As the Owner + Executive Chef of the McConnell Hospitality Group, Jason McConnell is pretty busy. He oversees three restaurants – Cork & Cow, 55 South, & Red Pony – an event space, and a catering company, and still found time to chat with us about Nashville, the best meal he ever had, and more.
What’s the first thing you ever cooked? Chocolate Gravy. Growing up, I spent a lot of time with grandparents and much of that time was in the kitchen. Chocolate gravy on homemade biscuits was a Saturday tradition.
What are you favorite and least favorite food trends? Favorite: The resurgence of traditional Southern cooking. Least: Beautiful food that has no flavor.
Why did you choose Nashville to work and live in? I had family here and when I came to visit, I immediately saw that Nashville was a small “big city.” The Chefs knew one another on a personal level and even as the town has grown, there is still that connectivity.
What music have you been listening to lately? I listen to anything and everything, Sturgill Simpson to the Getto Boys.
What’s the best meal you’ve ever had? Tetsuya in Sydney, Australia about 10 years ago. It was 17 courses and the first 7 were raw.
What are you most excited about doing / seeing / tasting at MCFW? I’m excited to taste everything but am most excited about spending the time with my fellow Chefs, enjoying what we do best in a fun setting that showcases why the Nashville culinary scene is pretty unique.