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Get to know Rock City’s top chef, Steve Gatlin

May 30, 2024

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Meet Steve Gatlin, See Rock City’s new corporate chef!

Gatlin joins See Rock City Inc. with an extensive background in culinary leadership and is excited to add new flavor not only to Rock City’s menu but the Chanticleer Inn Bed and Breakfast and at Grandview as well.

“I’ve worked under German chefs, French chefs, you name it; I’ve purposely worked at dives so I could learn some of those old school secrets,” Gatlin said. “So when I step into a space and people throw menu options at me or different concepts, I’m really comfortable with working it out.”

Gatlin has commanded kitchens across the hospitality industry, from Cheekwood Estate and Gardens in Nashville, Tennessee to the Read House hotel in Chattanooga and Covenant College on Lookout Mountain. Among other roles, Gatlin helped open Chattanooga’s Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse as sous-chef and was senior executive chef and area director of dining for Century Park Associates, a collection of assisted and independent senior living communities across 20 states.

Serving hundreds daily doesn’t phase Gatlin, but his job is made easier with a team of talented cooks and event planners. And he’s excited to find just that at Rock City.

“I think the culture here is what really surprised me because Rock City refers to everyone as a “partner,” and it truly has that energy – we all have to work together and partner up on these ideas to make them work,” Gatlin said.

Gatlin developed a passion for cooking at an early age from his grandmother. Watching her prepare savory dishes inspired him to learn to do it himself. Originally from Memphis, Gatlin grew up in Nashville, where he would go on to attend the Opryland Culinary Institute. Upon graduating, Gatlin embarked on a two-year externship throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and South America, learning colorful techniques in the culinary arts.

You name it and Gatlin can make it, but his favorite dish to make is pasta carbonara.

“The reason for that is it tastes really good, but it’s also my wife’s absolute favorite thing,” he explained. “On our first date I made it for her, and it must’ve been good because she married me.”