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Growing up in Bristol, Tennessee, Karl Worley‘s earliest memories are food memories. He spent much of his childhood in delis, first in his grandfather’s, who was a chef in World War II, and then the deli where his mother worked. Karl reminisces fondly about the days when local farmers brought their hog-killing bounty to his house as well as huge country breakfasts around the table on weekends. As a young man, he learned that cooking impressed the ladies, so on trips home, he had his mother teach him family recipes.
In 2001, Karl moved to Nashville where he met his future wife, Sarah. When he learned that she was leaving for Denver, Colorado to attend culinary school, he took a chance and followed her. They attended Johnson & Wales’ College of Culinary Arts and where Karl’s childhood passion for food was reignited at age 30. He spent time honing his skills at local country clubs and Mediterranean restaurant Rioja Denver.
Karl and Sarah married in 2009 and moved to North Carolina to finish school at Johnson & Wales’ Charlotte campus. While working at Coon Rock Farm in Durham, Karl fully embraced the area’s early adoption of sustainable agriculture and farm-to-table restaurants. After graduating in 2010, the Worleys welcomed their baby girl, Gertie. With a desire to be closer to home, the family moved back to Nashville with a dream of opening their own food truck selling scratch-made biscuits and biscuit sandwiches. They were able to borrow a truck from a friend, and after three months of menu planning and strategizing, Biscuit Love Food Truck was born. After a successful three year run, the Worleys were offered the opportunity to open a brick-and-mortar Biscuit Love, which opened in the heart of Nashville’s The Gulch neighborhood in 2015.
At Biscuit Love, Karl leads the charge in the kitchen as executive chef. His childhood and travel memories served as inspiration when creating the menu. Biscuit Love’s Angel Biscuits are an ode to his grandmother, who he cooked beside as a young boy. Karl also draws inspiration from those who came before him with dishes like his shrimp and grits inspired by renowned Southern chef Bill Neal. Karl believes in not only nurturing guests, but also their staff. He and Sarah work hard to create opportunity for all their employees through living wages and a compassionate culture.
Outside of the kitchen, you can find Karl spending time with his family and collecting cookbooks and recipe boxes (over a thousand from garage sales throughout the years!). He cares deeply about the resurgence of Appalachia, and participates in events to further the cause, such as the Appalachian Food Summit.