21c Museum Hotel Nashville Appoints Matt Bell as Executive Chef
21c Museum Hotels, the award-winning Louisville-based boutique hotel, contemporary art museum and restaurant group, announced today the appointment of Matt Bell as executive chef of its Nashville restaurant, Gray & Dudley, located in 21c Museum Hotel Nashville (221 2nd Ave N, Nashville, TN 37201). Bell is the former owner, operator and executive chef of South on Main, in Little Rock, AR.
"We are thrilled to welcome Matt as the executive chef of Gray & Dudley," said Melanie Tapp, Senior Director, 21c Food and Beverage. "Matt's skill and experience in the kitchen are matched by his love of community and compassion for others, which makes him a perfect addition to the 21c Nashville team. We can't wait for locals and travelers alike to visit him at Gray & Dudley."
Bell fell in love with Southern cuisine and culture when he moved to the South in 2005 from his home state of Montana. He studied at the Texas Culinary Academy in Austin, TX and later moved to North Little Rock, AR where he began his career serving upscale southern fare for five years at Ashley's at the Capital Hotel. In 2013, Bell opened his first establishment, South on Main. Named the best restaurant in Arkansas by Business Insider, South on Main will continue service under new ownership, and the Oxford American Concert Series will also continue as scheduled. Bell is proud of his legacy in Little Rock and excited for his new adventure in Nashville.
"Nashville offers one of the most exciting culinary communities in the country and 21c offers one of the most hospitable travel experiences, so it's the perfect match," said chef Matt Bell. "I am looking forward to being a part of the 21c family here in Music City and to extending our hospitality beyond the hotel and into the local community."
In addition to cooking, Bell is a passionate advocate of social change. He has hosted multiple benefit dinners and has lobbied on Capitol Hill alongside No Kid Hungry to protect programs that benefit children impacted by food insecurity. He will continue his work with the organization in his new role at 21c Nashville.
"Giving back is extremely important to me," said Bell. "There is no better way to do it than through my work as a chef. The connection of food and hospitality can be transformative."