Get to Know Louisville's Best Chefs and Restaurants - Louisville Article

Get to Know Some of the Best Chefs in Louisville

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Get to Know Some of the Best Chefs in Louisville

Jul 2, 2019

Louisville has gained a national reputation as one of the best foodie destinations in the country. Nearly any list of top culinary destinations will mention Louisville as a must-do! National Geographic, Zagat, Travel + Leisure and members of the International Association of Culinary Professionals have all ranked Louisville as one of the top-rated foodie destinations in the world. Scroll Down to View Our Photo Gallery of the Best Chefs in Louisville!

With the overwhelming number of great dining options throughout the area, competition is at a very high level, which brings out the best in everyone. The vast array of cuisines, dining settings and culinary influences come together to form one of the country’s most diverse and exciting dining scenes.

To provide some perspective on how and why Louisville has become one of the best dining destinations in the U.S., we talked to several of the area's best chefs and restaurant owners to relate their experiences for our hotel guests.

Discover Some of the Best Chefs (and Restaurants!) in Louisville

When it comes to a love of cooking, most of our chefs indicated they had experience early in life that made them appreciate the art of a good meal. For example, Chef Eric Shaw of Jack Fry's was introduced to the joy of cooking by his mother and grandmother, who were both excellent cooks.

Chef Mat Weber of Uptown Cafe began as a photography student at the University of Louisville but soon discovered his love of cooking while working at Cafe Metro, a local favorite, which was right across the street from his current gig at Uptown Cafe.

Chef Geoffrey Heyde, of Fork & Barrel, grew up helping his mother put together meals for his family and developed a love for food and cooking. Chef Zac Young of Marketplace Restaurant at Theater Square also grew up cooking with his mother and still cooks with her for holiday events.

Chef Steve Gustafson, who will begin his tenure at the new Omni Louisville Downtown Hotel in March 2018, mentioned he enjoyed family meals together which they shared no matter how busy everyone was at the time. Chef Joshua Moore, of Volare Italian Ristorante, was introduced to cooking by both of his grandmothers and was known to change the channel from cartoons to cooking shows as early as Kindergarten!

While Louisville might not be the first city that comes to mind when considering a restaurant venture, the Derby City has attracted some of the very best! The area's many local chefs who are held in such high regard have helped to attract even more new restaurateurs, while Chef Andrew Hubbard of Martini Italian Bistro, came back home at his mother’s request and ended up getting married and starting a family.

Secrets of Louisville's Best Chefs

One of the things we found common amongst the chefs we spoke with was their desire to express themselves in an artful fashion. Josh Moore loves to express his creativity and to see the excitement from a guest when they sample a dish. Steve Gustafson added the “endless possibilities” that cooking food and bringing people together offer. Creating is also huge for Zac Young and he enjoys coming up with fun new dishes and making those at the table happy!

Geoffrey Heyde said that after growing up here and moving away twice he kept coming back he decided this is where he wanted to stay. Carter Gross has always lived in Louisville and has a special appreciation for its uniqueness.

With the growth of the foodie scene in Louisville on such a fast pace, we asked these chefs their vision of the scene’s future. Everyone expects the scene to continue to grow and the restaurants will continue to push each other to execute on a higher level. 

Why Louisville's Best Chefs Love the Derby City

Now that we have some insight into these chefs’ thoughts on the restaurant scene here, we asked for their favorite thing about Louisville in general. Carter Gross is looking forward to the local industry taking more pride in their unique context here and Geoffrey Heyde added that there is a large group of restaurateurs making noise but that they’re not pretentious and very approachable. Diversity was added by Andrew Hubbard as a critical part of Louisville’s appeal.

As Eric Shaw summarized, “The multiple cultures of Midwestern, Appalachia and Southern styles gives a chef a
lot of room to try different dishes and cuisines in Louisville.”

The availability of farm fresh and local products will continue to make Louisville a terrific place to be. Matt Weber mentioned he wants to see restaurants in the area become even more progressive with farm-to-table offerings. Zac Young added that he’d put Louisville up against any city of its size for its food and culinary offerings.

The foodie scene in Louisville has become a large part of the city’s national notoriety in recent years, as visitors travel from near and far to enjoy the culinary delights these and other amazing chefs create for their guests. No two are ever alike and we encourage you to sample as many as possible during your visit!

Click Here to Read More Interviews with Top Louisville Chefs! 

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