Michelin-Starred Chef to Helm Culinary Program at Nashville’s Landmark Hotel
The Hermitage Hotel has partnered with internationally acclaimed chef, restaurateur and culinary innovator Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who will oversee the direction of all culinary operations at the hotel. Celebrated for his Michelin-starred restaurants around the world, Vongerichten will introduce fresh, compelling and sophisticated culinary experiences for a new generation of Nashvillians and guests. The centerpiece of the partnership will be a new destination restaurant and café at The Hermitage. Construction is underway, and the new venues will make their debut in the fall of 2021.
“As I look ahead to my Nashville debut, I could not have asked for a more fitting locale than the city’s exquisite Grand Dame, The Hermitage Hotel,” said Vongerichten. “I am inspired by the bounty of the American South and look forward to honoring the recipes, flavors and traditions of the region, while also presenting a global perspective at this beloved and iconic Music City landmark.”
One of the world’s most notable culinary talents, Vongerichten is admired for his acumen as a chef, tastemaker and visionary, responsible for 39 acclaimed restaurants in New York City, Miami, London, Paris, Shanghai and other gateway cities around the world. From concept, menu and interior design, to staff training and guest experience, Vongerichten is thoroughly involved in the development of the culinary program at The Hermitage Hotel, which began with his visit to Nashville in 2020.
“We can imagine no greater complement to The Hermitage Hotel than to welcome the inimitable Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten to lead our culinary program,” said co-owners Robert and Molly Hardie. “As we usher in a new era, we are delighted that Jean-Georges has chosen The Hermitage to serve as his Nashville presence. We look forward to welcoming guests new and old to experience Jean-Georges’ distinguished culinary stylings at The Hermitage Hotel.”
Vongerichten’s new restaurant at The Hermitage will welcome guests with elevated, yet approachable cuisine showcasing the abundance of Tennessee’s regional produce, some of which will be sourced from the hotel’s own Garden at Glen Leven. His menu will be inspired by the seasonal ingredients and culinary traditions of the South and will incorporate his signature plant-based offerings and oven-fired pizzas. Vongerichten will also oversee all food and beverage concepts for weddings, meetings and other high-profile events at The Hermitage.
The Hermitage’s restaurant will undergo a modern design update from Thomas Juul-Hansen, including a brand new, state-of-the-art kitchen visible from the dining room. The design mastermind behind Vongerichten’s restaurants has conceived a glamorous, yet understated restaurant and bar space that will introduce timeless warmth and ambiance. Juul-Hansen will utilize a simple palette of natural materials – metal, wood, leather and stone – and dramatic lighting from the world-renowned Hervé Descottes of L’Observatoire International designed to uplift the restaurant’s iconic arched ceiling. All furnishings, from the mother-of-pearl pendant lamps to the seating, tables and curved banquettes, will be entirely bespoke to The Hermitage Hotel and crafted specifically for the space.
A new, expanded restaurant entrance will be directly accessible from Sixth Avenue, underscoring the establishment as a dining destination unto itself. Tucked into an adjacent space of the hotel, a charming new café will make its debut under Vongerichten’s direction. The light-filled space with casually elegant indoor and outdoor seating will evolve throughout the course of the day, serving as a coffee bar with an array of pastries in morning, shifting to offer casual take-away fare mid-day before ultimately serving as a wine bar with small bites and curated cocktails in the evening. As a final flourish, Juul-Hansen has designed a counterpart to The Hermitage’s iconic Art Deco men’s restroom: a glamorous, pink marble ladies’ room that promises to be equally photo-worthy.
“I am elated to share the news of our partnership with the celebrated Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten,” said Dee Patel, managing director of The Hermitage Hotel. “As a long-time admirer of Jean-Georges’ culinary skill, I am thrilled to watch him create a new, world-class dining experience at The Hermitage Hotel. It is sure to be unlike any that Nashville has ever seen.”