Pearl’s Fine Dining Under New Ownership
by Bailey Basham, Messenger Staff Writer
Charles Broad took over as executive chef and managing owner of Pearl’s Fine Dining after almost 20 years in the business. A Mississippi native, Broad has been on the Mountain for nearly two years. He grew up eating his mom’s southern, Cajun dishes, and said her cooking created a love of food for him.
“I’ve always loved being in the kitchen. I have had a stutter all my life, and back in the kitchen, I do not have to talk often. I can talk through my food,” Broad said. “There are a lot of Mississippi and New Orleans influences in my food, but I really cook with one thing in mind—the Southern mantra of ‘cook everything with love.’”
Broad has been serving from the Pearl’s menu since taking over as executive chef and managing owner, but he said he has hopes of offering a new menu within the month—one that is inspired by his roots and blends Cajun, Creole, European and Southern flavors.
“I had to learn the foundations of different cuisines before I could start creating things on my own. You have to learn where food has been so you know where you might go next,” Broad said. “We’re also working on getting wine, liquor and beer permits, and eventually, we want to build a Speakeasy-style lounge and bar.”
Broad said nearly everything will be either locally sourced or made in-house, and he has recruited some friends from the area to make this possible. He is sourcing his ingredients from vendors at the South Cumberland Farmers’ Market and from Wildberry Farms in Decherd.
“We’re working with Hannah at Wildberry Farms to get arugula, San Marzano tomatoes, garlic shoots and popcorn shoots,” he said.
Kyle Larsen will be doing all the bread baking at Pearl’s using yeast local to the area on Jump Off Road. Larsen, who previously dabbled home brewing beers, said bread making is like the inverse of brewing. You just switch from fermentation to baking.
“We’re work shopping some of the menu items as we roll everything out. I’ve made some French bread, a big country-style sourdough, Kaiser rolls, beignets,” Larsen said. “Bread making just brings me back to the way that people have eaten for so long.”
Pearl’s is located at 15344 Sewanee Hwy., Sewanee. Hours are Wednesday and Thursday, 5–9 p.m., and Friday–Saturday, 5–10 p.m. Reservations are recommended. For more information or to make reservations, call (931) 463-2222 or visit www.pearlsdining.com.