Three truths:

  1. It’s not every day that I eat lunch.
  2. It’s not every day that I eat lunch at a restaurant.
  3. It’s not every day that I eat lunch at The Brown Hotel at the Chef’s Table.
Dining in Style: Chef's Table at The Brown Hotel

Just a normal Tuesday for me.

So when I was invited to this VIP lunch, I knew it was probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that was too good to pass up. Kirby Adams, formerly of WHAS-TV and now the Courier-Journal’s features reporter, Rachel Goldenberg from Estes Public Relations and I all enjoyed this wonderful experience together with Executive Chef Josh Bettis. Bettis recently took over this position from Laurent Geroli, hailing from Montelucia Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is interesting and engaging — a perfect person to talk to during our experience here.

Dining in Style: Chef's Table at The Brown Hotel

Executive Chef Josh Bettis brings our first course.

He is very interested in all local food here. This is just one of many herbs and lettuces he had in his kitchen when we were there.

Dining in Style: Chef's Table at The Brown Hotel

Locally-grown herbs.

He is most intrigued with the Hot Brown, having never experienced one until his job interview at the Brown. He has been informed that he will be making anywhere from 800 a week during regular times and up to 15,000 a week during Derby. (At least they gave him all this information up front, before he took the job.)

Dining in Style: Chef's Table at The Brown Hotel

Hot Browns ready for serving. This makes my mouth water just looking at the picture.

The Chef’s Table concept has been around for years. In fact, this has been offered at the Brown Hotel for some time, but has never really been publicized. For not much more money than a regular dinner at The English Grill, you can be treated to a behind-the-scenes view of the kitchen. This is a worthwhile experience for a foodie, or anyone who loves to eat and be catered to. The menu is prix fixe.

Here’s our meal. (Let the jealousy begin.)

Canape

Dining in Style: Chef's Table at The Brown Hotel

This canape is a bay scallop beignet with tarragon gastrique. Basically, it’s a scallop in a beignet with a dipping sauce with a fabulous glass toothpick.

 Appetizers

Dining in Style: Chef's Table at The Brown Hotel

Foie gras with candied orange and local honey, served with brioche.

Dining in Style: Chef's Table at The Brown Hotel

Pressed watermelon tuna Nicoise with Peruvian potato, haricot vert and a whole grain mustard emulsion. The bottom layer is watermelon, the top layer is tuna.

Dining in Style: Chef's Table at The Brown Hotel

Groganica Farms aquaponically-grown harvest greens with Capriole Farms O’ Bannon goat cheese, Four Roses candied pecans and Hubard Orchard sweet tart apple vinaigrette.

Entrees

Dining in Style: Chef's Table at The Brown Hotel

Marinated loin of lamb with glazed cippollini and root vegetables.

Dining in Style: Chef's Table at The Brown Hotel

Pan-roasted monkfish with a garbanzo socca cake, curried banana and a coconut cilantro charmoula.

Dining in Style: Chef's Table at The Brown Hotel

Rolled open face wild mushroom ravioli with butter-braised salsify and pea hearts and a Parmesan espuma and basil dust.

Desserts

Dining in Style: Chef's Table at The Brown Hotel

Chef de Cuisine Shelby Cook (the dessert chef) comes over to reveal our three desserts.

Dining in Style: Chef's Table at The Brown Hotel

Lemon semifreddo, rosemary pine nut brittle and candied lemon zest.

Dining in Style: Chef's Table at The Brown Hotel

Chocolate panna cotta, mixed berry compote, hazelnut biscotti and crystallized basil.

Dining in Style: Chef's Table at The Brown Hotel

Peanut butter and jelly, spiced peanut mousse with roasted grape and huckleberry preserves.

The Chef’s Table is a formal setting in an informal atmosphere. Chef Bettis encourages guests to get up and walk around and to ask questions. He guides you through the meal and you are welcome to watch. The Chef’s table has its own personal waiter who went out of his way to accommodate our requests, including taking lots of pictures of us (which I’m sure is not on his job description).

Dining in Style: Chef's Table at The Brown Hotel

The Chef’s Table at the Brown Hotel is usually reserved just for dinner and will accommodate from 4 to 15 people. There is a prix fixe menu of four to seven courses. This starts at $75 per person without alcohol and $150 with wine pairings. As a courtesy, guests living in Louisville may request to be picked up or dropped off by the hotel van (available for parties of eight).

Please call 502-583-1234 and ask for the English Grill to make reservations today or click here: www.brownhotel.com