Most people first meet Randy Rayburn at his nationally renowned Midtown Cafe on 19th Avenue South that opened in 1987, or Cabana, opened in 2005, in Hillsboro Village in Nashville. They are, however, just as likely to meet him in and around Nashville as a community and hospitality industry leader.
Raised on a 27 acre farm in Milan, TN with 5 acres of strawberries, he washed dishes in the 4th grade and later worked during high school at the Milan Supermarket, where he gained culinary skills beyond his Grandmother’s home cooking. After graduating from UT-Knoxville, he returned to Nashville and started his career while going to night law school in 1975. He dropped out of law school later to pursue his dream of owning his own restaurant. He worked in numerous restaurants, including Gaylord Opryland Hotel in management and opened 11 restaurants in the Nashville area for others before selling his home in 1990 to open his iconic trend setting Sunset Grill.
From 1999 to 2009, he served on the Board and as Chairman of the Nashville Convention Center and Co-Chair of the Mayor’s Task Force that led to our new Music City Center. In 2011, the Nashville State Community College and its faculty unanimously voted to name the NSCC Culinary Program, the Randy Rayburn School of Culinary Arts, which he started in 1998. He now serves on the Board of the Music City Center Authority, Chair of the local restaurant industry government relations group Kitchen Table and Chair of the Greater Nashville Hospitality Association PAC.
He was also selected as a single-unit finalist for the National Restaurant Association Neighbor Award. He received both the Restaurateur of the Year by the American Culinary Federation - Middle TN and the TN Restaurant Association in 2000, and the Tennessee Hospitality Association in 2012.
He resides in East Nashville with his two young sons, Duke and Dean, and likely be found hosting the door breakfast and lunch weekdays at his Midtown Cafe.
Randy can be contacted at:
Has been a part of the Nashville and Tennessee community for two decades and most recently worked at Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated for 34 years. During his time with Coca-Cola, he held various positions including Sr. Director of Corporate Affairs, Regional Sales Manager, VP National Trade, VP Division Sales and Corporate Marketing Manager.
As part of his community presence, Bob has served on several Board of Directors such as the local YMCA, Nashville Sports Council, Nashville Chamber of Commerce, and currently serves on the Advisory Board for Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and the Nashville Visitors & Convention Corporation.
Bob’s vast experience in the Food & Beverage industry along with his community ties have enabled him to successfully manage sponsorships across Tennessee such as the Tennessee Titans, Nashville Predators/Bridgestone Arena, Vanderbilt University, Vanderbilt Sports, The Music City Center, CMA Music Festival, CMA Awards show as well as working closely with the Nashville Mayor’s office.
Before joining Coca-Cola, he worked for the Liberty House Restaurant Corporation in Atlanta for 3 years including Bones, the fine dining Steak House on Piedmont Rd in Buckhead. He started out during High School and College working at multiple Steak and Ale locations and Host International, The Casa Maria Chain. His experience has been across multiple South Eastern States.
Bob can be contacted at:
Dr. Paul Brennen
EdD, WCMC, CEC, CCA, ACE, FMP
World Certified Master Chef Dr. Paul Brennen believes experience combined with solid education is extremely important to the success of anyone within the hospitality industry. Master Chef Brennen has chosen to study at some on the top post-secondary institutions in the United States ranging from his Associate of Applied Science degree through his Doctorate of Education degree. Master Chef Brennen has also focused for numerous years training under some the top chefs at places such as the Breakers Resort on Palm Beach, Florida which is a five star five diamond resort to the Grand Hotel on Mackinaw Island, Michigan which is also a five start five diamond resort as well as various other globally recognized hospitality establishments. Through these years of rigorous training and education Master Chef Brennen was able to obtain the highest global certification for a chef which is a World Certified Master Chef through the World Association of Chefs Society. Master Chef Brennen is one of the youngest chefs to ever be awarded this prestigious honor. He also has the distinct honor of holding various other high level certifications through the American Culinary Federation placing him small and prestigious group of global chefs. After multiple years of education, degrees and industry certifications Master Chef Brennen continues to hone his craft focusing on all aspects of the industry ranging from independent restaurants to five star resorts.
A “small town” chef with big time industry experience hailing from St Mary’s Pennsylvania, World Master Chef Dr. Paul Brennen has lived all over the United States and Nashville Tennessee is exactly where he wants to be helping develop the future of an already outstanding hospitality scene.
Paul can be contacted at: