Actors Theatre of Louisville's Managing Director, Jennifer Bielstein and Artistic Director, Les Waters have announced that nationally recognized Executive Chef and owner of 610 Magnolia and farm-to-table pioneer Edward Lee has selected the theatre's downtown location as the site for his much-anticipated new restaurant.
Housed in the lower level of Actors Theatre of Louisville's theatre complex, the restaurant is situated in the heart of Main Street, an area that has seen rapid transformation in recent years into a vibrant quarter for dining, socializing and culture. Chef Lee will take over the lease of Actors Theatre's in-house restaurant and bars immediately with the restaurant scheduled to open its doors to the public in January 2013 and a renovated Mezzanine bar in late November 2012. Temporary bar service will be available for patrons beginning in September when the Theatre's 2012-2013 performance season commences. The restaurant will hold tables for reservations by Actors Theatre Season Ticket Holders in advance of the opening date, more information to be provided.
Jennifer Bielstein said, "We are honored to partner with Edward Lee in this new endeavor at Actors Theatre. The caliber of his culinary talent is exquisite. We could not be more excited to work with him to ensure we provide our patrons with an extraordinary experience and a perfect evening at the theatre!"
Edward Lee added, "I am excited and honored to be working alongside the much beloved and respected Actors Theatre. I hope to follow the same principals in my new restaurant that have guided Actor's Theatre for so long - creativity, professionalism, craft, tradition and a willingness to take risks."
The concept including menu and name behind Lee's latest culinary venture are currently being finalized, but it promises an ambiance and décor that is communal and convivial and will seat around 110 patrons. The menu will be priced accessibly for the theatre going audience and competitively with neighboring downtown restaurants. Award-winning Manhattan-based architecture and design firm, Andre Kikoski Architect, PLLC renowned for their work on The Wright in the Guggenheim Museum have been appointed by Lee to oversee the design.
Originally from Brooklyn, NYC, Chef Lee took the helm of 610 Magnolia in 2004, the elegant fine dining restaurant located in Old Louisville. Under Lee's vision the restaurant has earned the reputation for being the area's finest dining destination garnering praise for its unique combination of southern hospitality and urban sophistication. In addition, Lee has developed a national reputation as a Kentucky Chef at the forefront of The Farm to Table movement and the Chef and 610 Magnolia have been featured in Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, the New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Saveur, Organic Style, Southern Living, Gourmet Magazine, MSNBC and the BBC's "The World". He was a finalist for the James Beard Foundation Awards Best Chef: Southwest in 2011 and 2012. Most recently he was propelled into national stardom when he defeated Iron Chef Jose Garces on Food Network's "Iron Chef America" in a battle that featured tongues and cheeks and he was a firm favorite during his recent appearance on Bravo's "Top Chef: Texas, Season 9."