A. Marshall Family Foods recently named Donnie Counts as head chef at Harvest at Homestead, the farm-to-table restaurant located inside the historic antebellum home in Thompson’s Station. Previously, Counts served as kitchen manager at Harvest and, most recently, as executive chef at Puckett’s Boat House in Franklin.
A native of the Mississippi Delta, Counts draws on his background to create unique dishes for Harvest, building on Southern basics, while borrowing influences from culinary traditions from across the globe.
“I spent my childhood in the kitchen, watching my mother and grandmother create dishes that centered around the region’s native ingredients,” Counts said. “In everything I do, I want to bring that passion I saw at home to my guests’ table. Basically, I just get to use the building blocks I grew up on.”
Since those memories around the stove as a child, Counts has overseen kitchens and trained under acclaimed chefs from Colorado to South Carolina–not to mention opened his own restaurant, a Spanish tapas concept in Mississippi.
Counts has a longstanding history with A. Marshall Family Foods. He first started working with the hospitality group in 2014, when he served as executive chef at Gray’s on Main. He then moved to Harvest at Homestead Manor to serve as its kitchen manager and the liaison between the restaurant and Homestead’s on-staff organic farmers, before serving as Executive Chef of the brand’s seafood concept, Puckett’s Boat House for a year.
Claire Crowell, chief operating officer for AMFF, is excited to see Counts back at Harvest.
“Donnie’s philosophy of reimaging Southern classics aligns well with Harvest,” Crowell said. “We are familiar with how he works in the kitchen, and his knowledge and creativity are huge assets to our brand.”
Harvest at Homestead is open Tuesday through Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m., Friday from 4 to 10 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Brunch is served on the weekends from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Follow Homestead Manor on Facebook for the latest updates.