Monday, December 10, 2012

The Local Palate Magazine Noshes in Nashville

Posted By on Mon, Dec 10, 2012 at 7:50 AM

From left: Jason McConnell, Tandy Wilson, Margot McCormack, Pat Martin, Tyler Brown, Kahlil Arnold, Cole Ellis, Hal Holden-Bache
  • Ron Manville/The Local Palate
  • From left: Jason McConnell, Tandy Wilson, Margot McCormack, Pat Martin, Tyler Brown, Kahlil Arnold, Cole Ellis, Hal Holden-Bache
The national media's fascination with our fair city's restaurant scene continues in the December/January issue of The Local Palate, an attractive regional culinary magazine based out of Charleston. Last summer a coterie of the magazine's editors and writers paid a visit to Nashville to meet and eat their way through our substantial offering of notable chefs and restaurants. The result is one of the most thoughtful write-ups of our culinary scene that I've seen in a long time.

They certainly went farther than many of the quick-hit roundups that have been published lately in other national publications. The subtitle on the masthead is "Food Culture of the South," and The Local Palate seems to understand the culture of Nashville quite well, and they feature more than just the usual suspects in their profiles and recommendations.

They invited Chef Tyler Brown of the Capitol Grille to write his own column about what the opportunity to work the earth at Glen Leven Farm means to him as a chef. A feature on City House captures Chef Tandy Wilson's playful attitude toward fine dining and menu planning. Interviews with Chef Jeremy Barlow and Karl and Sarah Worley of the Biscuit Love food truck reveal important details about their philosophies, including that Sarah would invite Britney Spears to her fantasy dinner. Oops, I did it again.

Artisans like Scott Witherow of Olive and Sinclair and the folks behind Corsair Artisan Distilling are also featured, and Watermark gets a moment in the spotlight with an interesting read on food and wine pairing.

I was very impressed by their recommended choices of where visitors should dine on a trip to Music City. Their "Eat Like a Local" culinary concierge reads like a page from the "Best of Nashville" issue of the Scene with Crema, Mas Tacos, Patterson House, The Catbird Seat and Robert's Western World all getting shout-outs.

The culinary map includes old and new with Prince's and Arnold's suggested alongside Lockeland Table and Silo. Local favorites like Smiling Elephant, Marché, Flyte, Silly Goose and the Nashville Farmers' Market all finally get some of the national attention they have deserved for a while.

What I think The Local Palate really got right was the sense of community that many of our local chefs share. We are blessed to have people running our local kitchens who are not only extremely talented, but who also believe in collaboration and cooperation over competition. To that end, the Nashville section of the magazine kicks off with one of my favorite photographs I've ever seen to represent our culinary community.

Photographer Ron Manville assembled a who's who of Nashville chefs at Robert's, added some PBR and apparently stirred until he captured a moment that demonstrates the genuine affection that this decidedly unmotley crew has for one another. The magazine was gracious enough to share the original image with us to show to you, but if you want your own copy, look for The Local Palate at Whole Foods, Harris Teeter and several other grocery stores around town.

I have an extra copy that I'd be willing to part with, so let's have a little contest. In the comments, give your best guess as to what happened to get this bunch laughing so hard. We'll pick the most creative answer on Friday and send the winner their own copy of the issue.

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