Arnold Myint and Beth Sachan (me!)
I’ve been CRAZY busy the past few days, and even though I still have a lot on my plate and not much time to write, I still wanted to share some quick tidbits and photos from all of the awesome events that have been occupying my time.
It all began Saturday night with Gatsby for Grace at Aerial. My favorite mixologist, Josh Habiger, flew in from Chicago for the party, and well, let’s just say that he did his part in making sure I had a very good time. After lots of delicious cocktails, a fun photo shoot with Arnold Myint, shakin’ my groove thang on the dance floor with my hubby, and ultimately winning the silent auction item I couldn’t live without, I declared it one of the best nights I’ve had in a very long time.
After work on Monday, I headed over to the Corsair Artisan Distillery in Marathon Village for the WaterCooler networking event, which included a tour and tasting. I’m intrigued by their story and love several of their products, so you’ll be seeing a much longer post on this soon.
On Tuesday, I got to take part in a sneak preview dinner of Kayne Prime, which I shared with you earlier this week. Hopefully some of you will have a chance to get over there and try it out this weekend when it opens to the public. If you do, please make sure you order that Cream Corn Brulee. It is incredible!
That brings us to Wednesday, the biggest day of them all. With the Top Chef Tour rolling into the Nashville Farmers’ Market that day, and Nashville Scene’s Iron Fork happening at the Country Music Hall of Fame that night, I took a vacation day from work so I wouldn’t miss a second of any of it!
Casey Thompson at the Nashville stop of the Top Chef Tour
Leah, Vivek, Tabitha and I were front and center for the action at the Quick Fire challenge between Chefs Casey Thompson (Season 5) and Rich Sweeney (Season 3). The local ingredient chosen by Nashvillians was pork, and I have to say, both chefs created stellar dishes.
Casey’s panko-crusted pork with a bourbon, corn, raisin, and onion succotash and spring pea puree
I asked Casey where she got that pea puree….. (if you’re not a Top Chef fan, you won’t understand that).
Rich’s Dr. Pepper pork with asparagus and apple slaw, arugula-walnut pesto and cumin-cinnamon quinoa
Although Rich was not victorious in the first two demos of the day, he made an important ingredient change for our demo and ended up getting the win. Rich, you should’ve known better than to use Mr. Pibb! Dr. Pepper is where it’s at.
Arnold Myint, Rich Sweeney and Casey Thompson at the Top Chef Tour
Just a couple of hours later, it was off to the Country Music Hall of Fame for Iron Fork. Accompanying me was my good friend Leslie who’s in town this week visiting from Brazil (do you remember when she moved last fall?).
Me and Leslie at Iron Fork
She and I made our way through a majority of the tables before finally deciding we couldn’t hold any more. My favorites of the evening were two dishes I’ve had before, Rumba‘s Flower Pot and Stuffed Peppadews. I also enjoyed the Onion Bisque from Perl Catering, the Lamb Meatballs on Creamy Polenta from Caffe Nonna, and the Sweet Potato Cupcake from Cupcake Collection.
Anyone else out there go to Iron Fork? If so, what were your favorites?
You’d think after all of the food and drink I’d consumed in the days prior that I would’ve been sick of eating by Thursday, but no. I barely ate all day though in preparation for the Tsunami Relief Sake Benefit dinner at Cha Chah.
Arnold Myint (Top Chef Season 7) and Tiffany Derry (Top Chef Season 7 and Top Chef All Stars) put together a beautiful meal with some fantastic sake pairings.
Tiffany’s Halibut “Ceviche”
The first course, Tiffany’s ceviche, was a knock out. I took very tiny bites so I could savor the bright flavors and textures of the radicchio, fennel and citrus.
Next was Arnold’s Miso Mustard Cod with truffled peas, wild mushroom flan, and ginger. Some of my favorite things on the planet all in one dish- how could I not be happy?
Then on to Tiffany’s Black and White Risotto with chicken livers, artichokes, and foie gras butter. Risotto is my ultimate comfort food and I’ve always been a fan of chicken livers, so this dish gave me the warm fuzzies.
Arnold’s Lamb Naan
Rounding out the savory courses was Arnold’s Lamb Naan with cilantro yogurt, red pepper jam, roasted corn, chorizo and feta. Heaven!
We finished with two desserts, Tiffany’s chocolate cake with amaretto mousse and raspberry port sauce and Arnold’s trio of pineapple sauce, lemongrass gelee, and blackberry sake ice. A very sweet ending to a great meal for a good cause.
If you’re curious to see more photos of all the events, check out the Eat. Drink. Smile. Facebook page, where I’ll be posting all of them soon!