Chefs We Love

Chef Brandon Frohne of Mason's

By | April 15, 2015
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A ballplayer has Yankee Stadium. A performer has Carnegie Hall. A boxer Madison Square Garden. And a chef? Well, a chef has the James Beard House, the mecca for meals that celebrate, honor and nurture America's diverse culinary heritage. Without a doubt, being invited to create – 'cook' is too quotidian a term – at this New York City institution is one of the highest honors a chef can achieve.

Photo 1: 1st Course. Escape Artist and the Sea, Tunisia/Sicily, 1938 > Djerba-Style Prawns with Harissa, Preserved Lemons, Tomatoes, and Mediterranean Sea Water.
Photo 2: 2nd Course. Pfifferlinge and Pflaumen, Unter Den Linden, Germany, 1940 > Semmelknodel with Chanterelles, Plums, Pancetta, and Herbs.
Photo 3: 3rd Course. Handshakes and Gypsum, Sofia, Bulgaria, 1943 > Lamb Guvech with Labneh, Okra, and Mint.

Nashville's own Brandon Frohne has pulled off this feat twice. The executive chef of Mason's, the edgy yet elegant restaurant featuring modern Southern dishes, Brandon most recently appeared at the James Beard House to celebrate his family's story through food. The theme, 'Nourishing the Past,' explored his grandparents' European roots in Germany, Sicily, Bulgaria and Switzerland during the tumultuous times of World War II.

“Over the past year, I’ve been inspired by my heritage and the culinary traditions and influences that have been passed down through my family,” said Frohne. “I wanted to bring that inspiration to life by sharing the story of my grandparents through food, drawing on their experiences and the countries they lived in to tell our family story.” Then he added, “for me, this menu is the ultimate expression of my passion for food and the heart and soul behind it.”

Photo 1: 4th Course. Rustico, Ticino, Switzerland, 1945 > Luganeca Piacenza Sausage with Floriani Red Flint Polenta, Blistered Grapes, Pickled Fennel, and Coddled Hen Egg.
Photo 2: 5th Course. A Toronto Love Story 1954, Toronto, Canada, 1954 > Sugar-Powdered Apple Streusel with Rosemary–Coffee Semifreddo and Roasted Coffee Beans.
Photo 3: A globe-traversing menu...

Each course paid homage to Chef Frohne’s grandparents, his Oma and Opa. They lived in separate European countries during the war and did not find and fall in love with each other until both had arrived in Canada, the delicious dessert of Chef Frohne's meal. To represent the countries in which his grandparents lived, Chef Frohne used prawns, dumplings, meatballs, sausage and hand pies to weave the succulent story.

Want to see what goes on behind the scenes of such a special night of gourmet delight? Click here to watch the live Beard Cam.

You don’t have to go to New York City to experience the edgy yet elegant southern musings of Chef Frohne. Mason’s is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week. Click here for details.

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