Restaurant kitchens have a certain athletic element to them. The kitchen staff is a team built of cooks as an athletic team is built with athletes playing a sport. Just as with athletic teams, kitchen teams require coaches, leadership and chemistry. One of my first very important orders of business is to assemble the kitchen team at Josephine and that starts with a sous chef.
Over the years, I have been very lucky to work with some incredible people who I also was able to call my sous chefs. As they have moved on in their careers and I am no longer working with them on a daily basis, I feel very fortunate that I still maintain great friendships with them and take a great deal of joy in hearing where their careers are taking them.
The relationship between a chef and sous chef is an important one. In most cases, a chef and sous chef will spend more waking hours together than they will with their husband or wife. In addition to being a great cook, the sous chef is also another set of eyes for the chef…another set of ears….another set of ideas. In the best relationships, there is a trust between the chef and sous chef; a bond that goes well beyond being able to execute a vision and a set of standards. It is a relationship and like any relationship, it takes work and respect and maintenance, but this is where the kitchen team starts; with the relationship between the chef and the sous chef.
For the past three years, I have had the pleasure of having Brent Golding as my sous chef. I can’t tell you how happy I am to announce that Brent will be joining me as the opening sous chef for Josephine. Brent is a meticulous cook and a great ‘coach’ in the kitchen. In the past three years, we have created a relationship that I am very proud of and through that relationship, we have been able to create and maintain a kitchen environment that not only presents incredible food, but also fosters learning and creativity. I admire Brent’s abilities in the kitchen, but his greatest attribute is that he is an exceptional person. I have said and will always say that the restaurant business is a ‘people business’ not a ‘food business’. It takes great people to make great restaurants and Brent Golding is ‘great people’. In one week it’ll give me great pride to say ‘Welcome to Nashville, Brent!’ Put a shine on it.