Sean Brock’s oh-so-long awaited dream flagship restaurant Audrey has been ready and waiting for a while to open its doors — and it’s finally happening on Friday, October 15.
Located in East Nashville’s McFerrin Park neighborhood, Audrey is an absolute stunner inside, with Brock’s attention to detail at every turn and his own museum-worthy art collection. The restaurant is a tribute to and named after Brock’s maternal grandmother — who the celebrity chef credits as his biggest inspiration for his career and cooking in general. Brock describes his grandmother as a “classic Appalachian grandmother’’ who worked as a butcher in her father’s grist mill, kept bees, always tended to a garden, and had preservers aplenty lining her basement.
Audrey’s signature is the logo for the restaurant, and every diner who walks in sees it on the door. Beyond, of course, the food, the design is also a dream — featuring the chef's museum-worthy artwork collection and photographs to patchwork quilts splayed along the walls and of course, a world-class kitchen.
In a design statement from Brock, the chef explains that the inspiration behind the art is the same as the inspiration behind the food: to take something considered “less than” and make it shine.
Brock adds that the art also speaks to the restaurant’s responsibility towards zero waste by respecting and working with the full potential of the ingredients.
Tons of Brock’s deepest passions ooze from every inch of the massive space — from his rural southern heritage and his grandmother’s traditions to Appalachian cuisine and his passion for Japanese culture. All of these things are reflected in the restaurant’s upstairs bar and both distinct dining experiences with daily-changing menus. The first to open this weekend is the downstairs experience — a 5-course menu. The second level restaurant experience (to come sometime next year) will be a longer tasting menu-only format
The team at Audrey is laser-focused on organic, biodynamic, and sustainable producers for all food and beverage. Definitely more dining destination and experience than just a restaurant, Brock and his team’s Lab at Audrey push all of the limits with state-of-the-art, food-focused research and development.
Education and personal development are also a major focus here — with dedicated classroom and research spaces filled with his book collection, mentorship programs, a podcast recording studio, and more. Certainly not least, special care is also taken to become a modern model of restaurant operations with a focus on employee wellbeing – mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially – which can be seen through the implementation of paying 75-percent of employee benefits, staff programming, living wages, an on-site wellness room, and continued education.
The chef is sharing more of the story behind Audrey on his Instagram — so follow along to see so many behind-the-scenes takes of the storied new restaurant.
“There are two major themes behind the art I’ve chosen in Audrey, how we present it, and why. One is creating a museum-like atmosphere in the layout and size of the collection. I enjoy and want to encourage that ‘discovery’ feeling that you experience in a museum setting,” says Brock.
Discover Audrey for the first time right here: