PHOTO: Chef Chad Starling stands outside Homestead Manor’s Harvest restaurant and glass bar during the fall menu launch on Thursday, September 6, 2018./Brooke Wanser
By BROOKE WANSER
Guests gathered inside a glass-paned building on the Homestead Manor campus Thursday night to sample the restaurant’s new fall menu and greet its new chef.
Harvest, an A. Marshall Family Foods restaurant, is situated on 50 acres in Thompson’s Station that also houses an events space and farm.
In 2015, it re-opened as a restaurant, focused on farm-to-table local cuisine, with new chef Chad Starling coming on board in July.
With stints in Key West, Chicago, Dallas and abroad, Starling, a Chattanooga native, moved back to Tennessee two years ago to work as chef de cuisine of the Marsh House inside the Thompson Hotel.
Starling heard about Harvest from farmer David Horwath, a co-owner of Katharos Farm in Columbia.
He was immediately drawn to the concept, calling it a “dream job” to work at a restaurant with a farm.
Starling related his approach to cooking to his athletic pursuits of wrestling and football in school: “Going into the kitchen, I felt that same kind of discipline and camaraderie and adrenaline,” he said.
His vision for patron experience will be emphasizing seasonality of items, especially with the farm out back.
“I want them to experience what really good food tastes like, when they know where it’s coming from,” he said.
A favorite item on the upcoming menu is the bucksnort trout, which is delivered fresh from an hour west of Thompson’s Station.
Starling’s favorite Nashville restaurant is Husk, and favorite in Franklin is Red Pony.
“It’s just a little more low-key,” Starling said of living in Williamson County. “A lot of the chefs know each other around here and are willing to help each other out. The farmers are really tight out here.”
Besides the restaurant, Homestead Manor hosts weddings and corporate events and is the site of a farmer’s market in the summer. They will host an inaugural Octoberfest event on Saturday, October 6.
Learn more on their website at homesteadmanor.com.