Mitchell Murphree Returns as Head Chef for ‘Downtown on the Farm’

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Nearly 15 years ago, Chef Mitchell Murphree brought a new concept to Murfreesboro when he opened Five Senses Restaurant & Bar.

Focused on bringing a fresh, healthy and local approach to dining, Murphree opened Five Senses with his sister Mollie Murphree. Over the years, other restaurants have followed Murphree in creating seasonal menus made with fresh seafood, locally sourced meat and produce from local farmers.

That’s why he agreed to participate in Downtown on the Farm, a farm-to-table fundraising dinner featuring items sourced from local farms that will be transformed into a culinary adventure by four local chefs. Learn more on the Facebook event page.

In addition to Murphree, the meal will be prepared by some of Murfreesboro’s finest culinary minds: Shawn & Christy Hackinson from The Alley on Main, Chantell Kennedy-Shehan from Simply Pure Sweets, and Alex Belew from Dallas & Jane.

All the protein and produce will be procured from local farmers and growers from Middle Tennessee.

“Mitchell was a natural choice as head chef,” said Downtown on the Farm co-chair Gretchen Bilbro. “He was on the cutting edge of the farm-to-table movement in Tennessee.”

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, Mitchell Murphree became sole owner of Five Senses in January 2011.

He recently opened Steakhouse Five, an upscale steakhouse in the Fountains at Gateway.

“My grandparents raised livestock, my family ran a country ham business, and I was a member of the UT Knoxville meat judging team. You could say an appreciation for meat has been with me since I was born,” Murphree said.

That upbringing also gave him an appreciation for all locally sourced food and the farmers that produce it.

Downtown on the Farm will start with a signature cocktail provided by Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Whiskey that will be served at 4:30 p.m. Dinner will begin promptly at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28 at Cannonsburgh Village.

But this isn’t just a farm-to-table dinner.

Money raised at the event will be used to fund LOM’s annual scholarships for students from Rutherford County in the Entrepreneurship Program in the Jones College of Business.

The inaugural event, held on the Public Square in 2018, raised $4,000 for LOM’s scholarship. The funds were awarded to four MTSU students who graduated from a Rutherford County high school. The donation made LOM the largest donor to the Entrepreneurship Program in the Jones College of Business.

Early bird tickets are on sale for $80 each, regular price tickets will be $100. Tickets include dinner for one and a signature cocktail. Every ticket holder will also receive a commemorative, handmade cup made by a Tennessee-based potter.

Sponsorships are still available. To sponsor Downtown on the Farm and help a student attend college, contact Event Co-Chairwomen Gretchen Bilbro or Michelle Willard.