Egerton already had a long career in what was then called race relations behind him when he wrote Southern Food in the 1980s, followed by other books on food and race relations. He was there for the organization of the Southern Foodways Alliance in 1998. And despite all his accomplishments, he's so modest that he'd never bothered to mention that his name is on a prize offered by the Southern Foodways Alliance.
The Egerton Prize awards a grant of $5,000 for artists, writers, scholars, and others — including artisans and farmers and cooks—whose work in the American South addresses issues of race, class, gender, and social and environmental justice, through the lens of food. (Community Food Advocates, Martha Stamps, and many others, I'm lookin' at you!) The prize identifies people whose work would benefit from greater freedom, support, and exposure.
The nominating period runs through the end of March. Submit a nomination of 50 words or less to sfamail(at)olemiss.edu. Candidates should:
1) live or work in the American South
2) exhibit exceptional creativity
3) apply the rubric of food to their work
4) have the potential to make a genuine difference in one or more fields
5) stand to truly benefit from a $5,000 investment in their work
Starting tomorrow, Feb. 23, for three days only, you can buy a minimum of $100 in gift cards at half price either in person at either of the restaurants or at their website. The small print indicates that these cards cannot be redeemed on the date of purchase and are for private dining only, so don't plan to cater your wedding reception at half price.
Still it's a heckuva deal and offers the flexibility to redeem the cards at either Sunset or Midtown. No phone orders will be accepted, so leverage the technology, or better yet, drop by for a meal and pick up your bargain.
Formerly Faison's, then The Trace (under multiple owners), T's Tuscan Bar & Grill, and Veranda, the little house with roll-up windows and a tree trunk in the dining room always stirs interest.
So when a sign went up a few weeks ago saying "Coming Soon — Rodizio Brazilian Steakhouse," curiosity was keen. Now I know a little of the scoop after talking to one of the owners, Christy Rodrigues, who's launching the project with her husband, Airton Rodrigues.
"Rodizio" is the Portuguese word for a flamboyant style of service originating in Brazil. Cook-servers in gaucho attire bring out skewers of various cuts of freshly grilled meat, carving out each successive round until the diners signify satiety. The restaurants themselves are called churrascarias.
Several national U.S. chains offer the concept — Nashville had one, Fire of Brazil, for a while. But this is independently owned and operated by the Rodrigueses. (It has no connection to Rodizio Grill, which is a chain in other cities.)
Airton grew up in Brazil, where his family has a couple of restaurants, and knows the rodizio ropes, so to speak. The couple met in Knoxville and moved to Nashville a few years ago. They also have a construction business.
"My husband always wanted to have a restaurant," Christy said. "It just took a while to find the right place — and the nerve," she added, laughing.
The Acorn, F. Scott’s, Rumba and Gigi’s Cupcakes have each created a unique dessert and will be serving them through February 26. Gigi’s Cupcakes will extend its cupcake's tenure through March 5.
The Acorn is serving a vanilla panna cotta with Thin Mint crust and raspberry coulis. F. Scott’s is featuring a peanut butter soufflé with Tagalongs and Do-Si-Dos. Rumba on West End Avenue has created a Thin Mint torte with Earl Grey tea ice cream. Gigi’s Cupcakes (Broadway and Cool Springs locations) has added a Samoa cupcake to the daily selection.
Or make your own cookie-spiked treats like Tagalong Shake, Thin Mint Brownies and Samoa Sweet Potatoes. Check out recipeshere.
Booth sales of Girl Scout cookies began Feb. 13 and run through March 6. For more info, go to the Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee site, which has a link to a cookie sales locator. (If you have an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, you can download the cookie locator app here.
Apparently, we're not the only Nashvillians interested in the dining scene up there. Former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ward Cammack has maintained a residence in Sewanee since 2005. After his political ambitions were dashed by the McWherter Mafia and the Haslam Express in late 2009, Ward and his wife Shelley started to consider moving permanently. They also began to seek out business opportunities to keep themselves busy in their new home.
Their first move was to buy Shenanigans, a venerable Sewanee favorite located in a house that has only recently been shored up to stop the decades-long slow collapse that caused patrons to keep an eye on the front door for two reasons. First, it was always important to track the trapezoidal door opening for signs of recent settling and impending structural failure. Secondly, you needed an escape route if the aforementioned catastrophe actually happened while you were emptying your mason jar of Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale.
Fortunately, after an extensive rebuilding effort, the Cammacks won't have to worry about those sort of things anymore. Not that they are neophytes to the restaurant biz. In fact, Ward's college job at Tulane was working as a waiter at the famous Commander's Palace. Shelley spent some time working at Houston's, so she knows her way around a kitchen and dining room as well. Since purchasing the restaurant, the Cammacks have worked their way through every job in the place, including washing dishes, baking desserts, learning the voluminous sandwich menu which covers an entire wall and paying the bills.
My City Paper colleague Joey Garrison has been following the Chick-fil-A flap. The company wants to replace the former Regions bank across from Saint Thomas Hospital with a new Chick-Fil-A store with two drive-thru windows, 28 outdoors seats, parking in the rear and a window for walk-up customers. For now, there are no plans for indoor seating.
(This would be the most centrally located free-standing Chick-fil-A in the Nashville area. Most locations are in suburban areas close to an interstate.)
The neighborhood has an urban design overlay, so the project would require the Metro Planning Commission to grant an exception to those rules. Chick-fil-A has been talking to neighbors but hasn’t presented an official zoning variance request, Garrison reports.
Metro Councilman Jason Holleman, who represents the area, said Chick-fil-A has offered some measures in exchange for the UDO variance, such as eliminating one access point along Woodlawn and building a sidewalk that would extend beyond its own property to the nearby campus of The Ensworth School. Trees are to be planted to soften the view from the street.
A public meeting was held this week, with some neighbors fearful of escalating traffic congestion along an already busy thoroughfare.
(This is the second year in a row that Wilson has landed in the Southeast semis. Last year a former Nashville chef, Sean Brock — previously at Capitol Grille and now at McCrady's in S.C. — won the category.)
Wilson is the only Tennessee chef nominated in the Southeast division this year. In the Outstanding Wine Service category, sommelier Andy Chabot of Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tenn., got a nod. Go here to see the full list.
Unless you're one of the 550 judges on the James Beard panel, you don't have any say in how far Tandy Wilson will advance. But you can participate in the The People's Best New Chef in the Southeast honor. Vote here, and vote now. The balloting ends March 1.
At this writing, Wilson is in third place out of 10 competitors, with 12.45 percent of the vote. Kevin Gillespie of Woodfire Grill is first with 27.8 percent of the vote, and Ryan Trimm of Sweet Grass in Memphis is second with 17.31 percent. Get out the vote, Nashvillians!
That's memory for you — some knowledge is accessible via shortcuts, no matter how esoteric it might be. For example, I'm not a genius about wines, but I keep a list of wines, current geo-oenology and trade in the iPhone, so I can order or buy something and be pretty sure it will be great. Digital flashcard!
Get prepared for that dinner party, and bring on the bruschetta, trotters, brioche, food trucks and foam. Because flashcards are a shortcut to expertise.
What was your great idea — or shortcut to a great idea — this week? The Open Thread is open for ideas, complains, gossip, insults, and good news.
Partygoers will taste blind from the submitted bottles and then vote for a favorite. The teams that submitted the favorite malbec and the favorite sauv blanc will split the mother lode of all the wild-card bottles as grand prize. The event is next Friday, Feb. 25, from 6 to 9 p.m. in Jamison Hall at the Factory at Franklin, 230 Franklin Road.
The nonprofit Next-Generation Heritage Foundation is a branch of the larger Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County, which among other projects is working to preserve the historic Franklin Theatre — and renovate it into a multi-use entertainment venue in the heart of downtown Franklin. The goal is to reopen the theater in the spring of 2011.
For more information on the event and to buy your tickets, visit the Three Blind Vines event website.
According to CeCe's on Twitter, they'll be filming a video 3 to 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 18, and folks of all ages are invited to join in, with free yogurt and treats for everyone. (Those who participate will need to sign a routine release form so their image can be used.)
I'll be stuck up here in the Gulch, yearning, but Williamson County fans of CeCe's should get over there toot sweet.
(Hat tip to the excellent Nashville for Free blog for pointing us to this news.)
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