A Restaurant by James Beard Award Winning
Chef RJ Cooper

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What is modern American cuisine? First, we find fresh local ingredients and put our thinking caps on.  We talk about dishes that bring us happy memories of these ingredients. We do research and learn about the history of regional cooking in and around Nashville.  With our extensive culinary training and experience as our foundation, we experiment with ways to incorporate these ingredients.  To our parents’ dismay, we encourage “playing with our food” to come up with new combinations while still paying homage to traditional dishes. As the growing seasons change, so do our menus (even the cocktail menu).

Every dish tells a story and celebrates the love affair we have with food.

For the true foodie fans, James Beard Award-winning chef RJ Cooper’s multi-course tasting counter situated around the open kitchen invites guests to interact with the chefs as they craft each course.  Limited seating is available on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.

Chef RJ Cooper is crafting a mecca of modern American cuisine in Nashville, showing off regional highlights of the season and blending them while using modern and classical techniques. Saint Stephen is a place to enjoy whether in your pjs at brunch, dressed up at the tasting counter, kickin’ it at the bar during happy hour, soaking up the sun with your fur-friends on the patio, or enjoying the magic of eating together around a table. Local or tourist — Saint Stephen is a place for everyone.



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About Chef RJ Cooper

Meet Chef RJ Cooper. He has a true passion for food, which was honed from a very young age. Just as some have a photographic mind and can remember everything they see, RJ has it for his palette – he can remember everything he tastes.

His passion and palette has taken him around the country. In Detroit, he grew up eating Coney dogs, Greek salads, and his mom’s fried chicken. In culinary school at Kendall College in Chicago, as a poor student, his meals mostly consisted of deep dish pizza and Chicago hot dogs… although he would occasionally get to taste caviar and truffles while working at Spiaggia. After graduation, RJ’s culinary journey continued to places like NYC (bagels & lox, pastrami on rye), Atlanta ($1 sushi, Waffle House), and Alaska (halibut, salmon, king crab legs). 

It was his heart that led him to Washington DC where he met his wife and they had their twin daughters (lots of bacon & maple ice cream). In DC, RJ won the James Beard Award for Best Chef Mid Atlantic, owned 2 restaurants, and ate his fill of Rappahannock River oysters while riding his motorcycle through the Chesapeake Bay and Virginia countryside.

RJ now calls Nashville his home (hot chicken heaven). RJ is a firm believer in using local fresh ingredients to create dishes inspired by his years of cross country adventures. Saint Stephen, his restaurant in the vibrant Germantown neighborhood, is no exception to this belief. With an ever changing seasonal menu, RJ is crafting new adventures for every palette.