Nashville Scene: Better Know a Chef – Brandon Fortune

A new chef and his team have revitalized the Loews Vanderbilt restaurant.

Nashville, TN - March 21, 2017

By Lesley Lassiter

There have been some major changes over the last few months at Mason’s, the restaurant in the the Loews Vanderbilt hotel on West End. New executive chef Brandon Fortune has assembled a team of talented chefs and revised the menu to reflect not only his southern heritage, but influences from working all over the country. Let’s better know Chef Fortune:
Vital tool: Commercial spice grinder, definitely! I use this tool often to make fresh garam masala mixes and excellent dry-rubs from scratch.

Favorite gadget: My favorite gadget is the Smoking Gun. This versatile gadget can infuse a wide variety of wood chip flavorings in to a particular food without changing the original integrity of the product you are smoking … amazing!

Pantry essential: A variety of fresh dry whole spices, mainly of the ethnic variety. With these spices you can add layers of depth and flavors to a dish or sauce in an instant.

Necessary extravagance: Music, always and forever. At any time and at any volume. Music feeds the soul!

Favorite beverage: Certainly a cup of a hot chai tea.

Favorite smell: It is a toss-up between sautéed garlic and onions or fresh baked bread.

Comfort food: Spicy curries, naan and raitha!

Inspiration: Sounds rather hippie, but I’m inspired by the Universe, the cosmos, the stars, the moon and the sun. They are all very fascinating and promote personal growth and spirituality.

Last meal (ever): Chicken Curry from KC’s Tandoori in Encinitas, Calif.

Originally from the Atlanta area, Chef Fortune joined the Loews Vanderbilt staff late last year after moving from San Diego, where he was executive chef of Kitchen 1540 at L’Auberge Del Mar Resort & Spa. He’s also worked in the kitchens at other great hotels, including the Four Seasons Atlanta and Fairmont Grand Del Mar Resort. He also opened the acclaimed Aquamoree, a Southern-inspired tapas restaurant in La Jolla, Calif. Fortune’s menus reflect the influence of both his Southern upbringing and his love for travel and exploring new countries and cities. For example, “Hog ‘n’ Hominy” features poblanos and epazote, and his hot wings feature a vindaloo glaze. Check out the rest of the menu online.