In Louisville, we treat our chefs like celebrities. As our ever-changing culinary scene continues to grow and garner praise around the country, we reap the benefits of top chefs who have perfected menu mainstays but also branched out to try new things.
Dean Corbett is one such chef, and his two restaurants — Equus & Jack’s Lounge and Corbett’s Restaurant: An American Place — are proof of his business acumen and talent in the kitchen. He took over the reins of Equus in 1985; opened up Jack’s Lounge, named after his father, in 2000; opened Corbett’s Restaurant in a 19th century mansion in 2007; and then merged Equus and Jack’s in 2010.
Corbett’s restaurants have received many accolades throughout the years, including landing on Esquire magazine’s “Best New Restaurants” list in 2008. And what makes the chef even more esteemed is his passion to give back to his community.
He helped start several food-themed fundraisers, including Bourbon & Bowties, which benefits Norton’s Children’s Hospital Foundation. You’ll also find him serving up samples at various charitable events in town.
This week, while many of us are resting on our year-end laurels, Corbett is busy at work making sure we have quality offerings for New Year’s Eve dinner. Over at Equus, highlights of the menu include prime beef medallions and Canadian rock lobster tail. Seatings will be at 6 and 8 p.m., and cost is $55 and $65 respectively. And at Corbett’s, they’re serving up a five-course dinner at 6, 8 and 10 p.m. for $100 per person. (To make reservations, call 897-9721 for Equus or 327-5058 for Corbett’s.)
On Saturday, let’s all raise a toast to Louisville’s chefs for all their hard work, talents and ingenuity.
We caught up with Corbett before the holiday weekend to ask him some very important questions …
What’s the most surprising thing on your Bucket List?
I don’t know if it’s surprising, but I would love to take my wife on a wonderful cruise.
What poster was on your wall in junior high?
Farrah Fawcett — yes, her famous poster!
If you were mayor, to whom would you give the key to the city?
(New York restauranteur) Danny Meyer. He’s my hero.
What are your preferred pizza toppings?
Pepperoni, sausage, onion and mushroom.
If you could be any age for a week, what would it be?
21 — it’s a fun age!
What famous person do people say you resemble the most?
Who would you most like to be stuck with in an elevator?
The current Pope.