Chef Sean Brock Will Open a Sprawling Temple to Appalachian Culture in Nashville

After two years of soul-searching, the king of Lowcountry cooking returns to his roots with a shrouded new venture—and it’s “the restaurant I want to retire in”

He is one of the country’s foremost evangelists for the roots of Southern cooking. But, until recently, Sean Brock, 40, had been neglecting his own. As a chef, he earned national acclaim elevating South Carolina’s Lowcountry cuisine—at McCrady’s Tavern and Husk in Charleston—but Brock was actually born and raised in Virginia’s Appalachian coal country, in a mountainous wedge near the borders of Tennessee and Kentucky. As a kid he didn’t realize the region’s sour corn, greasy beans, pawpaws and other hand-me-down specialties constituted a cuisine. “It was just what you ate,” he says.