Husk Nashville Chef Katie Coss' Dolly Parton Obsession Will Amaze You
And you thought you were obsessed.
So you think you're a Dolly super fan? Perhaps it's time you meet Husk Nashville Executive Chef, Katie Coss. The talented culinary maestro takes Dolly fandom to a new level with her collection of 30+ Dolly Parton shirts, a custom Parton jean jacket, a Hatch Show Print poster of the Parton show she saw at The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Parton-themed license plates on both of her cars, and the wine glass Parton used while dining at Husk, on top of Parton's movies, books, CDs, records, and more. Did we mention there's a giant portrait of Parton in the Husk Nashville kitchen?
Coss developed her love for the Smoky Mountain Songbird at a young age, and it has served as a source of inspiration in her professional career. "When I was around seven-years-old growing up in Oklahoma, I found one of my mom’s books with this gorgeous woman on it with the biggest, most beautiful hair I’d ever seen. I didn’t know who it was at the time, but when I was showing horses, I would wear bedazzled outfits and want my hair to look just like hers. My mom ended up giving the book away and I was devastated," Coss shares with Southern Living. "Later I discovered her music, and when I went away to culinary school in New York, I would listen to her albums and watch her movies when I wanted to be reminded of home. I’m 5’3’’ and petite, so I’ve always tried to embody the commanding presence Dolly has despite her small stature. She’s a powerhouse and doesn’t let anyone push her around, but also approaches everything with positivity and grace. I try to lead the kitchen at Husk just like that." And emulate Parton she does, especially at the helm of an elite kitchen, a role typically served by men—though in Coss' kitchen, much of her staff are women.
Even though the bulk of Coss' Parton collection stays at her home, the Husk Nashville kitchen also has a Parton calendar and serving tray, in addition to the picture above. You'll often find Parton's music playing on the restaurant playlist, too. "Whenever I’m feeling down or stressed, my cooks know to play one of her albums and it instantly makes the whole kitchen happy," says Coss.
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As for that special wine glass in Coss' ever-growing collection of Parton memorabilia? Coss wasn't working the day Parton dined at the restaurant, so she did what any super fan would do, and found a way to get some face time with the star. "When I heard she was there I booked it to the restaurant and put on a server’s assistant uniform to help bring dishes to her table," Coss explains. "I tried to muster up the courage to get a photo with her, but by the time I had given myself the pep talk I needed, I had missed my chance. One of my biggest regrets!"
Here's to hoping Parton herself reads this piece and Chef Coss gets a meet-and-greet with her hero. Maybe one day, a framed picture of Coss and Parton will replace the kitchen's current portrait as a symbol of female leadership—whether in the kitchen or on the stage.