Like most who have spent time in a restaurant kitchen for any amount of time, Nashville’s celebrated Southern chef Sean Brock is no stranger to working under pressure. For a restaurant — and especially for a new one — adapting and surviving during a pandemic is a dance, one that twists and turns daily as cases swell, dwindle, then climb again.
Sean Brock’s newest Nashville restaurant, The Continental, inside the Grand Hyatt Nashville at Nashville Yards, began its phased opening in early October, beginning solely with carry-out, curbside pick-up, and delivery through the Toast Now ordering platform (plus room service for Grand Hyatt Nashville guests). The original plan was to open next week for dine-in, but that phase has been postponed due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Nashville.
In the last few weeks, Brock’s followers on Instagram have reaped the benefits of the chef’s constant adaptation and creative juices in the form of a brand new Brock burger, beef Wellington masterpieces, a new cookbook dinner series, and now a baked goods and dessert pop-up partnership with his Audrey and Continental pasty chefs Michael Werrell and Keaton Vasek.
Brock’s latest cookbook, South: Essential Recipes and New Explorations, was released in 2019, and last weekend the chef began popping up each Wednesday through Sunday, recreating recipes for dinner takeout and delivery from 5 to 8 p.m. via Postmates. On the menu this week?Deviled eggs, dilly green tomatoes, pimento cheese with Jimmy Red corn crackers, plus Holy City hog and Benton’s ham, to begin. There’s also a traditional shrimp and grits, plus charred corn and peppers, field pea and hominy succotash, and Jimmy Red cornbread on the side. To finish: Brock’s grandmother’s apple stack cake. Tickets are presold on Resy and cost $30 a person.
Brock has also offered up limited numbers of his newest burger — a steal for a burger of that caliber and involvement at $13 with gaufrettes on the side. The latest rendition is a butter, thyme, and garlic basted burger with 18th century mushroom catsup, bernaise mayo, triple cream cheese whiz, Pernod shallots, cornichons, on a potato roll. Brock posts the cheeseburger and other one-off specials on Instagram, and they sell out quickly.
The sweet finish to the new trio of “Nashville is really lucky right now” options is the Trēt Baking Co. pop-up partnership with Brock — also on Wednesdays thru Sundays — but from 8 a.m. until they sell out. Pastry pros Michael Werrell and Keaton Vasek represent upcoming restaurants Audrey and the Continental Nashville, respectively, and tout years of experience from some of the countries best restaurants and bakeries including Eleven Madison Park, Dominique Ansel Bakery, The NoMad and Gotham Bar & Grill. On offer here: banana pudding-filled croissant bedazzled with homemade vanilla wafers alongside a gianduja variation — both pleasant sweet takes on the stunning 24-hour croissant that touts “enough butter for your southern soul”. Also, black and white cookies, matcha lattes, and much more.
Follow along with Brock on Instagram for more upcoming offerings.