the chef behind the food

gairdt working.jpg

Gairdt Edwards, Chef and Owner 

Gairdt Edwards began his culinary career as an apprentice in a French Bistro at 18. He then went on to cook at the WildFlour Bakery in Abingdon, VA where he became the Executive Chef. From there, he earned his culinary arts degree from Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, NC. During his time in culinary school, Gairdt cooked at the not-­for­-profit restaurant, King’s Kitchen under Chef Jim Noble.


After a brief stage at the Greenbrier Hotel, he “cut his teeth” as a chef at the Regency Room in Williamsburg, VA. At this premier restaurant, under the leadership of Executive Chef Travis Brust, Gairdt cooked for celebrities, entrepreneurs, and even presidents of the United States.

From there, Gairdt came home to Nashville to work with restaurateur, Randy Rayburn. Under his leadership, Gairdt learned to manage the restaurant as a whole entity. Three years later, Gairdt went on to become the Sous Chef at the prestigious Capitol Grille in the historic Hermitage Hotel under Executive Chef Tyler Brown.

Gairdt founded Barley to Rise in 2016.