For our third annual “Dude Issue” (March 2014), Executive Chef Chris Ross of Louisville’s Bristol Catering and the Highlands Bristol Bar & Grille gave guy grub an awesome upgrade with his recipes for buttery beer bread and country ham spread, green chili wonton dip, buffalo chicken thighs and cupcakes infused with a locally brewed ale.
Ross began his culinary career at the age of 18 as a server at Bellefonte Country Club in Ashland. He began volunteering in the kitchen both before and after his shifts, peeling potatoes and doing other prep work in order to absorb as much as he could about the kitchen operations. He then decided to go to Sullivan University in Louisville to obtain his culinary degree. During that time, he worked as a line and prep cook at local restaurants and country clubs before accepting the position of sous chef at the Lake Forest Country Club, where he began gathering the experience and knowledge needed to operate a country club restaurant. In October of 2000, after graduating from Sullivan with a Culinary Arts Associate of Science Degree, Chris returned to Bellefonte Country Club as sous chef and was promoted to executive chef in September 2005.
At Bellefonte, Ross was instrumental in the creation and development of a successful off-premise catering operation. He also partnered with many local businesses and charities to help further the community’s growth. He focused on developing his kitchen team, taking dishwashers and training them to work the line. He inspired many to enroll in culinary school and earn their degrees, and one even became his sous chef. In early 2012, an opportunity to return to Louisville arose and Chris accepted the position of executive chef at Harmony Landing Country Club.
Chris is a professional-minded and innovative chef who is currently a Certified Culinarian and an active member of the American Culinary Federation. His passion for Southern food and French culinary technique allows him to offer a wide variety of catering menus for special events. In addition to serving as the creative force behind Bristol Catering, he runs the kitchen at the original Highlands location of the Bristol Bar & Grille, where his Hot Brown Soup has garnered national attention in Food Network Magazine.