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Chef Ben Vaughn Discusses the Art of Locally Varied Menus

In Professionals on June 28, 2010 at 2:39 am

Chef Ben Vaughn, proprietor of the elegant and artful Grace restaurant, has recently opened a new restaurant called Au Fond Farmtable. Loosely translated, explains Chef Ben Vaughn, the name means “Fundamentally Farmtable.” Chef Ben Vaughn’s goal with this less formal breakfast and lunch establishment is to create an artisan menu based on local food, with a cafe or bistro style environment. Chef Ben Vaughn opened Au Fond Farmtable right next door to his popular Grace restaurant. The two restaurants share a kitchen, says Chef Ben Vaughn, but are committed to very distinct and complementary eating experiences.

One unique quality of Chef Ben Vaughn’s latest dining establishment, Au Fond Farmtable, is the variability of the menu. Chef Ben Vaughn understands that in the restaurant world it is typically a cardinal sin to stray from the menu to which patrons are accustomed. But Chef Ben Vaughn feels that the menu at Au Fond Farmtable is reaching farther. The menu at Chef Ben Vaughn’s new restaurant is tuned in to the local farmers and food producers of the Memphis area.

For this reason, explains Chef Ben Vaughn, Au Fond Farmtable’s menu can change within a matter of days. But Chef Ben Vaughn assures that the changes are subtle and based on what local farmers are producing. This includes fine products like Anson Mills grits and Newman Farm bacon, notes Chef Ben Vaughn. For an example of menu variability, says Chef Ben Vaughn, Au Fond Farmtable features a hypnotic and delicious grilled pimento cheese sandwich. During the week, explains Chef Ben Vaughn, the cheese in this sandwich may range from sharp cheddar to an organic goat cheese in the same week. Chef Ben Vaughn allows for these subtle changes because local dairy producers always have something fresh and new for him. Chef Ben Vaughn, in turn, translates the natural variability of local food production into his menu.

Au Fond Farmtable
Cooper-Young next to Grace Restaurant
938 South Cooper Street
Memphis, TN, 38104
901.274.8513

  1. Chef Ben Vaughn was voted as one of the top 5 Best Chefs in Memphis. Chef Ben Vaughn garnered acclaim during his stint as chef and partner at the Memphis, Tennessee award winning River Oaks Restaurant.

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