Deacon’s New South Names Chef and General Manager

Deacon's New South

A. Marshall Family Foods’s latest concept, Deacon’s New South, will open in downtown Nashville this fall and has welcomed two industry veterans to its team. Travis Sparks and Jenn McCarthy will be executive chef and general manager, respectively, of the modern Southern restaurant located at the corner of 4th Ave. and Church St. inside the historic Life and Casualty Tower.

“Deacon’s is a unique addition to our company’s brand, and we have formed a fantastic team to help execute our vision,” said Andy Marshall, CEO of A. Marshall Family Foods Inc. “Both Travis and Jenn bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their roles that we know will be invaluable in propelling Deacon’s to become a favorite for locals and visitors alike.”

Born in Connecticut but raised in south Florida and North Carolina, Travis Sparks graduated from The French Culinary Institute in New York City in 2000. He has worked with notable chefs like Marcus Samuelsson and Daniel Boulud and served most recently as the opening and consulting chef for a local hospitality group. Sparks was previously the executive chef of Tupelo Honey Cafe in Franklin.

Sparks will bring his extensive culinary background and skills in farming, gardening and whole-animal butchery to Deacon’s New South, which will feature a dry-aging room, a wood-fire grill, two bars and a lounge.

“Deacon’s has a story to tell, much like all A. Marshall Family Foods concepts,” Sparks said. “I can’t wait to get started and look forward to working with local farms and purveyors to bring that story to life.”

Jenn McCarthy joins the Deacon’s team with more than 20 years of experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry, having held positions at Nashville’s Watermark, Rumours Wine Bar and Prima restaurants. A certified level two sommelier with robust knowledge in wine buying, education and tastings, she will also contribute these skills to the development of Deacon’s extensive wine list and cocktail menu.

“Jenn is a longtime friend of the A. Marshall team, and her experience and skillset are a perfect match for Deacon’s,” said Claire Crowell, COO of A. Marshall Family Foods. “We are thrilled to see her take the helm of this amazing project.”

Though the Deacon’s New South opening menu is in development, guests can expect elevated, chef-curated dishes with a focus on high-quality cuts of meat dry-aged onsite and hints of flavors and techniques from around the world. A couple surprises such as braised rabbit are likely features, as well as several seafood dishes, locally sourced sides and creative desserts, like an applejack stack.

Modern and eclectic, the atmosphere of Deacon’s promises to be refined, yet inviting, incorporating brass and copper details and bold architectural patterns that harken back to the building’s art-deco inspired origins. Deacon’s New South is slated to open in October 2017. For construction updates and menu sneak peeks, visit Deacon’s New South on Facebook.