Chef Sean Brock opens new Nashville restaurant
Celebrity chef Sean Brock's newest restaurant June, which opens Wednesday, is the culinary playground he always wanted.
- Staff use equipment typically seen in science labs to pull new levels of flavor from their ingredients.
A single spoonful represents "days and days and days of work," Brock tells Axios.
Why it matters: Brock pitches June as the pinnacle of his career and the centerpiece of his Nashville empire, which also includes Audrey, Joyland and The Continental.
- "June is a restaurant that's shooting for the stars," he says. "I want Nashville to have a restaurant that is recognized worldwide as an exciting, modern place to eat."
How it works: The restaurant, which is upstairs from Audrey in McFerrin Park, offers a 20-course tasting menu that will change eight times per year.
- Each meal is split into five acts: canapes, water, land, dessert and petit fours. Full meals will last two to three hours.
- June will use ingredients ranging from regional produce like okra to fish imported from Japan.
The intrigue: Chefs are using high-end equipment in Brock's "research and development lab," which is visible from the restaurant.
- "This lab is filled full of all the toys I've wanted my entire career," Brock says. They include "extraordinary pieces of equipment that you would never see in or near a restaurant."
- Using scientific tools like a centrifuge and a rotary evaporator "allows us to unlock all of these hidden flavors."
Zoom in: Brock described how the lab elevates a seemingly simple dish featuring scallop and fennel. Painstaking scientific methods draw oil, broth, syrup and other elements from those two ingredients to add layers of complexity.
- During a soft opening this summer, Brock says diners had a visceral reaction to the surprisingly powerful flavors.
- "You watch people's eyes get big, you know, their mouths drop open," he says. "That's been a goal of mine my whole career."
The bottom line: Brock said the end result is "a display of intense passion toward incredible products, and the craft of cooking and the art of fine dining."
- "This is going to be where I chase perfecting those things for the rest of my entire life."
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