Top Chefs 2019 – Jason Hayes
Jason Hayes – Kitchen 919
Chef Hayes’ formal education came from Sullivan University Culinary School. Cooking, he says, has some commonalities to his favorite pastime of skateboarding. They’re both abstract art forms without a lot of rules, yet there are physical laws and techniques that must be followed for success. His passion comes from his desire to bring traditional food back into a trend-driven market. The location, formerly The Orangery, has a history dating back to 1971 so he has a big playbook to pull from. He calls his style French-infused, but emphasizes that every dish has a southern influence. He pulled his inspiration for his entrée from a meal he had when his family moved to Tennessee. It was the year before UT won the Sugar Bowl and he always associated Metts and Beans with his respect of Johnny Majors.
Sous Vide Pork Shoulder
As a play on Metts and Beans, Hayes used pork shoulder, cooked for 18 hours, served on lentils and topped with “Johnny Majors” mango chutney
Homemade espresso wafers replace traditional ladyfingers, with espresso-flavored mascarpone mousse topped with chocolate sauce, and finished with candied coffee beans.
Reminiscent of the prohibition era with its speakeasy lounge-style decor, Kitchen 919’s menu focuses on French-influenced southern fusion cuisine. The restaurant also boasts a beautiful private event space.