Chef Story: Katie Coss - Husk Nashville

At HUSK Restaurant, if it doesn’t come from the south, it’s not coming through their doors. As purveyors of great southern based food and beverages, we support that credo 100%. With four locations, HUSK has become one of the most respected and recognized establishments in the southeast.

The Nashville location in particular is redefining the food scene in that red hot culinary city, largely thanks to the vision of their executive chef Katie Coss.

Coss, who was born in Oklahoma, is a dynamic chef with a wonderful personality and a drive like no other. “Once I got into cooking, I knew that this is what I wanted to do. It was incredibly hard being a girl and being 5’3”, I knew I had to work twice as hard and be better than whoever was standing next to me,” she says.

Food was not Coss’ first love. That distinction goes to ballet. After growing tired of dealing the rigors of training and maintaining a certain body image, her parents suggested she try something less stressful and that is how she began cooking. For Coss, cooking provided a therapy of sorts and it still does to this day. “There is a type of peace that you get from it,” says Coss.

It was in culinary school that Coss read an article in Bon Appetit Magazine that would change the course of her professional career. Having grown up on 20-acres, where all the food that the family ate was farm-to-table, she became enamored with chef Sean Brock’s use of farm-to-table food and amazing ingredients and she knew she wanted to train under him.

Once again, Coss proved her doubters wrong by moving to Charleston and getting a gig at the local HUSK location. By working hard and asking tons of questions she moved up and began working closely with Brock. Coss says she always set goals of where she wanted to be by certain age but she didn’t think that she’d be an executive chef by the age of 27.

Due to the city’s proximity to her family and her love of hot sauce and all things spicy—she has a habanero pepper tattoo—Nashville was the ideal next step for Coss. At HUSK Nashville, she’s been able to work closely with her staff to create an ever-evolving menu and bring new flavor to the city.

It was also at HUSK, that Coss discovered Mountain Valley Water. “I always saw the managers drinking it. I really don’t drink soda pop at all, but Mountain Valley Sparkling Water is pretty damn good. I always thought it was for upper class, but now I find myself drinking it all the time, she says laughingly.”

In addition to enjoying it as a beverage, Coss also used Mountain Valley’s “fancy water” in the kitchen as well. “I make peanut milk with it. I Use it every time I makes pickled garlic, because there are minerals in tap water that will actually turn garlic blue,” says Coss. “Whenever making any kind of salami or charcuterie, I always use mountain valley as well. Mountain valley is 100% pure.” Katie Coss is one of the coolest and most talented chefs we have come across. Be sure to stop by HUSK, whenever you’re in the Nashville area and try the Beef Tartare—it’s Coss’ favorite item on a very impressive menu. Tell em’ Mountain Valley sent you!

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