What: Pork Tasting.
Includes: Pork Tenderloin with Apple Fennel Puree, Crispy Pork Belly, Pork Confit Parsnip Hash.
Where: Broad Street Grille, 1201 Broad St.
Hours: 6:30-10:30 a.m. Monday-Sunday (breakfast), 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Saturday (lunch), 5-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday (dinner).
Andrew Millsap said he learned his cooking proficiency at his grandmother's side.
"I ate dinner there about every night," said Millsap, the new chef at Broad Street Grille. "I was always her go-to guy, her sous chef."
Today, Millsap's proficiency is on display daily at the main restaurant inside The Chattanoogan hotel, where the 24-year-old is not only the chef but the creator of its new spring menu and nightly tasting menu.
The spring menu, created from some 300 dishes the food and beverage team has assembled, showcases prime meats, sustainable seafood, house-made pastas, signature side dishes and rich sauces that offer a contrast of flavors and textures.
Among the creations on the tasting menu is the Pork Tasting, which includes Pork Tenderloin with Apple Fennel Puree and Crispy Pork Belly with Pork Confit Parsnip Hash.
"What I like about it," said Millsap, "is that there are three different types of pork you get to taste. It's almost like a mixed grill. It's three ways [of preparing pork], three cuts."
Pork, he said, is underappreciated as an entree.
"There are so many ways you can cook pork," Millsap said. "A lot of people don't like the high fat content. A lot prefer red [beef] or white [chicken] meat."
But, he said, with the flavor, the fatty content, the marbling, "it's one my favorite proteins."
Like many ingredients at the restaurant, the pork for the Pork Tasting comes from local providers, he said.
Last week, for instance, the Pork Tenderloin came from Sequatchie Cove Farm in Sequatchie, Tenn., where the restaurant also gets many of its cheeses. The Crispy Pork Belly came from Cloudcrest Farm in Rossville.
At both farms, according to Millsap, the pigs are free-range and are fed no hormones. That helps increase the marbling, which, in turn, increases the flavor, juiciness and tenderness, he said.
To prepare the Pork Tenderloin, the meat is marinated in garlic and herbs, and grilled, Millsap said. It is placed atop the Apple Fennel Puree, a "velvety and smooth" mixture, and then drizzled with the restaurant's BSG steak sauce, he said.
The Pork Confit Parsnip Hash begins with pork slow-cooked in its own fat for six hours "until it's delicious," he said. It is then combined with diced parsnips, peppers, onions, garlic and herbs, sautéed and plated.
Placed on top of the hash, Millsap said, is the Crispy Pork Belly, which was cured in-house with maple and brown sugar and smoked for six hours until it "has a crispy crust and is melt-in-your-mouth tender."
All three items in the Pork Tasting are served on a rectangular plate for $24.
Millsap, who worked for Mellow Mushroom and St. John's Restaurant after happily toiling for his grandmother, joined Broad Street Grille five years ago as banquet chef and then sous chef.
He was promoted to chef about six months ago.
Millsap said the restaurants new offerings don't stop at the spring menu or tasting menu but also include a couple of new weekend promotions.
Steak Night, every Friday, offers weekly specials of dry-aged, local, grass-fed beef in appetizers and entrees; while Date Night, every Saturday, features two appetizers, two entrees, one dessert and a bottle of wine for $65 a couple. At the latter, couples can adjourn following dinner to enjoy drinks around the fire pit in the hotel courtyard or take in the live, local music in the adjacent Foundry lounge.
Both promotions offer complimentary valet parking.