Chef Jonathan Lundy
As a Kentucky native who grew up in Midway on Lundy Farm, chef Jonathan Lundy is a culinary ambassador for the Bluegrass. His lineage is steeped in Kentucky history and culture, as his great, great, great grandfather William Monroe Wright was the founding owner of Calumet Baking Powder Company and also established Calumet Farm, a thoroughbred dynasty that produced two Triple Crown winners and eight Kentucky Derby winners. As chef/owner of Jonathan’s at Gratz Park, Lundy provides an authentic Kentucky dining experience in the heart of horse country. The restaurant is located within the historic Gratz Park Inn in the heart of the oldest Historic District in Lexington.
Jonathan got his start in the culinary field in New Orleans, where he worked with famed chef Emeril Lagasse in 1991. Working alongside a serious and experienced restaurant staff instilled in Jonathan the discipline and stamina that is required in a professional kitchen, and he learned first-hand the realism of the industry through the experience. He decided to follow his passion and refine his skills by enrolling at Johnson and Wales University in Rhode Island. Upon returning to Lexington, Jonathan worked as executive chef at Roy and Nadine’s, a modern American concept owned by Lucy and Roy Meyers, and the seasonal specials on the menu allowed Lundy to be creative with dishes he developed. Lundy also worked with the Meyers to craft the concept for Pacific Pearl, a sophisticated casual restaurant featuring accessible Asian-inspired cuisine.
Jonathan and his wife, Cara, opened Jonathan at Gratz Park in the historic area of downtown Lexington in 1998. The restaurant is a culinary reflection of its Bluegrass setting, and the menu puts a stylish and often whimsical culinary spin on traditional Kentucky dishes. Seasonal inspirations come to Jonathan from regional farmers and producers, and Kentucky bourbon is featured in a variety of dishes. The restaurant has been featured in such publications as Garden & Gun, Sante, Plate, and Culinary Review. Jonathan’s cookbook Jonathan’s Bluegrass Table was released in 2009 to the delight of Kentucky cooks who had been clamoring for his recipes.
In addition to being a chef, Jonathan is also a sculptor, and he relished the opportunity to carve out his own dining concept and take his artistic creativity to the next level. His art begins with reclaimed objects, and he has made such remarkable pieces as “Church Lady,” a sculpture that was created from a limestone step he salvaged from a condemned church. He also utilized wood from a storm-damaged tree from the historic Henry Clay house for a piece called “Compromise.” His works have been featured in several exhibitions by the Lexington Art League, including Nude, an annual event focusing on the human form, personal identity, contemporary life and social politics.