A year and a half after helping La Chasse become one of Louisville’s best regarded restaurants, executive chef Alex Dulaney is leaving his post June 7 to become chef de cuisine at Star Hill Provisions, the recently opened restaurant and catering venue on the campus of Maker’s Mark Distillery in Loretto, Ky.
Delany will join owners Newman and Rachel Miller, who operate the business, and who also own the Harrison-Smith House in Bardstown. The restaurant, which went on hiatus last fall, has since become a busy private event venue catering to bourbon tourism and business crowds. Dulaney’s help at that venue will also be essential, said Newman Miller.
“We knew Star Hill Provisions would become busy, but we never imagined it would be as busy as it’s become,” said Miller, who is chef at both venues. His wife manages front-of-the-house teams at each place. “Private events at Harrison-Smith have taken off, too, and we really needed the help. So I’ve been after Alex a long time to come down here.”
Prior to joining La Chasse owner Isaac Fox, Dulaney logged several years as chef at Le Relais. Together, he and Fox created the menu for the rustic French country restaurant which has garnered rave reviews for its exceptional food and imaginative cocktails.
Leaving the restaurant is bittersweet, Dulaney said, but the opportunity to be nearer the countryside and work with Miller, an esteemed Kentucky chef, was too hard to pass up.
“It’s really hard to step away from La Chasse; I’ve loved it here,” said Dulaney. “I feel like I’m at the top of my game in Louisville, business on Bardstown Road is doing really well, our reservations are always filling up—there are so many good reasons to stay.”
But when he lived in Santa Fe, N.M., 14 years ago, he was close to the wilderness where he could leave the city and wind down.
“Working with Newman also gives me the opportunity to work with the distillery, and to get back to some great basics of cooking,” Dulaney said. “The other day I had his biscuits and sausage gravy, and I realized how I’d forgotten how good that was because I’ve been so absorbed in making beef Bourgogne so long.”
While the Millers own the Star Hill Provisions business, Maker’s Mark Distillery owns the facility, and bourbon producer spared no expense in buying top-of-the-line Jade and Winston Industries equipment for the new enterprise. Harrison-Smith House’s kitchen also is well equipped, but nowhere as spacious as Star Hill Provisions, yet Dulaney said both kitchens will be exciting to use.
“Newman devotes a lot of attention to detail, and I thrive on that,” Dulaney said.
Miller called Dulaney “a chef who actually reads and likes numbers, which is essential in this business. We can’t wait to get him down here.”