Congrats again to all of our Summit Scholarship winners! Today, we’d like to celebrate Nathan Turner, of Boone Tavern Hotel and Restaurant. We sat down to Turner and learned what it means to be “Kentucky Proud,” and how he convinces his guests to try new things:

Thanks for speaking with us today, Nathan. Could you start off by telling us about Boone Tavern and your region in Kentucky? 

I am the line chef at the Historic Boone Tavern Hotel in Berea Kentucky. The 105 year old hotel is one of the first LEED Gold Certified hotels in Kentucky. Owned by Berea College, we serve locals and tourists year round. The Boone Tavern Dining Room embraces southern hospitality, and our cuisine celebrates quintessential Kentucky tradition through innovative preparations and flavors. Boone Tavern is committed to using locally grown and “Kentucky Proud” ingredients, many of which come from the Berea College farm.

DSCN1082Is it challenging to convince the guests in your restaurant to try new things? How do you introduce something that people might be skeptical of?

Yes, it is challenging. The majority of our clientele are senior citizens who are not often very adventurous in their culinaryselections. Our menu is southern with a twist which allows us to serve a gamut of dishes with familiar items while also introducing new flavors and ideas. The wait staff are also trained to use terminology that make the guests comfortable with the dish even when it may have previously unknown ingredients.

And finally, What are you most excited to experience in Boulder at this year’s Summit?

I am most looking forward to meeting other chefs and talking about ways to overcome barriers related to sourcing local products for menu production. I am also excited about the butchering breakout session with Adam Danforth to learn more about making the most of the time and energy already invested in older cull animals.

You can connect with Nathan and 350+ Chefs, farmers, and food professionals at this year’s Sustainable food Summit. Get your tickets, and join the conversation: