Forage South: On the Hunt for Unique Southern Cuisine

January 15, 2013 | By | Comments (7)
Forage South

Brandon Frohne and Jonathan Humphrey. Photo by Ron Manville

With his first, much-anticipated pop-up dinner in Nashville on Saturday, chef Brandon Frohne is out to create modern interpretations of regional comfort food for a new audience of Southern diners. Drawing its name from a cooking show pilot that Brandon described as a hunt for unique Southern eats, Forage South dinners are just that.

Guests lucky enough to score a seat at Saturday’s 20-person dinner (held at an undisclosed location) will find Brandon turning Southern cuisine on its head with offerings such as tableside liquid nitrogen ice cream soda with bourbon ice cream. He’s also got bone marrow, fried chicken terrine with brown butter turnip puree, and pumpkin beignets planned for the first dinner. Backed by a team that includes his sous chef Jonathan Humphrey and mixologists Jon and Lindsey Yeager from PourTaste, Brandon hopes to hold Forage South dinners in a different secret spot in Nashville once a month.

Shrimp & Grits

Brandon’s take on shrimp and grits. Photo by Rob Manville

After a decade of stints in Southern kitchens and participating in a dozen culinary competitions, for Brandon, like other chefs, part of the appeal of a one-night-only dinner is the chance to veer off menu. “It is a creative outlet for us to push ourselves, push culinary boundaries, and expose our guests to a new foodie outlook,” Brandon says. In his case, the dinners are an opportunity to test innovative ideas on an audience without the investors or capital required for a restaurant.

And diners across the country are eating up these unique ideas, menus, and collaborations. Thanks to the modernization of the food scene in the South and the work of the farmers, artisans, and forward-thinking chefs, Brandon says consumers are enjoying the increasing number of chances to chow down up close and get to know a chef and their cooking style and philosophies.

Not content with just one series of distinctive dinners, Brandon is planning an even more exclusive secret underground supper club called Antebellum Tonic Supper Club. The invitation-only club will hold its first meeting in Nashville on January 25 and will travel to nine other cities across the country in true pop-up form. Working with Ben Vaughn  (from Food Network’s Heath Inspectors), Brandon will join forces with top chefs from each city and collaborate on a menu that celebrates the local heritage and cuisine.

Grab a seat at the next Forage South dinner by visiting their blog or sending them an email at


  1. Donna Ferrell

    I would like to say I have had the great opportunity over this past year to work with two of the most incredible most brilliant minded as creative inspired men ever.Chef Frohne as His Sous Chef Johnathan Humphreys are spectacular in creativity ,as becoming very well know all around the world for there talents.I seen a remark by a man Or individual That certainly doesn’t have one clue about the history of these well known chefs.First Off, Rutland Place is not just a retirement community.It is one of the most high classed hotel living communities in our City.Only people of high living standards reside there.They require High standard chefs to be a part of there every day living experience.Please never judge wonderful individuals if you have never had the opportunity to meet, as observe them in there ever day working environment.Take the time to sit down and enjoy a nice chat with these two.I promise you after that one evening you will find, not only was you so wrong in judging.You will not be able to help but love,appreciate and respect,as have a new understanding of whom these two wonderful chefs are as individuals.If you are a well deserved learning driven chef your self, you may could have been offered the opportunity of your life time.Please remember some times we are so quick to judge that we lose sight of our own desires as hurt our selves in the process.

    January 17, 2013 at 7:47 pm
  2. Meghan

    J Stawnock -Didnt you’re mother ever teach you that if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say it at all? But that’s okay because it’s people like you that give other people motivation to become even better! Everyone knows that people only say these kinds of hurtful, contrived things out of jealousy anyways. I have know Chef Frohne for years now. I have never met a person more dedicated to his trade then him. He has everything it takes to be an amazing chef. How do you think people make it big in the culinary industry anyways? It takes years of self promotion and countless hours of hard dedicated work in the field. So, did you even read the article to see that Chef’s Brandon Frohne and Jonathan Humphrey are about to be working with Ben Vaughn from Food Network in their latest endeavors? There is no harm in taking a job at a retirement home for a year to feed your family. At least when they make it big, they will always remember where they came from. If you were at all familiar with the background of Chef Brandon you would know that he has already risen from the ashes to get where he is today. Knowing how hard these chef’s work every day to better themselves and their culinary creations makes me very mad when I read derogatory, uninformed comments from people like you. Then I remember and smile, that its like this with anything. There are always gonna be jealous, hateful people that try to bring you down, but the strongest will always use this to overcome and elevate themselves above the rest. I have faith in these two Chef’s and look forward to seeing what adventures they will embark on over the next year. Much love.

    January 17, 2013 at 12:28 pm
  3. lessie.frohne

    J Stanwock – Brandon and Jonathan are certainly not less deserving than any other chef in Nashville. They have worked extremely hard in the past year and you know, sometimes people take jobs for reasons other than “loving the life of the line.” Not only is Brandon an incredible chef, he’s the best husband and father anyone could ask for. He has worked for the past year at his current job to provide for our family and spend as much time with our little boy as humanly possible. This job has allowed me to stay at home with our child and I am grateful to have a husband who puts the happiness of his family before any job. As for Jonathan – everyone starts somewhere. Jonathan happened to start at the retirement facility. He is incredibly talented and I’m glad to call him one of my best friends. I’m proud of these guys! They’ve got great things coming up in the next few months as Forage South grows and their new culinary venture finally comes to fruition. They truly love food and have found many outlets to express their creativity outside of the regular 9 to 5. I can think of few people that have more passion and love for delicious and beautiful food.

    I certainly hope that your negative sentiments do not take away from the hard work that Brandon and Jonathan consistently put forth. Please join us for a pop up dinner and give them a chance to change your mind.

    Also, haters gon’ hate.


    January 17, 2013 at 11:00 am
  4. J Inithiraj

    I haven’t been a chef for too long. Been in the industry for about 7 years and I’m still learning. I had my doubts about both Jonathan Humphrey and Chef Frohne when I initially met them. I thought the average 30 per plate for his pop-up dinners was .. obnoxious. But the quality of the food is there.

    I always had it in mind, as a chef, that its the quality of the cut or ingredients. That its the atmosphere of the dining experience. But from what I’ve seen of Chef Frohne and his Sous Chef? A different sort of atmosphere, with a unique energy and very innovative ways to cook. He has brought about contemporary methods of cooking to old foods.

    They say “You get what you pay for”, and in the case of these pop-up-dinners, they give much more in quality than what you’re actually paying for because they damn well care about making sure they deliver Southern Hospitality.

    If Nashville has true chef talent, then it’s right here. I believe Chef Brandon Frohne is going to put Nashville on the food map.

    … That, and last I remember, he was a World Chef Challenge semi-finalist. Winner of People’s Choice award in Savor Nashville 2 years running, as well as 2nd Best Biscuits in the world for Biscuit Fest. Looking your name up, good sir, provides nothing.

    January 17, 2013 at 10:36 am
  5. Jonathan Humphrey

    J stawnock,

    How long have you and your companion worked in the industry? Does it make you feel better to comment here, negatively, about another chef? We haven’t worked in a restaurant in a good year, but we are opening a restaurant this year and we will have VIP seating for you in the soft opening. We’ll also have some line cook positions open as well. Don’t you think if we weren’t doing something right, that every major media outlet in Nashville would not find interest in what we are doing? We apologize that you’re unfamiliar with our experience and backgrounds, but we’d love to meet you should you pass through. Perhaps a beer or a coffee?

    January 17, 2013 at 10:22 am
  6. J stawnock

    I work in the industry and I must say this is sad! To many deserving chefs in nashville to be talking about a guy that would consider himself a chef when he is the “chef” of a retirement home. I wish nashville and its food comunnity would recognize the true talent of nashville. I just know true chefs would never take a job like that because they love the life of the line. I should know I date one.

    January 17, 2013 at 2:06 am
  7. Tyler Harper

    Wow , thats impressive and inspiring! Chef brandon and his sous chef john h. Seem to a lot of passion and love for what they do coming up with all of these inovative dishes. I think the both of them have a lot to look forward this year!

    January 16, 2013 at 7:52 pm

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