Tandy Wilson opened City House in Nashville’s historic Germantown district in December 2007 in space that had formerly housed the working space for artist and sculptor Alan LeQuire. City House’s menu offers dishes that feature quality, local ingredients cooked with great care and purpose. City House also allows Wilson to hone his emerging expertise at cured meats, which hold a prominent place on the menu, revolving between his various salamis and, more recently, hand-cured hams. Seating 124, and featuring a chef’s bar where diners can watch as Wilson and his team prepare the meal, City House has emerged as one of the bright stars in Nashville’s local restaurant scene.
Wilson opened City House after spending two years as sous chef for Margot McCormack at Margot Café and Bar, also in Nashville. Working with local resources and a menu that changed daily, Wilson sharpened his skills and perfected his vision of his own restaurant.
It was his mother and grandmothers who instilled in him this enthusiasm and love of food early on, and it was during his first restaurant job at The Orangery while attending the University of Tennessee in Knoxville that he discovered his talent. After quickly moving up from his position as a dishwasher to a role in the kitchen, Wilson realized he wanted to make a career out of cooking. In 2000, after graduating with a degree in hotel restaurant administration, he left Tennessee for Arizona, where he attended the Scottsdale Culinary Institute.
After a year of culinary training, the institute’s career center placed Wilson at the world-famous Tra Vigne restaurant in St. Helena, Calif., in October of 2001. Tra Vigne’s executive sous chef at the time, Nate Appleman, was also the creative force behind SPQR and A16, two of the most popular destinations in the San Francisco restaurant scene. The opportunity to work under the direction of such an influential chef inevitably shaped Wilson’s future in the restaurant industry. Following his time in California, Wilson decided to travel to Italy to explore the cuisine and learn more about regional Italian cooking. Returning from Italy in 2005, Wilson came home to his roots. Wilson’s passion for food extends beyond cooking for his customers. He has been a member of the Southern Foodways Alliance for the past two years and is frequently involved with local and regional culinary activities.