NFM Farmhand Dinner

Thursday, November 7th, 2013
6:30 – 8:30 pm

Nashville Farmers Market
900 Rosa Parks Blvd
Nashville, TN 37208

Cost: $50/person

I love the concept of this inaugural fundraiser event being held at (and benefiting) the Nashville Farmers’ Market later this week. Mayor Karl Dean and Troy Smiley of Smiley’s Farm will open up the dinner, and a dynamic team of culinarians and chefs will put their creative and innovative twist on the traditional farmhand dinner.

My friend Vivek of VEA Supper Club will kick off the evening by serving a “Water Break” with a twist – moonshine cocktails and hors d’oeuvres! After that, there will be dishes by Margot McCormack of Margot & Marche, Tyler Brown of Capitol Grille, Laura Wilson of NFM’s Grow Local Kitchen, Megan Williams of Etch, and Mindy Merrell & R.B. Quinn, The “Cheater Chefs”.

For more information, visit the NFM website and to purchase tickets, visit this Hands on Nashville page.


Mason’s James Beard Preview Dinner

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013
6:30 – 8:30 pm

Mason’s at Loews Vanderbilt Hotel
2100 West End Ave
Nashville, TN 37203

Cost: $75/person + tax & gratuity (Wine pairings optional for an additional $25)

In case you haven’t heard the news, Chef Brandon Frohne of Mason’s has been invited to cook Thanksgiving dinner at New York’s renowned James Beard House. While we’re proud and excited for him, it’s not likely that many of us could make the trip to NYC for this dinner. BUT- guess what?

Before leaving on his trip, Brandon will be giving us the opportunity to a preview his entire New South Thanksgiving Dinner right here in Nashville! So what’s on the menu? A pretty incredible spread:

Deviled Farm Eggs with Heritage Pork Belly Marmalade and Mustard Seed Caviar

Spiced Sweet Potato–Walnut Biscuits, Blackberry Mostarda, and Speck

Carolina Rice Arancini with Pickled Shrimp, Peanut Romesco, and Bottarga

Butternut Squash Soup with Foie Gras–Gingerbread Marshmallow, Pickled Apples, Crispy Sage, and Peanut Butter Espuma

Smoked Squab with Heirloom Carrots, German Einkorn, Maitake Mushrooms, Root Beer Leaf, Burnt Onions, Salt-Roasted Beets, and Figs

Grassfed Beef Cheeks with BLiS Maple Syrup–Kumquat Gastrique, Hominy, and Brussels Sprout Kimchi

Heritage Turkey Dinde Roulé with Buttermilk Bread, Sweet Potato Bubespitzle, Wilted Kale, Grana Padano, Tennessee Truffles, and Pickled Cabbage

Olive & Sinclair Chocolate Co. White Chocolate–Pumpkin Crémeux with Vanilla–Chestnut Beignet, Cranberry Conserva, and Espresso Salt

Seating is limited, so hurry and make your reservation now by calling (615) 321-1990.



Food, Wine and Design

November 12th & 13th, 2013

6 – 7 pm Cocktail Hour
7 pm Dinner

Omni Nashville Hotel
250 5th Ave South
Nashville, TN

Cost: $100/person (or $900 for table of 10)

Nashville Lifestyles magazine recently announced a new series they’re calling “Food, Wine and Design”. This month there will be 2 opportunities to participate and when you see the chefs for each, it’s definitely going to be hard to choose which one to go to! (at least that’s the case for me)  

Tuesday, November 12th
Matt Lackey of Flyte World Dining & Wine  and  Karl Worley of Biscuit Love

“Feast of the Fish”

Wednesday, November 13th
Deb Paquette of Etch  and  Steven Robillo of Amerigo

“A Trip to Spain”

Tickets can be purchased here.

Sycamore Hattie Bs Jackalope

Sycamore: Barrel Aged Bash

Sunday, November 24th, 2013
5 – 8 pm

Hattie B’s
112 19th Ave. S
Nashville, TN

Cost: $20/person

Tony and Caroline Galzin, the Sycamore dynamic duo, are working hard on their permanent location (opening in Nashville in 2014!), but in the meantime, they’re still hosting fun pop-ups from time to time.

While most of their pop ups have been more formal, seated affairs, this one coming up later this month is super casual, and definitely easy on the wallet. “Barrel Aged Bash” teams up Sycamore with Jackalope Brewing at Hattie B’s – sounds like a great combo to me! Jackalope is making specials brews aged in Corsair whiskey barrels just for this event and the oh-so-awesome Chef Tony will be whipping up house made sausages and fresh baked pretzels with Jackalope beer cheese.

Food and drink tickets, which guests can redeem for any beer or food item of their choosing, are included in the $20 price of entry. If you just want to eat, you can use all of your tickets for food. If you just want to drink, you can use all of your tickets for beer. My suggestion is that you do a little of both, because why would you want to miss out on either??

Entry purchased in advance includes 5 tickets, and while paying at the door is the same price, it only includes 4 tickets, so plan ahead. You know how the saying goes – “the early bird gets the extra sausage!”  — Go ahead: buy your tickets in advance here.



2013 Nashville Street Food Awards

Saturday, November 2nd, 2013
Noon – 5 pm
Centennial Park


The 2nd annual “Nashville Street Food Awards” is almost upon us so put on your eating pants! Featuring more than 20 of Nashville’s mobile vendors, the friendly competition will have a panel of judges sampling blind entries in a variety of categories, and customers voting for the “People’s Choice Award”.

Categories include:

Best Taco
Best Between Bread
Best Smoked
Best Dessert
Best Hot Nashville
Best Vegetarian
Best Deep Fried
Best Drink
Best Yazoo
Best Olive & Sinclair

The single highest scoring dish over all categories will be named Best of the Best.

The event is free and open to the public of all ages, and customers will have the opportunity to purchase food from any of the trucks. Menus will include both regular items and small ‘tastes’, so you have room in your belly to sample several!

Participating trucks include Biscuit Love Truck, Crepe A Diem, Deg Thai, Delta Bound, Doughworks, Hoss’ Loaded Burgers, The Grilled Cheeserie, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, Julia’s Bakery, The Mobile Chef, Moovers and Shakers, Music City Pie Co., Pappy’s Mobile Café, Riffs Fine Street Food, The Rolling Feast, Slow Hand Coffee, Smokin’ Thighs, Smoothie King, Sum Yum Yum, Two Guys in a Lunchbox, The Waffle Boss, and Wrappers Delight.

 Food Truck Awards 2012 popsicles

The “Desserts” round of judging at the 2012 Nashville Street Food Awards

Last year I had an absolute blast judging the “BBQ”, “Hot” and “Dessert” categories. I can still vividly remember Delta Bound’s BBQ slider with fried pickles and Deg Thai’s mango sticky rice, two of my favorites of the day.

While I’m super sad that I won’t be able to attend the event this year (Chicago bound on Friday!), I am happy to announce that I’m holding a contest to give one of my readers my judging spot!

Adventurous eaters are encouraged to enter, as you’ll be required to taste and judge entries from a few assigned categories, and you won’t find out which ones until you arrive on site that day. Your judging time will be from 12 (noon) – 1:30 pm on Saturday, so make sure your calendar is clear for that time before you enter.

To enter, all you have to do is this:

~Contest Closed~

Congratulations to the winner!

#22 Christina V


1. Leave a comment telling me about the best food truck dish you’ve had in Nashville. -OR- Is there a street food you’ve had in another city that you would love to see made here by one of our very own? Tell me about that!

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 be a judge at the Nashville Street Food Awards on Saturday?! @betheats is giving away a judging spot!”, 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!)


Contest ends on Thursday, October 31st at NOON CDT. 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!


From time to time I get offers from publishers to review cookbooks, and more often than not, I pass them up. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE cookbooks. However, there are only so many cookbooks one girl can handle! But there are some that I simply cannot refuse, and that’s the category this new Southern Living cookbook falls in.

Since childhood I’ve been a big fan of Southern Living magazine. I even created a video for explaining exactly what I love about it so much. Suffice it to say, they are a trusted source for me when it comes to cooking (amongst other things).

So when I got the email about Southern Living No Taste Like Home, it was an easy “yes!”.  Great decision on my part, as I’m really enjoying diving into this cookbook. Broken into sections of the various regions of the south, it’s more than just recipes – you feel like you learn a little about each place, it’s history, it’s residents, and of course, it’s food.

Southern Living No Taste Like Home photos

I’ve got something marked to try from every region – Crab Cake Hushpuppies and Remoulade from Cajun Country; Tex Mex Grilled Beef with Chipotle-Lime Cream from Big Bold Texas; Shrimp and Grits from The Piedmont & the Mountains; Loretta Lynn’s Chicken and Dumplings from The Bluegrass, Bourbon & Barbecue Trail; and Georgia Peach Deviled Eggs from the Coastal South.

And then there is the one recipe that I was dying to try from the moment I saw it….Alabama White Sauce. Or as they call it in this book, Alabama White Barbecue Sauce. I leave out the word barbecue because honestly, I can slather this stuff on so many things, I don’t want to limit your imagination. Oddly, I don’t like mayonnaise, and yet, I love this sauce that is mayonnaise based. Perfect for smoked chicken, but equally as amazing with fried okra, as our local Smoke Et Al food truck has proven in recent years.





Alabama White Barbecue Sauce

Makes 1 3/4 cups. Recipe from Southern Living: No Taste Like Home cookbook


1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 garlic clove
1 Tbsp coarse, ground black pepper
1 Tbsp spicy brown mustard
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp table salt
2 tsp horseradish


Stir together all ingredients until well blended. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.


Now some good news for you. I’ve got an extra cookbook to give away!

To enter, all you have to do is this:

~Contest Closed~

Congratulations to the winner!

#21 Susan Williams


1. Leave a comment telling me the dish that comes to mind when you hear “No taste like home”. It could be something your grandmother made, something your hometown is famous for, or maybe something that is a more recent discovery. Spill!


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 copy of Southern Living’s No Taste Like Home cookbook from @betheats!” 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!)


Contest ends on Thursday, October 24th at 11 a.m. CDT. 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 48 hours, I’ll be forced to choose another, so be sure to check your email!


Disclosure: I received one free review copy of Southern Living No Taste Like Home: A Celebration of Regional Southern Cooking and Hometown Flavor cookbook and another to host this giveaway.



You may remember back in July when I included the brand new (at least to Nashville) members-only Dinner Lab “On My Calendar” for that month. If you don’t remember, or need a refresher, hop over to that post for full details and a short video.

Basically here’s the gist of it – For $100 per year, you can become a member. Dinner Lab hosts around 2 events/dinners per week, for a total of about 100 a year. And, as a member, you can attend as many of those as you want + you can bring a guest.

Each dinner typically costs $50/person, which includes a 5+ course meal, drinks, tax and gratuity. Yep, the whole thing is taken care of with one payment in advance, and then you just show up and have a great time!



 Dinner Lab in Gibson Guitar building on Church Street

Speaking of showing up- that’s also part of the fun. Up until 24 hours before the dinner, you have absolutely no idea where you’re going! A deserted warehouse, a recording studio, an alley, a rooftop – you get to see parts of Nashville that you never even noticed before. So much fun!

Now, I’ll be completely honest. I was invited to attend my first dinner lab free of charge before becoming an actual member. This very meal I’m sharing photos of is from that evening at the Gibson Guitar building on Church Street.

Even though I didn’t have to pay for the meal, I will say that if someone asked me to come to the exact same meal again, I would jump at the chance, and I would gladly pay for it!




1st course: Gazpacho Andaluz
blanca rinon (Spanish white bean) puree, grilled focaccia

The theme for the evening was Spain. When I was sent a few dinner descriptions to choose from, as soon as I saw this one, there was no doubt that it was the one I absolutely needed to attend.

You see, I’m a bit enamored with Spain — I’ve wanted to go on a trip to Barcelona for years and years and years (fingers crossed that maybe that trip will happen in the not too distant future). Have any of you seen me whining on Twitter about the lack of a tapas here in Nashville? Sigh. I digress.

Back to dinner, and the chef that wowed us with his cuisine, Chef Greg Dickson. Before making a move to the newly opened Crying Wolf in East Nashville, Greg worked at one of my favorite restaurants, Etch. Of course he did! So much talent in that kitchen.



2nd course: Pulpo
Sauteed baby octopus, tempura squash blossom, salsa piquillo


As you scroll through this post, you’ll probably notice that some of the photos are better than others. That’s because I took the time to use my good camera for some, but lazily only used my iphone for others. Oh, and for a couple of dishes, I even walked over to the brightly lit expediting area to get even clearer shots.

I just want to point that out to say – don’t judge the dish by the pics, because they really don’t do this meal justice!

For instance, that baby octopus and squash blossom shown above? Would you have guessed that it was one of the best things I’ve put in my mouth this year? Well, it was!


3rd Course: Higo y Jamon
Charred parma wrapped fig, saffron & albarino gastrique, walnut tuille


4th Course: Queso de Cabeza
Cornmeal dusted head cheese, baby artichoke, truffled mustard seed vinaigrette

For those that don’t know what head cheese is, let me offer a brief description: a terrine or meat jelly made with flesh from the head of a calf or pig. To get an even more thorough description and background, check Wikipedia.

I thought the pairing with the chilled, tart artichokes and vinaigrette was perfect. My only small complaint of the entire meal is that I wish this had just a tad more artichoke because the head cheese was a large portion and very rich.


5th Course: Conejo
Torchon of rabbit, rabbit jus, roasted baby carrot

What I love most about this meal is that it was very different from any other I’ve had in Nashville this year. That’s one of the great things about Dinner Lab – they’re venturing into cuisines that you don’t have the opportunity to eat every day. They’re also working with chefs that you may not yet have heard of…sous chefs, line cooks, caterers. It’s fun seeing some of these lesser known chefs shine.

Speaking of shining, the dessert at our Spanish dinner did just that. In fact, it almost stole the show, and looking at it now makes me want to track down the pastry chef and beg her to make me another. Luckily I know where to find her – at Etch! If you haven’t ordered dessert made by the mega talented Megan Williams before, add that to your Nashville “must do” list!



6th  Course: Oliva
Arbequina olive oil ice cream sandwich, sea salt caramel, marcona almonds

If some of you reading don’t live here in Nashville, you might still be in luck when it comes to experiencing Dinner Lab for yourself. Already in New Orleans and Austin, they’ve also expanded to New York and Los Angeles, with more plans for Washington DC, Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco, and Miami!


Two weeks from today I’ll be participating in a really cool conference happening right here in Nashville at our brand spankin’ new, absolutely gorgeous, Omni Hotel. The KEEN Digital Summit is the brainchild of my friend Kristin Luna, travel writer extraordinaire.

This first-time event is perfect for bloggers, pinners, tweeters (twitterers?), writers, business owners, marketers…well, let’s just say a lot of you would fit right in. The speakers range from people like little ol’ me to bigwigs from Southern Living and HGTV. Want to get the full view of who you can expect to see and hear? Check out the roster.

The track I’m participating in is Food & Spirits, but there is also Travel & Lifestyles, Family & Entertainment and Technology. I’m telling you, this conference is packed with amazing learning and networking opportunities! And it’s definitely not going to be all work and no play. On Thursday night, the opening night, there will be a party at aVenue for all attendees, then a Friday night Bluebird-esque singer-songwriter experience at the Listening Room Café, with Southern beer brands showcasing their products. Plenty of fun to be had!

Visit the Keen Digital Summit website to get more in depth details and click here to register to attend!

KEEN Digital Summit

Dates:  Thursday, October 24th – Saturday, October 26th

Location: Omni Hotel, 250 5th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203

Cost: $299 for all conference pass*; $149 for day pass

*Here’s some good news – KEEN has provided me a $100 off code for you to use on the full-conference pass! The promo code is: NFB2013.

And…more good news. They’re also letting me give away a full conference pass to one (1) lucky reader!


~Contest Closed~

Congratulations to the winner!

#9 Alexandra

To enter, all you have to do is this:


1. Once you’ve had a chance to look at the agenda, leave a comment telling me which speakers or topics you’re most interested in hearing.

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 pass to the inaugural @KEENsummit ($299 value) from @betheats!”, then leave a comment telling me you’ve done so.

3.  Like KEEN 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 Monday, October 14th at 9 pm CST. Once the winner is chosen via, I’ll make contact via email and post the name here on the blog. If they don’t respond within 48 hours, I’ll be forced to choose another, so be sure to check your email!




I’m not sure how it’s already October, but that’s what my calendar says, so I guess I have to believe it.

According to that same calendar, it has been 2.5 weeks since the big Music City Eats Festival hit Nashville. Seriously? I feel like it was just a few days ago. My intention was to recap my experience a couple of days after the event…but if I’m being honest, nothing in my life seems to go as planned these days, so I might as well just quit planning!




As I mentioned before, I was a “local ambassador” of sorts for MCE, which basically meant that I helped them spread the word about the festival and provided them with some content about the Nashville food scene for their blog. What I haven’t mentioned previously is that in my other life (you know, my real job), I was also connected to the event.

Goo Goo Cluster was one of the major sponsors, providing totes and Goo Goo Clusters for every attendee. An epic Nashville food event like this simply had to have Nashville’s very own candy, right?? And we made that decision long before we saw this interview with Chef Jonathon Waxman, one of the founders of Music City Eats. He loves Goo Goos! (I swear we did not bribe him or pay him for that endorsement!)




I tell you all of that in the interest of full disclosure. Yes, I did get a free ticket, but, as is always the case, I wouldn’t bother writing about this if I didn’t think it was worth writing about. Do I think the $275 price tag for a paying person was worth it? Yes. But there are some ifs:

If you are a drinker. The amount of booze flowing at MCE was pretty astounding. And that is not a complaint, quite the opposite.

MCE food drink collage

If you aren’t a vegetarian. There weren’t a lot of vegetarian options, so if I wasn’t a meat eater, I would’ve been pretty disappointed in the food selection.

MCE panels

If you are interested in meeting and listening to chefs talk about food. The panels were fantastic and I loved how accessible and friendly all the chefs were. Yes, Giada is just as stunning and sweet as she seems on tv. Michael Symon is funny as all get out and I now have an even bigger crush on him.




For a first time event, I was impressed with how well everything seemed to run and with the way everything looked.

All in all, I had an absolute blast. I got to spend a lot of time hanging out with my buddy Erin and many of my other food blogger/writer/just all around cool friends. Um, and I ate. And drank. A lot. These pictures are not even 5% of what was consumed.

My fingers are crossed that Music City Eats returns next year, and the year after that, and the year after that and so on! I can only believe it will get better and better.

So what about those of you reading this that also attended…Any highlights or thoughts on the way things were run? I’ve actually got a meeting tomorrow to give feedback so would love your input!







Until I had a kiddo, milk isn’t something I thought too much about. I drank very little of it; in fact, I mainly purchased it to cook/bake with.

However, now that there’s a toddler in the house, we go through A LOT of milk! So when Promised Land Dairy reached out to me and offered to send samples, I was definitely more motivated than normal to accept.

Now available here in Nashville at our local Publix stores in addition to Kroger and Harris Teeter, they offer not just traditional white milk, but some unique (and delicious) flavors. Our shipment contained the Midnight Chocolate (reduced fat), traditional white, Cookies ‘n Cream, and Peaches ‘n Cream (reduced fat).

 Archer drinking milk

I have to say, even though I’m not a big milk drinker, just one taste of the Cookies n Cream and I was smitten. In fact, that’s the one flavor that I haven’t shared with anyone else, even my little guy! Just a sip or two is perfectly satisfying when I’m craving something sweet after dinner.

Please don’t go thinking that I’m a greedy mommy, as my little guy finished off the chocolate milk and the peaches n cream within days of opening and he was one happy camper. The sugar content is slightly high, so instead of giving it to him straight, I mixed a little in with his regular milk and it still tasted great.

This is a product that we’ll definitely continue buying as Archer has asked for “peach milk” or “choc milk” several times this week already!

For information on where to buy near you, visit the Promised Land website.


Amazing Goo Goo creations by Epting Events in Athens, GA

For any of you that follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you might have seen me posting pics and talking about the Southern C Summit I attended in Jekyll Island in May or Athens in August. Organized by the founders of The Southern Coterie, the event is a forum filled with Southern bloggers, businesses, and brand representatives.

Each of the events have been incredibly informative and, most importantly, fun! For me, working full time for a brand (Goo Goo Cluster) but also writing a blog where I work with brands, I’m getting a double dose of learning at each summit. Networking, making new friends and of course my favorite – eating – are all added perks!



If heaven had a signature dessert, this would be it: Goo Goo Cluster Empanadas!

Speaking of eating, that’s a big part of how Goo Goo Cluster has participated at past events. We were the sponsor of the afternoon “Goo Goo Break”. In Jekyll Island, we worked with their convention center to create mini Goo Goo pies. In Athens, it was a local catering company, Epting Events, that made some really special creations for the attendees. Instead of only one treat like we did in Jekyll Island, Epting made 9 Goo Goo creations! They truly outdid themselves and the break was the hit of the entire conference!

  • Savory bites: Pork Slider with Goo Goo Mole Sauce, Country Ham Biscuit with Goo Goo Cluster Crumble and Chocolate-Dipped Bacon with a Crunchy Goo Goo Cluster Coating
  • Sweets: Empanadas with a Goo Goo Cluster Filling, a Goo Goo Cluster Cannoli, Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries with a Crunchy Goo Goo Cluster Coating, Goo Goo Cluster Shortbread, Goo Goo Cluster Caramel Popcorn, and even a Bourbon Goo Goo Cluster Milkshake

I still can’t get those empanadas out of my head. Don’t get me wrong. Absolutely everything was wonderful, but those? Those I dream about. Apparently they aren’t too difficult to make either! Just pie dough with half a Goo Goo Cluster used as the filling. After it is fried, you quickly dust the empanada with sugar. DANGEROUS.



And the cocktail they give you at heaven’s bar? This. The Bourbon Goo Goo Milkshake


The Bourbon Goo Goo Milkshake was also a favorite. I’m fairly certain that a pretty high number of attendees would’ve liked a big cup of that to take with them back into the theater that day! I tell you this because it inspired me.

What I haven’t mentioned yet is that the Summit Series continues here in Nashville on October 17th and we are participating once again. This time we’re mixing things up a bit and teaming up with Whisper Creek Tennessee Sipping Cream to sponsor the bus that will transport everyone from Loews Vanderbilt Hotel out to the Southern Living Idea House on Thursday afternoon.

Want to take a guess as to what everyone will be sipping as we take that ride? Yep! Crazy good Goo Goo Whisper Creek shakes! Chef Brandon Froehne of Mason’s at Loews will also be creating a special treat to serve alongside the boozy shakes. A good time will be had by all!

Something else you should know is that earlier in the day, some of the best Nashville restaurants will also be serving up some good food. Check out this list:

Lunch with Chef’s Market
Bar-B-Que Sliders from Edley’s Bar-b-que
Shrimp & Grits from The Southern
Sweet Treats from Husk Restaurant

Southern C Nashville


Southern C Summit – Nashville

Thursday, October 17th, 2013
8 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $175/person

For more information and/or to register, click here.

Guess what? There are some ticket giveaways currently underway on a couple of other blogs right now. I’m sharing links with you to those sites so you can try your luck at winning! Hurry, there are only a few days left to enter both:

Em’s On the Road – must enter by September 27th

Nashville Guru – must enter by September 30th