Capitol Grille executive chef Tyler Brown may work at a posh downtown restaurant, but he seemed to be in his element when showing off veggies pulled from the dirt at the farm. (Thanks to my colleague Tom Wood of the Nashville Post for attending the announcement of the deal today at Glen Leven, getting the scoop and snagging a photo.)
The hotel says natural gardening methods are being used to grow the produce, and Brown has selected heirloom varieties of vegetables to maximize flavor.
The mansion at Glen Leven dates to 1857 and was used as a hospital by Federal troops during the Civil War. In those days, the neighborhood (about five miles from downtown) was completely rural. In addition to the mansion, a smokehouse, carriage house and farm office stand on the 65-acre estate. Susan M. West willed the property to the Land Trust for Tennessee in 2006. The nonprofit aims to protect historic and scenic lands from destructive development.
Interestingly, the farm partnered with a hotel in decades past. Glen Leven used to sell produce to the historic Maxwell House Hotel before it was destroyed by fire in 1961.
The Hermitage Hotel is also historic — it's celebrating its 100th year in business. Hotel guests are given the opportunity to donate $2 to the Land Trust for each night they stay, raising $100,000 so far.