The week is here. Savor Nashville happens this Friday and Saturday! Friday night at Union Station Hotel looks to be great fun as some of the best chefs in Nashville (including some of my food truck favorites) will battle it out in the Challenge to the Chefs.
Saturday night is the Celebrity Chef dinner at Hutton Hotel, and I got a sneak peek at the menu, so I wanted to share with you. It looks absolutely amazing~
1st course –
Charles Phillips, 1808 Grille shaved purple brussels sprout, asparagus, apricot and seared honey comb, rhubarb vinaigrette
2012 Belle Glos Oeil de Pedrix Pinot Blanc Noir
2nd course -
Jeremy Ashby Butter poached lobster crepe, smoked ham hock, trumpet royale, lady peas, 1st of the season vidalia, wasabi pistachio oil, guava, sorghum
2010 Mer Soleil Barrel Fermented Chardonnay
3rd course –
Jonathan Waxman Grilled shrimp & squid salad with aioli, breadcrumbs & wilted greens
2011 Mer Soleil SILVER Unoaked Chardonnay
4th course –
Robbie Wilson Salmon chorizo, Japanese negi, potato skin *salmon chorizo = salmon belly sashimi
2011 Meiomi Pinot Noir
5th course –
Jeff Michaud Chicken liver rigatoni with cipollini onions and sage
2011 Belle Glos ‘Las Alturas’ Pinot Noir
6th course –
Edward Lee Smoked brisket & squab, edamame & pickles, burnt orange puree, melted leeks
2010 Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Dessert course –
Charles Phillips Chocolate pretzel tart, salted caramel, malted whip
Coffee & Tea
For more information on both events and to purchase tickets, visit www.nashvillelifestyles.com. The Celebrity Chef Dinner is $160/person and Challenge to the Chefs is $35/person. An all-access pass is available for $185/person.
Dying to go to the Celebrity Chefs Dinner but not sure your wallet can handle it? Well guess what? I might just be able to send you for FREE!
That’s right. I have two (2) Celebrity Chefs Dinner tickets for one of my lucky readers! All you have to do is this:
Congratulations to our winner!
#77 Ann Williams
1. Leave a comment telling me which course you would most like to try from that amazing menu above.
For up to 2 additional entries, you can do either or both of the following. Note: You must leave a separate comment for each optional entry.
2. Follow me on Twitter (@betheats) and tweet “Want to go to the @NashLifestyles Savor Nashville Celebrity Chefs Dinner for FREE? Win tickets from @betheats! http://bit.ly/Yd7Vet”, then leave a comment telling me you’ve done so.
3. Like Eat.Drink.Smile. on Facebook and come back and tell me you did so (or just tell me you already do if that’s the case!)
Winner must be 21 or older.
Contest ends on Thursday, April 11th at Noon Central. Once the winner is chosen, I’ll make contact via email and post the name here on the blog. If they don’t respond within 24 hours, I’ll be forced to choose another, so be sure to check your email!
Recently I watched the new documentary, A Place at the Table. Produced by the same studio that brought us Food Inc (which I’ve watched multiple times), this documentary follows three families struggling with food insecurity and hunger. In America. America. The wealthiest nation in the world.
Many of us associate hunger with images we’ve seen of famine victims in faraway places like Africa. We don’t think about it being right here in our own front yard, but it most definitely is. I knew before I even began watching that I’d likely shed a few tears. What I didn’t realize is just how angry I would be.
Normally I don’t get political here on the blog. But I’m frustrated. I’m horrified. I feel the need to do something. So here I am, asking you to join me in taking action. How can you help?
Super easy assignment: Watch the movie!
Trailer of A Place at the Table:
If you live here in Nashville, we’d love to have you join us for a special screening in a few weeks:
What: A Place At The Table Screening and Food Advocacy Fair
When: Monday, April 29, 6 p.m. (film will begin at 6:30 p.m.)
Where: Downtown Presbyterian
154 5th Ave N, Nashville, TN, 37219
The screening will be followed by a panel discussion and a small food advocacy fair in the church’s fellowship hall. There’s a good chance we’ll also have some local chefs involved to prepare inexpensive, healthy dishes. Details are still being worked out, and I will definitely provide them to you as I know more.
~UPDATE~ visit the Eventbrite page to get all of the details of the event and purchase tickets!
For those of you that don’t live in Nashville and want to see this thought-provoking (and hopefully action inducing) documentary, here are a few ways you can do so:
Take a few seconds to fill out this form and send it to Congress, telling them to protect the federal nutrition programs that feed our nation’s children.
When you watch the movie, you’ll understand that much of the problem is that our government is and has been subsidizing the wrong products. Chips, sodas and processed foods are cheaper than fruits and vegetables. It’s insane! Something has to be done.
Turkey Sausage and Spinach Ragù on Parmesan Polenta
When I went on my usual trip to the grocery store this weekend, this movie was certainly on my mind. One fact that kept running through my mind as I navigated the aisles: Food stamp participants are only allocated $4 a day to survive. I wanted to create a recipe that would work on a budget, yet still be healthy. The cold hard truth: this was hard. Extremely hard.
While I’ve never had to worry about where my next meal was coming from, I’ve always been mindful of how much I spend on food, often creating menus for the week based on what’s on sale at the time. I do my best to not let anything go to waste.
Most of the items I purchased for this particular recipe will stretch over multiple meals. Only part of a bag of spinach was used. A fraction of a bag of polenta. Half a jar of marinara. There is still leftover onion, sausage, and garlic. Tomorrow I’ll probably throw together an egg casserole with a few of those more perishable items.
As I do so, I’ll once again be thanking my lucky stars that I don’t have to worry about my child going hungry. And I’ll be hoping and praying that my voice and my actions will help get food into other children’s mouths so they can grow, flourish, and lead happy, healthy, productive lives. Because everyone – no matter what circumstances they’re born into – deserves that opportunity.
Turkey Sausage and Spinach Ragù on Parmesan Polenta
3 (4-ounce) links sweet turkey Italian sausage, casings removed
1 cup finely chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
2 1/3 cups water, divided
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup instant polenta
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
4 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage; sauté for 8-10 minutes, until no longer pink, stirring to crumble. Remove sausage from pan; drain all but about 1 tablespoon of liquid. Return to medium-high heat. Add onion, and sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Stir in sausage, marinara, and 1/3 cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 20 minutes. With about 3 minutes remaining, add chopped spinach to the ragu. Stir to combine.
Bring remaining 2 cups water and milk to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat; reduce heat to low. Gradually add polenta, and cook for 3 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in cheese, salt and pepper. Serve with sausage mixture.
Some other recipes that are healthy and budget friendly:
Shrimp Papusa at Etch corn cake, manchego and queso blanco, peruvian butternut slaw, smoked tomato sauce, green onion, cilantro, avocado pesto
In case you haven’t done so yet, make a beeline to the nearest magazine rack and pick up a copy of April’s Nashville Lifestyles. Why? Well, first and foremost, it’s the annual Restaurant issue, so it’s packed full of food, food and more food. Secondly, yours truly helped choose the 50 Best Restaurants in Nashville!
It was so much fun sitting around a table with some of my favorite food writers (Jennifer Justus, Kay West, Chris Chamberlain and Erin Murray), discussing what makes these restaurants the best of the best. After much debate, the Top 10 list was created.
Without giving too much away, I will tell you that Etch is in that 10. Okay, so I’ll give you more: it’s in the Top 3. And what I love about the Top 3 is that they are all #1. That probably doesn’t make much sense, does it?
When you see the list maybe you’ll understand what I mean. Basically, they’re all so very different from each other that there is absolutely no way to compare them. So, as far as I’m concerned, there’s no way they can compete with each other.
Etch’s Veggie Tempura Shavings (served with ponzu sauce)
For months now, when asked “what’s your favorite restaurant in Nashville” (and I get asked that A LOT), my answer is Etch. Since its opening last summer, I’ve eaten there more times than I can count. And every single meal has been exceptional. The creativity! The flavors!
Recently I realized that although I’ve mentioned Etch in blog posts and named it #1 in my Top 12 of 2012 list, I hadn’t yet written a post dedicated solely to my experiences there. So here we are!
Etch’s Seared Tuna Salad chili spiced, eggplant, avocado, radish, green onion, sake ponzu vinaigrette, smoked tofu
While Etch is absolutely perfect for dinner before a concert at the Ryman, a symphony performance, or a Preds game, it is also a great lunch spot. Any time business takes me downtown around the lunch hour, you better believe I’m dropping into Etch.
While a few standouts from the dinner menu are served at lunch (Roasted cauliflower appetizer, Seared Tuna Salad, Etch Salad, Octopus and Shrimp Bruschetta), for the most part, there is a whole new world of delicious options to choose from.
Roasted Cauliflower at Etch truffled pea pesto, salted almonds, feta crema
Some of my lunch favorites include the Farro Bowl with porcini-crimini sauce, toasted farro, confit mushrooms, and dijon truffle broccoli; the Shrimp Papusa (did you see that pic at the start of this post?? so good and so big!); the Short Ribs with pasta squares, smoked red wine gravy, carrot, caramelized onion, shiitakes, and pea pesto. Yum.
I’ve got 3 – count ‘em – THREE gift certificates to give away!
Each certificate is good for Lunch for Two (2) at Etch. So maybe now you don’t have to just take my word for it or sit at your computer drooling over the online menu. Instead, you can belly up to an actual table at Etch and enjoy Chef Deb Paquette’s incredibly delicious food.
To enter, all you have to do is this:
Congratulations to the winners!
#3 Amy Williams
#111 Lindsey Dudgeon
1. Leave a comment telling me the best thing you’ve eaten at Etch -OR- if you haven’t been there yet, check out the lunch menuand tell me which dish is calling your name.
For up to 2 additional entries, you can do either or both of the following. Note: You must leave a separate comment for each optional entry.
2. Follow me on Twitter (@betheats) and tweet “Win a delicious lunch for 2 @etchrestaurant from @betheats! http://bit.ly/13Q3Kce”, then leave a comment telling me you’ve done so.
3. Like Etch on Facebook and come back and tell me you did so (or just tell me you already do if that’s the case!)
Contest ends on Sunday, April 7th at noon CST. Once the winners are chosen, I’ll make contact via email and post the names here on the blog. If they don’t respond within 48 hours, I’ll be forced to choose others, so be sure to check your email!
This past year (heck, just the past few months!) a plethora of new dining and drinking establishments have opened in Nashville, and several of them have become personal favorites (Etch, Lockeland Table, Rolf & Daughters, blvd). There are still a few I haven’t made it to yet (Salsa, Rosebud Bistro, Cafe Fundamental, Pub 5), but after hearing good things, I definitely plan to darken their doors very soon.
Then there are the “Must Try As Soon As The Doors Open” spots that I’ve listed below. These are soon-to-be-opened restaurants that I’m super pumped about. What about you? Heard any scoop on a new place you’re excited about?
The very first pork butt I smoked was fantastic, and I owe Peg Leg Porker all the credit. In case you missed that post, you can see it here. Carey Bringle, aka Peg Leg Porker, has been a fixture in the competition bbq world for years. As you can see from my experience, he also created an incredible, easy-to-use smoking kit so even amateurs like me could turn out some tasty bbq at home. But now he’s got even grander plans brewin’: a restaurant right around the corner from Yazoo!
To keep in the loop on opening date and possibly even win some free swag, follow Peg Leg Porker on Facebook.
Loews Vanderbilt Hotel
2100 West End Ave
Nashville, TN 37203
Projected opening: May 9, 2013
For the past few months, Loews Vanderbilt Hotel has been under major renovation, which includes creating a new Southern brasserie-style restaurant and bar, Mason’s and Mason Bar. Recently Loews announced that Brandon Frohne, known locally for his underground pop-up dinner club Forage South, and for the amazing dishes he creates at various culinary competitions around town, will be their Executive Chef.
Having personally tasted Brandon’s delicious food on a few occasions, I have high hopes for this place!
Duh. Really. There’s really not much I can add to this that hasn’t already been said here, and here, and here, and here, and here and… well, you get my point. Husk Nashville is happening and the whole city is thrilled!
Follow Husk Nashville Twitter and check their blog from time to time to see construction progress and be the first to know when an actual opening date is set!
Chauhan Ale & Masala House
Projected opening: ??? Fall 2013 ????
Recently a little birdie shared with me plans for a beyond-exciting new concept to be located in the Gulch. Chef Maneet Chauhan, one of the chef judges on Food Network’s Chopped, will soon be heading to Nashville to open a global inspired tapas restaurant– something I’ve been hoping, wishing, praying would happen here for ages! Pair those tapas with an interesting array of beers infused with Indian spices – perhaps a coriander lager?- and I’m verklempt.
That’s all I can share right now but rest assured, as I know more, I’ll definitely fill you in!
A couple of years ago I told you about WaterCooler, an informal networking group for young Nashville entrepreneurs. Specifically, I tipped you off about the Olive & Sinclair tour they were hosting. (The tour that I ended up getting locked out of, which led to me tweeting about being locked out, which led to me getting a job at Goo Goo Cluster…seriously!)
It’s been a while since I’ve shared one of the WaterCooler events (I promise it’s not because I hold a grudge for getting locked out of that one!), but when this latest one popped up on my radar, I knew I needed to spread the word!
WaterCooler Cocktail Class and Distillery Tour
April 3, 2013
5:30 p.m. Networking/Drinks
6 – 7 p.m. Program & Tour
900 44th Avenue North
Nashville, TN 37209
The venue, SPEAKeasy Distillery and tasting room, is where the very delicious Whisper Creek Tennessee Sipping Cream is made. Ryan Moses from Drink Music City will be on hand to guide us in proper cocktail and food pairings. Smoke Et Al*, one of my most favorite Nashville food trucks, will be there to fill our bellies. This is my kind of networking!
Please note that space is limited to 60 for this event, so you must RSVP to email@example.com in advance. Better respond quickly before it fills up, and be sure let them know you heard about it from me! For more information, click here.
*Smoke Et Al requires a minimum food purchase of $10 per person.
For the past couple of years I’ve enjoyed playing along with Garden and Gun’s Ultimate Southern Food Bracket that runs in conjunction with March Madness. Admittedly, I don’t always agree with the outcome, but hey, it’s all in good fun!
This year I’m even more pumped than ever for the games to begin. Why? Because this time around the bracket is taking the theme of The Battle of the Brands, and Nashville’s very own Goo Goo Cluster is part of the competition!
I think probably 98% of you know this already, but just in case there are a few reading this that aren’t aware – I’m the Director of Marketing for Goo Goo. So you could say that the stakes are much higher for me this year. Sure, win or lose, it’s an honor to just be a part of it, but hey, I’m not gonna lie: I want Goo Goo to win!!
Here’s how the whole things works:
Bracket begins March 19th and ends with the final on April 10th
The public will cast their votes for iconic Southern food brands in the following categories: Sweets, Snacks, Sodas and Pantry Items.
Round 1: March 19-22 – All brands are pitted against each other. Goo Goo Cluster will begin in the Sweets category, up against another Sweet brand. VOTE DAILY!
Round 2: March 23-30 – A winner is announced at the end of the week
Round 3: March 31 – April 3 – A winner is announced at the end of the week
Final Four: April 4-7 – A winner is announced at the end of the week.
Final: April 8 – 10 – The WINNER is announced April 10!
So what do you say? Let’s show the world (or at least the rest of the South) what Nashville’s got. Let’s pull together and help our little hometown brand advance through this bracket! Vote for Goo Goo Cluster!
It was pretty exciting to see some familiar names pop up when Food & Wine magazine put out their list of nominees for this year’s People’s Best New Chef - one of them being Matt Lackey from Flyte World Dining and Wine right here in Nashville!
If you haven’t dined at Flyte since Matt took over the kitchen, you simply must do so soon. He’s doing great things over there, and I’d love to see him win this title.
Soooo…..can you help make this happen?? Every vote counts, so please take a minute (actually just a few seconds!) to cast your vote in support of Matt.
Voting is open now through March 18th, so please, vote and spread the word, showing the rest of the country that Nashville’s got it goin’ on!
Nashville State Community College Student Services Building
120 White Bridge Road
Last year I attended the very first Tennessee Flavors event – in fact, it was my “new mommy’s very first night out on the town” after having the baby. With all sorts of delicious food and beverages to be sampled, it was the perfect way to launch myself back into the world outside of my house.
This year it looks like the event is shaping up to be even better than last year with fifty (yes, 50!) local food and drink artisans serving dishes using homegrown Tennessee products. Even just a quick glimpse at the list of participating restaurantswill tempt you – Etch, Fido, Red Pony, 1808 Grille, Merchant’s, F Scott’s and Table 3, just to name a few!
Tickets can be purchased on the event website or if you’d like to purchase by phone, call 615-353-3222.
Tuesday, March 19th
In case you haven’t heard the news, Nashville now has a walking food tour! Well, the first one hasn’t actually happened yet, but it kicks off on March 19th in the Gulch. Dishcrawl Nashville is a guided, walkable restaurant tour of the city, during which participants will spend the evening sampling a trio of tastings at four restaurants. All food is included in the ticket price and drinks will be available, but are an additional cost.
The specific restaurants are kept a secret until a couple of days before the event, though Dishcrawlers will get clues as to who is participating via their social media channels, so be sure to follow them on Twitter and Facebook.
If you guys have never been to one of the special event dinners at Fido, you are really missing out! And if you’re a beer lover, then this dinner is a no-brainer. Check out this menu and prepare to drool:
west wind farms apple cinnamon bratwurst, housemade sourdough pretzel,
You’ve probably heard about the Cherry Blossom Festival that happens each year on Public Square at the Courthouse downtown. It’s an awesome family-friendly celebration of the Japanese culture that is totally free. There are performers, artists, and of course, food. What I never realized was what a large selection of Japanese food was actually available.
And this year, for the very first time, 3rd Ave is going to be closed to traffic to become a dedicated food truck area! Making it even more interesting is that our favorite local food trucks won’t be serving their normal fare (for the most part), instead they’ll all have special Japanese inspired menus for the day. I’m loving this idea. Also new to the festival this year: Sarah Gavigan of Otaku South serving up her Ramen!
For more information regarding the festival, visit the event page, and to check out all of the menus, go to the “Taste of Japan” section.
Hi, I’m Beth, a food and drink obsessed girl living in beautiful Nashville, Tennessee. I'm always on the hunt for new and exciting things in the culinary world, so I created this blog to share all of my adventures, discoveries, inspirations, and recipes, along with a sprinkling of just about anything else that brings a smile to my face! Follow along and I bet you'll smile too... more