The top three positions in the kitchen will be filled by talented chefs that executive chef Sean Brock has already worked with in the Neighborhood Dining Group's restaurants in Charleston. But one of the most important roles has been claimed by one of our own, as Nashville's Lisa Donovan has accepted the position of pastry chef. Donovan is perhaps best known on these pages as the impetus behind the popular and intensely personal Buttermilk Road Sunday Suppers, but she has worked in pastry at both Margot Café and City House. Brock recognized Donovan's passion for cooking and her ability to share a story through ingredients and recipes — he actually already tried to hire her when he opened the original Husk in Charleston a few years back.
Even better for her local fans, this new gig will not mean the end of the Buttermilk Road. Donovan has been trying to balance her busy schedule of several writing projects with her planning for future Buttermilk Road events, but she is pleased that Brock "has been incredibly supportive of all of my non-Husk efforts. He's essentially allowed me to custom-design what I need to keep tending to all my gardens successfully. It's going to be a really unbelievable opportunity to finally hone in on my need to be a bit more outwardly academic in my food efforts. I feel really fortunate in so many ways to be marrying all of these really important things in my life together finally. And having someone as constantly inspiring as Sean around isn't going to hurt my efforts at all."
The opening date is still up in the air, but it is approaching more quickly now that construction has ramped up and hiring and training are in full swing. It won't be long until Donovan takes her place in that kitchen, but in the meantime, we'll still get to enjoy her food at her special events. I'd call that a definite win/win.