Executive Chefs

 
Andrew Whitney, Virago Chef

Andrew Whitney

Virago

Chef Andrew Whitney was born in Dallas Texas, but spent most of his life in Middle Tennessee. He began as a dishwasher at the age of 15, and worked his way around various areas of the kitchen. “I don't think I ever had that ‘moment’ were it hit me. I just fell in love with cooking at a young age, so I did everything possible to find success in the industry.” Andrew believes his passion for success and hard work comes from his father. “He was a career driven man. He worked his way from a construction worker framing houses, to becoming the Vice President of the largest home building company in Middle Tennessee. He accomplished all of this by working hard and being self-motivated. I know that is where I get my drive from.”  

Andrew went on to accomplish his career goals by receiving his Chef’s training at the Le Cordon Bleu in Atlanta, Georgia. Whitney was the Executive Chef for a local Nashville food truck turned Brick and Mortar, Riff’s Fine Street Food, before joining the M Street Family. He is now the Executive Chef of the award winning Asian fusion restaurant, Virago. His newest menu contributions are heavily influenced by the season, created with respect for regional traditions as well as the Asian culture.

Jay Flatley, Tavern Chef

Jay Flatley

Tavern

Jay Flatley was born and raised in New Orleans, LA, where he began cooking at a young age with his mother and sister. Like many chefs, Jay started his restaurant career washing dishes in a neighborhood restaurant. He moved to Dallas, TX and began cooking for Outback Steakhouse, where he learned all areas of the restaurant. After Outback, Jay began cooking in a privately-owned restaurant when he decided to further his career and attend culinary school. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from the Culinary Institute of America and shortly after returned to New Orleans to be a Sous Chef at Crescent City Brewhouse. While there, he worked for three years before and after Hurricane Katrina, until leaving for the Gulf Coast where he was Chef De Cuisine for the upscale dining restaurant, Fire. 

After two years on the beach, Jay moved to Nashville, TN and began cooking at Lime, where he became Sous Chef. Finally, in 2013, Jay became Executive Chef at Tavern in Midtown, M Street’s cool-casual, gastro-pub concept. As Chef of a local “foodie favorite,” Jay has been able to explore his creative mind by creating fun, inspired, and mouth-watering dishes

Robert Grace, Kayne Prime Chef

Robert Grace

Kayne Prime

Growing up in Tennessee and north Georgia, Chef Robert Grace was steeped in rich, southern cooking with farm fresh ingredients. He has been working in kitchens since the age of 16, ultimately following his passion for food to Johnson & Wales in Providence, Rhode Island to earn a degree in Culinary Arts. Robert continued to hone his skills working in the thriving Providence food scene before coming to Nashville in 2007. In Nashville he served as Sous-chef and Chef de Cuisine under a James Beard Award winning chef before coming to M Street and Kayne Prime.

During Robert’s tenure at Kayne Prime, the chef and the restaurant have become multi-award winners. Some of the recent accolades include Top 10 Steakhouses in the U.S. 2013 from Gayot, the Nashville Scene’s Iron Fork Audience Award, Best Steak, Best of the Best and Best Restaurants from Nashville Lifestyles. Continuing to innovate with Kayne Prime’s artful, farm-to-table creations, Chef Grace can often be found at the Nashville Farmer’s Market sourcing fresh, seasonal produce.

 
Jason Slimak, Saint Anejo Chef

Jason Slimak

Saint Añejo

Jason was born and raised Chicago, Illinois. He remembers being interested in cooking since he was a young boy. He started his culinary career washing dishes and prepping school lunches during high school.  He attributes his inclination to cooking to his mother’s lack of cooking ability, so some of his best memories are cooking in the kitchen of his family home with his mother and father. 

In Chicago, he worked for the Garden Restaurant in the Art Institute Museum, Walker Brother, Kumas Corner, De Cero, Lockdown Bar and Grill, and Veresway. The owners of Veresway were looking to reinvent their restaurant at the time, so they asked Jason to help create a new concept for her. He helped turn Veresway in Grange Hall Burger Bar, which featured grass fed beef burgers, homemade pies and ice creams, and hand cut fries. At Lockdown, Jason won Chicago's Best Burger Award and was interviewed for multiple TV outlets, such as Fox News, CBS, NBC, and the Living Well Network.

Jason moved to Nashville to be part of of the thriving food scene. After living in Nashville for only five days, he started his career with M Street and has been with the company since. Jason is now the executive chef of Saint Anejo, M Street’s cantina-style Latin inspired concept, where he implemented the weekend Brunch program and has seen immense growth in the restaurant’s success. 

Executive Chef Shane Midnight

SHANE MIDNIGHT

Whiskey Kitchen

Shane Midnight grew up in Dansville, a small town in upstate New York. It was there that his parents engrained in him a strong work ethic from an early age. At his mother's beckon, Shane first set foot in a kitchen as a dishwasher at the age of sixteen...if he could have only known then the doors that experience would open down the road. 

With the restless spirit of a twenty-something, Shane was fortunate to experience the diverse culinary scene of the United States. His stops along the way included stints at the Bittercreek Alehouse in Boise, the Grassy Key Dairy Bar in the Florida Keys and the Portland City Grill in Oregon. Throughout this time, he continued to hone his craft and learn from a diverse set of mentors along the way. He also earned his Associates Degree from the Western Culinary Institute while residing in Portland.

Sin City called next and Shane Midnight answered, accepting an opportunity to work under world famous Chef Mario Batali at Ristorante B&B. However, his vagabond soul led him away to Southern California where he served as Lead Line Cook at Cafe Chloe and Sous Chef at the very popular PrepKitchen in San Diego. That same sense of adventure even temped him briefly with a stint on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska feeding fishermen and their staffs.

Shane moved to Nashville in 2013, finally ready to settle down, and began working Whiskey Kitchen as a Sous Chef. Now, after a year and a half away, he has returned and accepted the position of Executive Chef. Chef Midnight has a passion for the tight-knit family his kitchen provides. He enjoys cultivating the budding careers of his colleagues and believes an inspired staff leads to an inspired menu.

Luke Senderling, Moto Chef

Luke Senderling

Moto

Luke Senderling, originally from Dallas, Texas, started his career in Aspen, Colorado working in a steak house. This led him to be offered the opportunity at M Street to open their new steak house concept, Kayne Prime. After opening Kayne Prime, Luke moved to Virago, where he remained for a little over two years. Though he left Nashville for California for about a year, Luke came back to be part of the opening crew of Moto Cucina + Enoteca. He started as a line cook and worked his way up to managing the kitchen there. Luke has been part of the MStreet team for a cumulative five years. Though most people know Luke’s passion for cooking well, not everyone knows that he studied percussion at the Booker T. Washington School for the Performing and Visual Arts. He has an adorable son named Phoenix, and enjoys eating around town and learning from what other chefs are doing.