A NASHVILLE CHEF STANDS APART FROM THE HERD
When I ask Executive Chef Tyler Brown of Capitol Grille, in Nashville, Tennessee, whether raising grass-fed beef has been a spiritual, or perhaps a personal growth, he is unambivalent. “Oh, big time,” he says, pausing, “I’m very aware of that part of it… You know, in the kitchen you can stay and prep as long as you need to. You can pretty much control your environment, whereas, in this scenario, I’ve had to learn that I can’t control all of that. At all, really. It’s a large world and its very intimidating and humbling.”
Nearly five years ago, Brown helped found a three and a half acre sustainable farming project a few miles down the road at Glen Leven that began supplying Capital Grille with produce. Gaining confidence with Glen Leven’s success, Brown has now expanded his farm to table commitment with a grass fed beef enterprise entitled Double H Farms that manages about 110 head of red poll heritage breed cattle.
“I knew that we wanted the heritage breed because it is more tolerant to our climate, generally a smaller animal, and it’s just great meat… If you were to eat a steak of angus and red poll next to each other you would find the flavor of the red poll discernibly different,” he explains.
The unique flavor of the beef comes not just from its breed, but also from Brown’s grazing system, which includes rotating the cows through various pastures in order to allow the growth and forage to rejuvenate. The results have consumers hooked, and Brown has even begun sourcing the meat to other restaurants in the area, such as Husk and Lockeland Table.
“People seem very excited about the story. We’ve found that with the vegetables as well. The community wants to hear, they want to support… With everything that’s going on with food, knowing where your food comes from is right at the top of their interest. It resonates.”
Editor’s Note: Read more about Chef Tyler Brown and his efforts at Double H Farms in our upcoming May print edition.