Hal M. Holden-Bache, executive chef and owner of Lockeland Table, arrives at his East Nashville restaurant each day with one goal — “Everybody who walks out the front door and the back door wants to come back.” His investment is in tomorrow, a motto as simple, yet refined as Hal’s poise and culinary skill. Lockeland Table, Hal’s latest venture with partner Cara Graham, has everyone wanting to come back. Friendly staff, cozy vibe, and upscale dining without any fuss, he is cooking for a packed house nearly every night.
Raised in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, Hal credits his compassion and skill to cooking alongside his mother. His technique is based on preserving the integrity of the food and sourcing fresh, choice product that has the ability to stand on it’s own. There is an obvious rustic approach to his cooking with Lockeland Table’s wood burning oven, as well as his smoker and garden out back of the restaurant. Homemade canned goods and vinegars line the walls, finishing off the down-home appeal. Hal’s dishes are identifiable to the food we loved growing up, but crafted into an exquisite and delightful experience far from most mothers’ kitchen tables. Hal’s passion for knowledge of all things culinary led him to pursue a Culinary Arts degree at Shepherd University, in his hometown of Shepherdstown, West Virginia. After graduating, he was accepted into the coveted Culinary Apprenticeship Program at the world-class Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, a perennial AAA Five-Diamond award winner. During his studies at The Greenbrier, Hal was recognized as a rising star and was given the opportunity to intern under world-class chefs including Hartmut Handke CMC, Peter Timmons CMC, Tom Colicchio and Butcher, Larry Griffin. His resume extends to renowned restaurants such as Gramercy Tavern in New York and Dickie Brennan’s Palace Cafe in New Orleans. Hal relocated to the growling culinary scene in Music City, working at the famed Capitol Grille at The Hermitage Grille and others before opening his own restaurant in East Nashville.
Despite the busy life of executive chef and co-owner of a popular restaurant, Hal finds time to support another passion, giving back to his community. His philanthropic involvement extends to Our Kids Soup Sunday, Second Harvest Food Bank and other backyard organizations dedicated to the Nashville area. Lockeland Table even hosts Community Hour which donates a portion of the proceeds from their happy hour to the local PTO at the Lockeland Design Center. Hal is a four-time winner of the People’s Choice Award at Our Kids Soup Sunday, as well as their first prize, Souper Chef Challenge, in 2004. He has won second place in the “Tennessee Restaurant Association Beef Competition,” where he competed against 16 other chefs from Tennessee. Hal was also given the George R. Williams Award in Recognition of Participation and Support for “A Taste of Nashville,” an event that helps with local education at Pearl-Cohn Business Magnet High School. In 2013, he joined an impressive list of national chefs in the James Beard Foundation’s Semifinalist Nominations. Hal and his sous chef, Danny Bua, won Nashville’s Scene Iron Fork 2014, which included the honor of competing in the World Food Championship in November 2014.
In December 2015, Lockeland Table’s first book was launched. Lockeland Table’s book truly reads as Hal and Cara talk. It captures not only their personalities, but their, and LT’s essence. Walk through each section of the restaurant in this beautifully crafted book, that shares heart-warming stories, tips, and more. Stunning images abound provided by none other than award-winning photographer Ron Manville.