Kendell Sheppard, late of Brookyn and the Butcher, began his tenure as consulting executive chef at Naive at the end of October and was greeted with some very good ink at Cuisine Noir Magazine.

Transitioning to a new venture is always exciting. For Sheppard, that entails moving on from Brooklyn and the Butcher to become the new executive chef at Louisville’s Naive, a concept that zeroes in on organic food, local farms and catering to those with dietary preferences or restrictions, including vegetarian and vegan options. It’s certainly a far cry from his prior restaurant’s “meaty” menu. “But it’s something that has always been within me,” he says. “Every restaurant menu I made always had a vegetarian or vegan option to cater to those people because it’s a small demographic.” The move is also fueled, in a way, by his own change in dietary habits. “When I was younger, I went vegan and vegetarian for a few years. I’ve always been in on nutrition and health, but now I’ve matured in my mindset. I want to showcase vegetables and healthy cuisine, and have found a platform in Naive.” He hopes to take the restaurant’s menu up a notch as not just one of the best vegetarian restaurants in the city, but one of the best restaurants overall.

Naive (1001 East Washington Street) opened in April 2018, specializing in vegetarian and vegan dishes but also offering sustainable meat and seafood options; 75% of the menu is sourced locally. Sheppard’s career trajectory has included stints at Jack Binion’s Steakhouse at Horseshoe Casino Southern Indiana and The Exchange Pub + Kitchen prior to Brooklyn and the Butcher.

Also be aware that Cuisine Noir is a uniformly excellent read even when a Louisville chef isn’t featured.

As the first black food, wine and travel lifestyle magazine, Cuisine Noir is a unique and entertaining online publication that combines culinary traditions with new cultural experiences. The magazine delivers what readers are looking for which is more than where to find the next great meal. And most importantly, it is a culinary publication that compliments readers’ lifestyles and desire for a diverse epicurean experience.

(Feature photo credit: Jose Morones Vergara, at Cuisine Noir)