Gourmet at Ease 2

Chef Todd Brown’s newest venture makes fine dining easier — and faster — than ever before.

The Crystal Springs on the River development promises to transform west Fort Worth along White Settlement Road. This mixed-use entertainment, dining and residential project hearkens back to a time when the area hosted the Crystal Springs Dance Pavilion, a landmark dancehall often credited as the birthplace of Western swing.

Among the many retail shops and upscale residences planned for the development, visitors will also be able to enjoy local and fresh cuisine. Todd Brown, the Fort Worth chef with 20 years experience and a devoted westside clientele, will open his first solo, standalone venture in the new development.

Lettuce Cook Gourmet-on-the-Go is set to open this spring at 5101 White Settlement Road. The new hotspot will provide a home for Todd’s previous business, TCB Catering, along with much, much more.

“You can come inside and grab something to-go, place orders or browse retail merchandise,” says Todd. “We’ll have a deli and fresh-prepared sandwiches you won’t find anywhere else, along with daily specials.”

As with his catering business, Todd’s Lettuce Cook venture will highlight the highest-quality ingredients and healthy, delicious recipes. In order to offer the freshest possible ingredients, Todd plans to use vegetables and herbs grown on his family’s land in Weatherford.

“I don’t stack my fridges with 50 different things that sit there for a week,” says Todd. “We’ll have daily items to go along with the boutique deli, and if we’ve don’t have what you like, just put in a request and we’ll bring it to you.”

Todd’s experience as a chef has included stints as the executive sous chef at the Ashton Hotel and executive chef at the Nutt House in Granbury, Texas. As a personal chef, Todd understands that service is an indispensable ingredient for a successful enterprise. Because of this, Lettuce Cook Gourmet-on-the-Go promises to make gourmet dining as convenient as any grab-and-go option.

In addition to the deli and daily specials, patrons can take advantage of curbside service, meal prep options and home delivery. Want a week-long solution for dinner? Simply place an order to get your fridge stocked with delectable and inspired meals. Todd also plans to continue his catering services.

“We’ll always be building onto the catering business,” says Todd. “Now we can serve larger parties, offer bigger and better things, and hopefully tackle weddings. With this new space, we can do everything from dinner for two to food for 500.”

Sample specials could include honey lime wild caught halibut, or ground, grass-fed beef tossed with chopped kale and a side of creamy cauliflower. As for pre-made meals, imagine coming home to the knowledge that dinner was waiting: gourmet choices such as salmon paired with roasted root vegetables, a creamy enchilada casserole, or even chicken strips and mac and cheese for the kids.

The size and scope of the Crystal Springs development led Todd to brainstorm ways to better serve his new clientele. Construction and retail will bring a rush of workers to the area; when lunch rolls around, who wouldn’t want quality food available at a pinch? To satisfy this need, Todd hit upon an old school solution: the blue-plate special.

“We’ll have steam tables set up to house our daily blue-plate special,” says Todd. “And we’ll also have our walk-up to-go menu.”

With TCB Catering, Todd nurtured a clientele that grew to include 400-500 people. Along the way, he picked up a few strategies that he plans to offer everyone at Lettuce Cook.

“We’ll have portfolios for our clients that track their likes and dislikes,” says Todd. “I want to know exactly what you want so we can cook for your needs. Lettuce Cook can be designed fresh for whoever comes in the door.”

To help with these efforts, Todd can count on the assistance of his wife, Natalie, who will handle event coordinating and nutritional meal planning. For the success of his new endeavor, Todd will rely on the same qualities that have made him a beloved personal chef for dozens of Fort Worth families: delicious food, quality ingredients and personalized service.

“Everything will contain the best ingredients I can find,” says Todd. “We’ll have something for everyone, so you can come on down, grab and go.”

If you want to keep track of Todd’s progress, place orders, or simply look at photos of delicious food, check out on Facebook or LettuceCookGourmet.com.