CHEF MARGOT McCORMACK
Margot spent many Saturday mornings as a little girl in the kitchen with her mother frying doughnuts, baking bread and making candy, cakes & cookies. She loved cooking, eating & sharing time with her mother. She took her first kitchen job as a line cook at Bennigan’s as a student at UT in Knoxville. Graduating with a BA in English, Margot found herself back in Nashville working for local restaurateur Jody Faison. He encouraged her to be creative and introduced her to the works of chefs like Alice Waters. Inspired by her experience at Faison’s, Margot decided to pursue a career in culinary arts and enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America in 1987. After completing the two year program, Margot set her sights on New York City. In 1992, she became the chef at Danal, a tiny European café in the East Village. There, she was exposed to the more rustic dishes of Italy & France. Her ideas about food really began to take shape as she honed her skills and developed her cooking style.
In 1996, Margot returned to Nashville and began working as Executive Chef at F. Scott’s restaurant in Green Hills. Over the next five years, she reacquainted herself with Nashville and began making her mark on its dining scene. Then she was ready for a restaurant of her own. She left F. Scotts, in February of 2001 and partnered with businessman Jay Frein to open Margot Café and Bar in June of 2001.
Margot’s philosophy on food and cooking is rooted in the cultures of southern France and Italy. It is based on seasonality and the very best ingredients. She enjoys the sturdy flavors of peasant cookery in these regions. Margot is not looking to reinvent food but to reintroduce it in a personal and uncomplicated way.