Catching your first fly ball, scoring your first basket, or using your first half time orange slice as a mouth guard are among the many memories that we make as part of our childhood sports teams. You join the team because your best friend is, but you test the waters by practicing with the star player, and soon you’re looking forward to the team cheer to invigorate you before every game. As the saying goes, “There’s no ‘I’ in ‘team’” and we may grow out of pre-game war paint and away-game “dress up days”, but we never truly leave the team environment behind. We’re a part of many different teams, from the family unit to friends to coworkers, and never losing sight of the camaraderie that you feel and respect that you give as a child is important to the success of the teams in your life. Philip Shyatt, Executive Chef at Bound’ry Nashville, is committed to fostering the team environment of his childhood among his coworkers in order to create the innovative, yet classic American menu that Nashvillians have come to love.
Growing up in a house that radiated the team-player, sports mentality, Shyatt has known the ways of coaching his entire life. Sports runs in his blood: his father and brother are collegiate basketball coaches. At a young age, he enjoyed and participated in athletic activities, but by the time he was 11 it was the work of four greek brothers (family friends) that caught his attention. He started working in the greek brothers’ restaurant, observing their work and trying out recipes at home. However, he wasn’t a real-life version of the Ratatouille movie, gifted with cooking as soon as he held a soup ladle. He learned the ways of food preparation by making mistakes and learning from them. Through high school, he even stepped in and assumed the role of household “chef”, giving his mother nights off of the proverbial motherhood kitchen-duty to practice his skills.
As Shyatt grew older, his infatuation with cooking evolved into a thriving career path. And as he pursued his passion a trend formed among his family: while his brother and father coached, his second brother was led to the culinary arts just as he was. Lucky for Nashvillians, Shyatt’s professional pursuits brought him to Nashville where he created featured suppers for Burger Up with his brother and became the Executive Chef for the Bound’ry Nashville over two years ago. Considered one of the “older” restaurant staples in town, Bound’ry has been serving up their modernized American cuisine since 1994. With the influx of new restaurants and new residents in recent years, Bound’ry has seen it’s competitors grow exponentially. Fortunately, Shyatt’s influence over the menu and amongst his coworkers has kept this Midtown dining spot contemporary and relevant.
Shyatt’s philosophy on running a well-oiled eatery is clear: understand where the ingredients are sourced from and educate the team accordingly. As an Executive Chef, he doesn’t order around his direct reports as if they’re subordinate to him, he prefers to treat them with equal respect, taking the time to see that each teammate feels informed and accepted. He ensures that each knows how to execute their tasks consciously and with excellence. He appreciates the basics of cooking, and tries to remind his coworkers of the fundamentals. The concepts of “farm to table” and “supporting local businesses” are assumed actions in his restaurant and he reviews menu items daily, adjusting to what’s available. Needless to say, Shyatt’s attention to detail is impressive. He cares about his product and his team and it shows.
Although Bound’ry may not be the new kid on the block in Nashville dining, there’s a reason that patrons keep going back for more. Shyatt has managed to maintain the integrity of the menu items that his regular customers crave while incorporating new additions that reflect his knowledge of what’s trending; the epitome in current buzz foods, kale, is currently featured. It’s clear in the attentiveness that he applies to his menu creation and the coaching philosophy he practices in educating his coworkers that Shyatt is truly passionate about his work. He’s also the first to say that the overall experience of his restaurant is a team effort, never accepting full credit for the impeccable menu or service. Shyatt’s influence as an Executive Chef will only continue to grow as he passes on the values and fundamentals he learned as a child in and out of the kitchen, and at Bound’ry he and his team are knocking it out of the park.
Read the Nearly Native Review on Bound’ry HERE
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