Our Story

A Word From the Chef

I’ve always been a creative person and intent on steering my career away from things that I don’t enjoy.  Much to the chagrin of family, I decided to use my academic scholarship to purse a degree in music.  It was during college that I became interested in cooking.  I began cooking professionally about 10 years ago when I graduated from college with a Bachelor of Music/classical guitar.  I cooked mostly in fine dining restaurants in Nashville, TN and graduated from The International Culinary School at the Art Institute in 2009 with an Associate Culinary Degree with emphasis on Baking & Pastry.  I spent the following 2 years as the Sous/Pastry Chef at Pleasant Valley Country Club running the fine dining restaurant.

When I took 3 months off work to spend time with my newborn daughter,  I knew I didn’t want to return to a country club.  The plan had been to start a restaurant but that changed, as do most things after you have a child.  Over that last year we were having friends over monthly to watch UFC matches, and we had gotten into the habit of serving pork buns because everyone was floored by them.  When it came time to start a business,  the food truck idea was a whim inspired by necessity.  I needed the freedom, that comes with a food truck but not a restaurant, to say “I have a sick daughter,  I’ll just be closed tomorrow’.  From there we developed a menu based on love for the food that we had been serving to friends, and launched The Southern Gourmasian Truck in 2012.

The Food Truck, and the menu we produced, were very well received and we rapidly developed a very loyal following. Business grew beyond our wildest expectations! Soon, between the regular truck schedule, special events, and an ever increasing number of caterings, our ability to produce enough food in 157 square feet was reaching its limit. We were beginning to turn away business because we didn’t have the production capacity to meet all of the requests pouring in. It quickly became apparent we need a full production kitchen. We figured if we are going to to do that, why not go ahead and open a restaurant?

So here we are in 2015! The new restaurant gives us the ability to grow as a business. We can expand our catering, more easily provision the food truck for daily service, and provide a nice environment for customers who would rather sit down and enjoy a meal than search out the truck. More importantly, it gives us the opportunity to stretch ourselves professionally and creatively- and that’s the fun part!
-Justin Patterson