Chef’s Corner with Jason McConnell

You read the reviews, listen to the praises from friends and colleagues, or happen to catch one of your favorite celebrities exiting that very spot you’ve been meaning to check out.

You know what the folks on the outside are saying, but have you ever gotten the story from someone on the inside?

journeyPod goes behind-the-scenes in Chef’s Corner with some of the country’s most esteemed, critically-acclaimed, award-winning (and naturally, our favorite) culinary masterminds to get the real scoop!

We’re back in Franklin, Tennessee chatting with Chef Jason McConnell, owner and Executive Chef of Sol, 55 South and Red Pony.

1. Tell us about your 3 restaurants – Sol, Red Pony & 55 South

We opened Red Pony in 2006 with the goal of creating a neighborhood restaurant that featured a creative scratch menu. Franklin is a chain dominated town, so we wanted to break the cycle. The menu pretty much is comprised of things I like and customer favorites. Sol came a year later when a location across the street opened up. There we do our fresh spin on Regional Mexican. 55 South came about when I couldn’t shake the itch to do a lower end place to feature the great food you get when on vacation in the Gulf Coast. It has been successful beyond well beyond my expectations.

2. How has traveling influenced your flavors and recipes?

Without a doubt, 100% of what I do starts with travel memories. Gulf Coast, Spain, Thailand, Mexico, China, France, Morocco are a few and they all get their due on various menus at some point.

3. If you were to open a restaurant in another city, where would you choose?

NYC its just an amazing city. I spent a good bit of time there while in Culinary School, and the energy is unbeatable.

4. If you were on Iron Chef America, what would you hope would be the key themed ingredient for the cooking battle and what chef would you want to beat?

Any protein would be fine with me, I love the challenge. I would want to beat Morimoto or Bobby Flay. Morimoto is the man and Bobby Flay is too cocky for my taste.

5. What’s the strangest request you’ve ever received from a guest?

To take my clothes off for a lady………no really it’s true.

6. When you’re hosting a dinner party, what dishes do your friends request?

I always bring cocktails, but I do get request for whole roasted pig with Cuban spices or guacamole.

7. On your night off, where do you head for a bite to eat in Nashville?

Seoul Garden, it’s Korean BBQ and my family is addicted.

8. Wouldyou kindly share a signature recipe with us?

Tres Colores

1 lb Ouaxacan cheese

3 ripe tomatoes

2 avocados

1 red onion

Balsamic syrup

1c balsamic vinegar

1/2c sugar

Combine in a sauce pan and reduce by ¼.

Cilantro chimmichurri

2 bunch cilantro

5 cloves garlic

1 T fresh oregano

1 T fresh thyme

¼ T crushed red pepper

½ c red wine vinegar

1c oil

Mince the garlic. Chop up all the herbs. Mix all the ingredients together. Should look like pesto.  Add salt to your liking.

Read full article about our Girls Night out in Franklin, Tennessee!

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