top of page
  • Writer's pictureMary Ann


21c Museum Hotels, the award winning boutique hotel, contemporary art museum and restaurant group, is delighted to announce the appointment of Rob Newton as Executive Chef of Gray & Dudley at 21c Nashville, starting June 20, 2018.

An Arkansas native, Newton has lived and worked around the world, including as a member of the United States Army serving three years in Operation Desert Storm, before returning home to study International Business and German at Arkansas State University. Newton then moved north to earn a culinary degree at New England Culinary Institute and work in some of New York City's most respected restaurants and kitchens, including Le Cirque, Union Square Hospitality Group's Tabla, Aquavitand the Four Seasons.

Newton's first executive chef role was at Simon Pearce Restaurant in Quechee, Vermont, where he oversaw a staff of 20, including four sous chefs. After three years in Vermont, he transitioned to a private chef role, cooking around the world for celebrities, musicians, and entertainment executives for six years, before settling in Brooklyn to focus on building his own restaurants, including Seersucker Restaurant, Smith Canteen, Nightingale Nine, Wilma Jean and Wilma Jean in DeKalb Market Hall.Simultaneously, Newton consulted on two restaurant projects: Black Walnut in the Brooklyn Hilton and Yellow Magnolia in Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the latter of which he'll continue through the end of 2018. Newton continues to own and operate Nightingale Nine in Brooklyn's Carroll Gardens neighborhood, a reflection of his love of Vietnamese and Southeastern Asian cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients.

Newton recently moved to Nashville to be closer to family and his Southern roots. He continues to travel and explore not only his adopted Music City home, but those across the globe. "Travel is a very big inspiration," Newton says. "I continue to explore cuisines of the world, both in their locales and through immigrant stories right here in the South; Nashville in particular has many such stories and I look forward to bringing that inspiration to my cooking at Gray & Dudley."

At Gray & Dudley, Newton's menu will celebrate Southern sensibilities - a reflection of his roots, informed by his travels abroad, and influenced by the new immigrant communities that have been welcomed across the region. Dishes will showcase seasonal ingredients, sourced from local farmers and purveyors that Newton has developed relationships with over his time in the area.

Gray & Dudley is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with late-night dining available at the bar. Gray & Dudley is located in the 21c Museum Hotel, at 221 2nd Ave N, Nashville, TN 37201. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 615.610.6460. For more information on hours of operation, please visit

For more information, please visit

About 21c Museum Hotels

21c Museum is a multi-venue museum located in seven cities, with an eighth location debuting in Kansas City in summer 2018. One of the largest contemporary art museums in the U.S., and North America's only collecting museum dedicated solely to art of the 21st century, each property features exhibition space open free of charge to the public, combined with a boutique hotel and chef-driven restaurant. It was founded in 2006 by Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson; philanthropists, preservationists, and collectors, committed to expanding access to contemporary art as a means of catalyzing revitalization and civic connection. 21c presents a range of arts programming curated by Museum Director, Chief Curator Alice Gray Stites, including both solo and group exhibitions that reflect the global nature of art today, as well as site-specific, commissioned installations, and a variety of cultural events. The organization collaborates on arts initiatives with artists and organizations worldwide, including North Carolina Museum of Art, MASS MoCA, Contemporary Art Museum Houston, The Barnes Foundation, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Creative Capital Foundation, Creative Time, and others.

 For more information visit and follow us on social media at @21cHotels or #21cMuseumHotel.


bottom of page