Senior Vice President of Agriculture and Culinary
Tyler Brown understood early on how food and community intertwine, as his family always felt the evening meal was sacred time. It was at the dinner table where the personal exchange happened. That experience stuck with him as he looked toward his career.
After high school, he took a kitchen position at the Wild Dunes Resort in Isle of Palms, South Carolina, outside of his hometown of Charleston. Brown was drawn to the cadence, the order, the process of the kitchen, and soon enrolled in culinary school at Johnson & Wales University.
He completed a three-month cooperative at the Keystone Resort in Colorado as part of the degree program, where he learned large-format kitchen production at a high level. Back in Charleston, he joined Peninsula Grill as a line cook—and ultimately sous chef—running butchery, or fermentation, or expediting dishes to keep the line on time. It was where he first felt the power of the French brigade order, and where he formed a friendship with Chef Sean Brock that would shape his future path.
Later, when his wife, Ashley, was accepted into Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Brown went to work as chef de cuisine with Brock at Capitol Grille in the Hermitage Hotel, helping shape the restaurant into a four-star, four-diamond destination that put Nashville on the localvore map. Brown became executive chef in 2006, and began implementing seed-to-plate sourcing that started with experimentation in raised gardens in his own backyard and culminated in the creation of the three-acre Garden at Glen Leven and 150 head of red poll cattle at Double H Farms, the largest herd of the dual-purpose Scottish breed found anywhere in the South.
But he wanted to dive deeper, to understand the biodynamic calendar and how it influences the end product, how the five senses are engaged in the process of learning, doing and sharing with others.
In 2015, Brown joined the team at Southall outside Franklin, Tennessee, as Senior Vice President of Agriculture and Culinary, where he could continue to grow professionally while creating a sustainable luxury resort focused on landscape-scale, symbiotic food cultivation and an immersive epicurean experience.
On any given day on the farm, you might find Chef Brown hunting for morels on the hardwood ridges, milling grains on a century-old moonshiner’s stone, or kneeled down between the garden rows with a child, sharing the wonder of a seedling just emerged. It’s a place where everyone can experience the thrill of exploration that never ends at Southall.