now Eater has caught up with him to see what he's been up to, and what he might have planned for the future.

On the reason for the move, Biddulph says that he and his wife Amber came down to Nashville for a weekend to visit. The chef had actually spent time here earlier in life, attending Pearl Cohn High School, and his mother owned the now-shuttered Lower Broadway music club Maggie Magee's. After seeing how the town had changed, they decided that "it would be cool to start fresh in a new city." So the former chef of popular Chicago restaurants Lula Cafe, Rootstock and most recently Kinmont, left the latter position on Jan.17, and the two moved to Nashville in February.

He says that during the time since the move they have mostly been exploring the town and trying out restaurants, with Biddulph lending a hand with butchering at Wedge Oak Farm. But now he and Amber, herself a cook, are getting back in the game, working full time at soon-to-open Fifty First Kitchen and Bar in The Nations, co-owned by another Chicago restaurant couple, Tony and Caroline Galzin.

Biddulph tells Eater that a mutual friend connected him and Tony, who he'll be working with in the kitchen, while Amber tries her hand at front-of-house operations. But Biddulph says that the move was definitely strategic: "We wanted to see what opening a restaurant in Nashville is like. The ultimate goal would be to open my own place here, where the scene is about to explode. It's a real good time to be here."