Chef Timothy Morton

Timothy Morton, a Little Rock chef known for his time as executive chef and general manager at the venerable Restaurant 1620 and Cache Restaurant, died on Friday, Sept. 1. He was 48.

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After attending Arkansas Baptist (now Baptist Preparatory) and Hall High School in Little Rock, Morton enrolled in the School of Culinary Arts in Atlanta. After completing his studies, he returned to Little Rock in 1999 to work alongside his aunt Evette Brady, who owned the celebrated Restaurant 1620. Morton served as a general manager and executive chef there for 16 years. Morton continued to work there after philanthropist Rush Harding purchased the restaurant (and changed the name slightly to 1620 Savoy) and then went to work at Cache Restaurant when Harding and his son Payne Harding opened it in 2014. Over the last several years, Morton ran Harding’s catering company RH Catering, creating menus utilizing fresh, seasonal produce from Harding Farms.

“Tim Morton was like a son to me and a big brother to my son, Payne,” Rush Harding said in a statement to Arkansas Times. “I have known Tim for almost 30 years. He was responsible and such a hard worker. He served two terms on the A&P Commission. He and his Aunt Evette created one of Little Rock’s truly legendary restaurants in 1620. He helped tremendously with the design and opening of Cache Restaurant in the River Market. He handled all of the catering for Cache. His goodness and his work ethic and his capacity to love and forgive will be missed.”

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Capi Peck, owner of Trio’s Restaurant, wrote on her Facebook page that Morton was an “extraordinarily talented chef and left his mark on many restaurants in our city. I am proud to have called him friend and will never forget the first ever Serving up Solutions to benefit the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, which was held at Trio’s 17 years ago with Tim at the helm. The consummate professional, Tim was not only an amazing chef, but also a kind, genuine and passionate person who loved his trade.”

From Morton’s obituary:

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“Tim’s passion for food was greater than life. He absolutely adored his craft, his business, and the joy it brought to others. He spent many years mastering his craft and using his unique creativity by passionately preparing menus and orchestrating ideas from conception to precise execution. He loved the craft of foods ranging from the farm to the table – with different cuisine styles and ethnic food groups. His biggest thrills would came from being a part of that final finishing touch. While growing up and spending time with his grandmother, it was undeniable that Tim inherited a lot of her character traits — her love of people and signature style of food. Tim was destined to pursue his culinary gifts from his grandmother Olivia Brady, so his journey began … ”

Cache will be hosting a memorial upstairs at the restaurant on Monday from 5-7 p.m. Morton’s funeral service is on Tuesday, Sept. 12. Here’s an event page for more information.

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