Nashville, Tenn., Capitol Grille, Chef Sean Brock

Jan 1, 2006
2006 / December-January 2006

On a hot summer day in 1984, a young Sean Brock sat in the kitchen at his Grandma Morgan’s farm in Wise, Va., counting the minutes waiting for the bell to signal the completion of his first attempt at baking. The timer rang, and Grandma Morgan carefully removed six crispy buttermilk biscuits — one to celebrate every year of her grandson’s life. For Brock, marking that milestone with his grandmother was much more satisfying than blowing out a candle-laden birthday cake. From that day forward, he spent as much time as possible in his grandmother’s kitchen, where he enthusiastically embraced her vast knowledge of Southern cuisine.

These days, Brock is the executive chef at one of Nashville’s premier dining venues — Capitol Grille. Located in the Hermitage Hotel, Capitol Grille is favored by such notable celebrities as Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, Faith Hill and Hank Williams Jr., who frequent the dining venue to savor Brock’s signature culinary style: a tantalizing blend of upscale Southern cuisine and contemporary flair.

An honors graduate of the Johnson & Wales University culinary school in Charleston, S.C., Brock perfected his progressive Southern style by working with several renowned chefs, including Robert Carter at the Peninsula Grill in Charleston and Walter Bundy at the AAA five-diamond Lemaire restaurant at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, Va. He also studied with Rick Tramanto and Gail Gand at Tru in Chicago, and with Grant Achatz at Trio in Evanston, Ill. Readers of the Nashville Scene recently voted Brock the city’s best chef.

Grandma Morgan is very proud.


Artisan foie gras with steel-cut oats, apples, Tennessee sorghum and vanilla bean Serves 4
For the caramelized apples:
2 Granny Smith apples
Pinch ascorbic acid
Powdered sugar
1 tablespoon whole butter

Cut the apples into eights and cut away peel. Mix a small pinch of ascorbic acid with a tablespoon of water. Toss apples in acidulated solution, then coat with powdered sugar. Heat a medium-size nonstick sauté pan over high heat and add butter. When butter becomes frothy, add the apples and caramelize.

For the steel-cut oats:
1/2 cup dry Irish steel-cut oats
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon soft butter

Combine all ingredients except butter, and cook over low heat for 30 minutes. Fold in butter and hold warm.

For the foie gras:
4 two-ounce portions of foie gras
Salt, to taste
White pepper, to taste
4 vanilla beans
In a very hot cast-iron skillet, sear foie gras until just soft, and season with salt and white pepper. Remove from heat, and skewer a vanilla bean through the center of each portion of foie gras.
For the garnish:
Sorghum syrup
Fleur de sel (French sea salt)
Chervil

PRESENTATION: Place a small scoop of oats in the center of each plate and arrange apples around the edges. Place foie gras on top and drizzle sorghum syrup over all. Garnish with fleur de sel and chervil.


Maine lobster sous vide with parsnips, leeks and citrus Serves 4
For the lobster:
2 one-pound lobsters (live)
Salt, to taste
White pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons whole butter

Bring a large pot of water (enough to cover the lobsters) to a boil. Turn off heat and drop lobsters into water; boil for seven minutes. Remove cooked lobster meat from shells and place in Cryovac bags with salt, white pepper and whole butter. Cook in a hot-water bath set at 118 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove lobster meat from bags and drain.

For the parsnips:
2 large parsnips
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons cream

Peel and dice parsnips. In a medium-size pan, add butter over medium-high to high heat. When butter foams, add parsnips and stir to coat. Turn heat down to medium and cook parsnips until fork-tender. Add cream and a splash of water. Bring to a simmer. Puree all ingredients until smooth.

For the leeks:
1 bunch leeks
1 tablespoon whole butter

Cut away green part of leeks and reserve for stock. Cut leeks into diamond shapes and wash thoroughly. Cook over low heat with whole butter for five to seven minutes.

For the citrus emulsion:
4 oranges
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper, to taste

Juice oranges and strain pulp. Over medium heat, reduce juice until one tablespoon remains. Swirl in the butter. Season with salt and pepper.

PRESENTATION: Place parsnip puree in center of bowl. Drizzle orange emulsion around puree. Place melted leeks on top of parsnip puree, followed by the lobster meat.

CAPITOL GRILLE
The Hermitage Hotel
231 Sixth Ave. N.
Nashville, TN 37219
tel 615 244 3121 or 888 888 9414
http://www.thehermitagehotel.com

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

© Ukrphoto | Dreamstime.com

News
Sep 15, 2019

Cunard Launches Exclusive Musical

Cunard premiered the musical Top Hat aboard Queen Victoria last week. Next week, the musical premieres aboard Queen Elizabeth. The musical is slated to appear exclusively on Cunard ships for the next four years.

To New Heights

United Airlines announces a number of new routes.

Lufthansa. Photo: Alexander Efisko | Dreamstime.com

Feature
Sep 15, 2019

Lufthansa Launches Innovative Carbon Offset Program

Lufthansa is starting an innovative new carbon offset program, Compensaid, which will allow customers to purchase CO2 neutral aviation fuels. The platform allows customers to replace the fossil fuel of their flights with sustainable aviation fuel.

Desert. Photo: Galyna Andrushko | Dreamstime.com

Daily
Sep 15, 2019

Shop New Desert-Inspired Capsule Collection From The Luxury Collection

The Luxury Collection again teamed with artist Sofía Sanchez de Beta to unveil an exclusive capsule collection, this time with 54 pieces inspired by the Arabian Desert and Emirati culture. The ready-to-wear line includes an array of separates created with Dubai’s climate in mind, such as lightweight blouses and tunics, flowing jumpsuits, long skirts and dresses.

© GNTO

The Island of the Knights

Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.

LG Pay. Photo: Piotr Swat | Dreamstime.com

Feature
Sep 14, 2019

LG Pay

With more mobile pay options like Apple Pay and Venmo becoming commonplace, electronics manufacturer LG is getting in on the action.

Hawaiian Airlines. Photo: Ajdibilio | Dreamstime.com

© Brett Critchley | Dreamstime.com

Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas. Photo: Jason P Ross | Dreamstime.com

Santa Monica, California. Photo: Tupungato | Dreamstime.com

© GNTO

The Island of the Knights

Sponsored Content

Google Search. Photo: Viorel Dudau | Dreamstime.com

Feature
Sep 13, 2019

Google Expands Price Comparison Tool

Google announced last month it added additional features to its price comparison tool. The tool helps users plan trips and compare rates. The new features include one that shows whether the price of a planned flight plus accommodations is low, average or high.

© VanderWolfImages | Dreamstime.com

News
Sep 13, 2019

Singapore Airlines Begins Non-Stop Service Between Singapore, Seattle

Singapore Airlines launched its non-stop service between Singapore (SIN) and Seattle (SEA), Sept. 3. Seattle is Singapore Airlines’ fourth U.S. destination following Los Angeles (LAX), New York (EWR) and San Francisco (SFO) to receive non-stop service to and from Singapore.

Beach access ramp for wheelchair on South Beach, Miami. Photo: Alkan2011 | Dreamstime.com

Daily
Sep 13, 2019

Florida Beaches Put Accessibility First

For those without accessibility issues, going to the beach can be simple. There’s nothing to do but pack up your gear, head to the shore and walk out onto the sand. For those who may be inhibited, however, the beach poses more of a challenge.