The Harpeth announces culinary team

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The Harpeth Hotel, a part of the  Curio Collection by Hilton™,  and  Valor Hospitality Partners announced Tuesday its dining concepts and culinary team for 1799 Kitchen & Cocktails and McGavock’s Coffee Bar & Provisions, the property’s two refined food and beverage options. 

Curated by Director of Food and Beverage William Friedrichs, Executive Chef Jay Swift and Associate Executive Chef Cassie Upshaw, the culinary venues at the new 119-room hotel will offer regionally sourced menus that pay homage to Franklin’s history.

The upscale 1799 Kitchen & Cocktails is The Harpeth’s signature full-service restaurant that spotlights timeless classics and Southern-influenced cuisine across breakfast, lunch and dinner. The culinary team will offer guests and locals an authentic and immersive Tennessee dining by partnering with several trusted local purveyors, such as Bear Creek Farms, Bloomsbury Farms and Devlin Certified Organic Farm. 

Locally inspired dishes, crafted with fresh ingredients from these purveyors, include the Bear Creek pork trio with crispy pig ear, braised pork belly, chicharrons, house hot sauce and cauliflower chow chow; the broiled blue crab cake with picked okra relish, creole mustard remoulade and saltines; the Bucksnort Farms trout served with cornbread dumplings, beech mushrooms, fava beans, pea shoots and a warm vinaigrette of fine herbs; and the late summer sweet corn soup served with lump crab and chives. The culinary team also plans to spotlight local Southern flavor with a unique, three-course prix fixe dinner menu served on the weekends that utilizes seasonal ingredients sourced from the weekly Saturday morning Franklin Farmers Market. Wine pairings will be available for this specialty dinner offering, as well.

1799 Kitchen and Cocktails’ strong ties to Franklin are reiterated in the venue’s beverage program, which will prioritize stirred classic craft cocktails, like the old fashioned and Manhattan. While the drinks evoke a sense of timelessness, they will be created with advanced methodologies in the mixology space. The venue will also offer extensive whiskey, beer and wine menus.

In classic Southern style, the flagship restaurant plans to host a weekly weekend brunch service with a similar emphasis on local ingredients and flavors. Menu highlights include the hot and sweet chicken and waffles with honey butter and smoked hickory syrup, the omelet with late summer vegetables with crumbled Tennessee farmstead goat cheese and herb salad and the biscuits and gravy with sausage or mushroom gravy, grits and eggs.

In addition to 1799 Kitchen & Cocktails, The Harpeth will be home to McGavock’s Coffee Bar & Provisions. The charming European-style street café will offer a warm, welcoming atmosphere for breakfast, lunch and happy hour. 

Named after a well-known Middle Tennessee family, the café will serve regional favorite, Honest Coffee Roasters, in addition to freshly baked local pastries, breakfast sandwiches, seasonal quiches and pressed juices in the morning. In the afternoon and evening, McGavock’s Coffee Bar & Provisions plans to serve artisanal sandwiches like roast beef with a fresh baguette, horseradish sauce and red onion marmalade; grain bowls like the quinoa bowl with crispy chickpeas, avocado, salsa verde and a poached egg; and charcuterie boards with artisanal meats, cheeses and local vegetables. 

The menu will include craft cocktails, as well as local beers and premium wines on tap. For guests with a sweet tooth, McGavock’s Coffee Bar & Provisions will feature specialty, hand-dipped ice cream to enjoy on the cozy patio. McGavock’s Coffee Bar & Provisions will also offer grab-and-go options for the traveler on the move.

Spearheading The Harpeth’s culinary program is Swift, who brings more than three decades of industry experience to the role. Prior to joining The Harpeth, he served as interim chef at the certified B-Corp Taos Ski Valley resort in New Mexico, where he was responsible for revamping the food and beverage program, which included three restaurants and a catering facility. He has also led a handful of award-winning restaurants across the Southeast, including Noble Fin, 4th and Swift and South City Kitchen. 

During his career, Swift has been honored with two invitations to cook at the renowned James Beard House and was previously voted as “Restaurateur of the Year” by the Georgia Restaurant Association.

“The menus at both 1799 Kitchen & Cocktails and McGavock’s Coffee Bar are comforting,” he said. “Many of the dishes are timeless classics with a special twist. Every menu item features a local flavor profile or an ingredient from a trusted local partner. The taste is unique to our town, so guests can truly get immersed in Franklin during their stay.”

Swift is supported by Upshaw, who will focus on 1799 Kitchen & Cocktails. Prior to joining The Harpeth, she was executive chef at Holland House in Nashville, where she focused on menu creation that utilized local and sustainable ingredients. She has also spent time in various roles at Melisse Restaurant, Bouchon and The Bazaar in Los Angeles.

“We could not have found better industry leaders to launch The Harpeth’s culinary venues,” Friedrichs said. “Chef Jay is so well-respected in the region and has a wealth of culinary experience, while Chef Cassie has had invaluable experience across the country working under the nation’s best chefs. Both are dedicated to telling Franklin’s story through the dishes at 1799 Kitchen & Cocktails and McGavock’s Coffee Bar & Provisions. We are confident guests are going to connect with our unique local community through the delicious, locally-influenced menus at both venues.”

The Harpeth will also offer a catering menu derived from 1799 Kitchen & Cocktails’ menu, as well as room service options.

The Harpeth is located at 130 2nd Avenue N., providing guests with easy access to explore the unique culture, local dining and shops, art galleries, entertainment venues and the accredited historic Main Street while journeying back into history at one of the Civil War museums and battlefield.

For more information about The Harpeth, visit or connect on Instagram @theharpethhotel, Facebook HarpethHotel and Twitter HarpethHotel. 

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