The General Morgan Inn has announced Geoff Kenney as the hotel's new executive chef.
Chef Kenney began duties at the Inn in late August and has been introducing his style to guests for several weeks.
General Manager Bob Cantler said in a news release that Chef Kenney has just introduced a new gourmet Southern menu that will thrill diners at Brumley's, the hotel's restaurant.
"His goal with the new menu," Cantler said, "is to reflect Southern culture as much as possible, while using local and regional ingredients."
"The menu is very reflective of the fall season as well," Kenney said. "Many dishes utilize the colors that are found in the local landscape this time of year. Our goal is to create a menu that is reflective of this area in taste and appearance."
"The first time we met with Chef Kenney, I was impressed with his desire to create Southern cuisine that would delight our guests and would give those in the region a meal to look forward to," said Cantler.
"He has reached out to area purveyors to help us find the freshest ingredients that are available," Cantler said.
"My current favorite would be the Appalachian trout, but ask another day, and it might be the seared scallops with butternut squash puree."
Cantler added that it was clear that Chef Kenney had the talent and skill sets needed to run a kitchen as busy as Brumley's as well as the desire to create a dining experience that guests will not soon forget.
Besides trout and scallops, also featured on the menu are pear and goat cheese salad, sweet potato gnocchi, smoked trout dip, beef shortrib pasta and a roasted chicken breast.
Several favorites from the past menu have remained, including the Brumley's filet and chicken picatta, according to the news release.
When asked about what drew him to the General Morgan Inn, Kenney said, "the building and history behind the hotel is amazing. The hotel and Brumley's are both very visually stunning.
"I still get goose bumps when I walk into the dining room with its view of Main Street through the windows. It is very pleasing to my eyes.
"The history behind the hotel is fascinating. It has been a part of Greeneville for a very long time, and I want to continue that tradition through Brumley's," Kenney said.
Kenney began his career in culinary arts after receiving his B.A. in political science from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington.
When asked how he went from receiving a political science degree to culinary arts he explained, "I went to college at the beach in North Carolina, and I did not want to leave after graduation, so I needed to find a job. The one I found was working as a line cook.
"Within a few weeks, I realized that I was extremely passionate about cooking and making people happy through food.
"Within a year I had my first position as a sous chef," Kenney said. "I learned a great deal about what it meant to really be a chef with that job.
"I went into cooking not knowing that you could even make a career out of it, but since I first stepped onto a kitchen line, I just knew that I found the career for me."
Most recently, Kenney was the executive chef at Cru Bistro and Wine Bar in Knoxville, which is known for its small-plate menu and popular with those that appreciate global cuisine.
He was featured in several Knoxville events and magazine articles, the news release noted.
Kenney is a newlywed, and his wife, Abigail Wells Kenney, is completing her nursing degree at Lincoln Memorial University.