Instead, Corsair prefers to experiment with novel grains in their mash bills and innovative finishing techniques, including experimental smoking of malts and grains and adding hops to their whiskeys. Bell is also more than willing to share the exact details and results of his experiments and has released a follow-up to his first book with Fire Water: Experimental Smoked Malts and Whiskeys. While the previous work, Alt Whiskeys, sought to share recipes for some admittedly wacky fermented and distilled grain products like triticale and sorghum, Fire Water sets out to do no less than establish an entirely new category of spirits, American smoked whiskey.
Bell experimented with more than 80 different sources of smoke to flavor his whiskeys. Traditional wood sources like pecan and mesquite were augmented with herbs, roots, barks and old barrel staves to create the smoke to add character to the spirits. Like any good scientist, Bell maintained a control recipe for his base spirit and then altered and measured the effects of variables such as different malting techniques, smoke sources and time of exposure to the smoke. Corsair's multiple award-winning Triple Smoke Whiskey should be proof enough that he knows what he is doing, but a course of study at the distilling academy at Bruichladdich in Islay, Scotland, also establishes some pretty serious bona fides.
I don’t cook, so I don’t really know much about Paula Deen, other than that she really likes butter, and that her pants fell down on live TV one time. So, when presented with the opportunity to interview her for her Aug. 27 appearance at TPAC, I thought, hey, I just might learn something!
When corresponding with her people, they initially requested an email interview, which I politely declined, because those are no fun. As Deen’s people are clearly accustomed to putting out fires that happen outside the kitchen, they are now on in full fire prevention mode. They acquiesced to a phoner if I presented the questions in advance. Now, that's not so out-of-the-ordinary with interviews; I understand a subject wanting to know what ground will be covered so he or she is adequately prepared, but it was the following caveat that made me a little wary:
"We do kindly request that you keep all questions focused on Paula Deen Live! and the Paula Deen Network — nothing about the past."
This incited a flashback to my senior year in high school, when the principal asked to see my graduation speech a week before the ceremony.
“If you even stray one word from this speech,” she warned me, looking me dead in the eye, “I will cut the microphone. No funny business, Abby.”
I had recently been nearly arrested for underage drinking in one of Peoria’s fine public parks and was at risk of losing a college scholarship, so I wasn’t about to rock the boat. But nearly 20 years later, I still bristle when someone tells me I can’t talk about something. That being said, I must still fear the wrath of my high school principal — or maybe Paula Deen's people — because I decided not to talk about Anthony Bourdain, diabetes or Southern plantation-style weddings. Besides, there is plenty of other stuff to chat about with the Queen of Butter, right?
Paula called me from her home in Savannah, and throughout our brief convo, I did manage to learn something quite scandalous without having to approach any of the aforementioned subjects. Nashville, Paula Deen has NEVER tried hot chicken. Not only that, it didn't even sound like she'd heard of it. Friends, we cannot let this slide. When she's in town, can somebody please stage a hot chickenvention?
We also chatted about her new digital network that's launching this fall, how she and Dolly should be friends, why potatoes are awesome, and the time she thought sweetbreads were cinnamon rolls, after the jump.
But thanks to a liquidation auction by McClemore Auction Co., anybody can now purchase all the makings of a restaurant, arcade or badass man cave. In addition to items like pizza ovens, industrial ranges and real imitation leather sofas, there are 60 high-definition televisions for sale, many for less than a hundred bucks.
The auction closes tomorrow, so if you want to furnish your own fun emporium, get to bidding!
So Sundays are the prefect time to let somebody else do the cooking for you. The kitchen at Josephine at 2316 12th Ave. S. wants to take at least one task off your to-do list with their new Sunday chicken special. Taking advantage of the influx of great tomatoes at this time of year, Josephine is offering a tomato salad with tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, basil, grilled bread and vinaigrette plus two pieces of expertly fried chicken and a beer for a flat rate of $15.
The deal is available only at the bar on Sundays starting at 5 p.m. until they run out of chicken. if you're looking for a way to finish off the weekend with some great comfort food, give it a try.
If you follow chef rosters in Nashville, you may know her as Kayla Swartout — she recently got married and goes by her new name, Kayla May.
Inspired by memorable visits to the patisseries of Paris, May graduated from the French Culinary Institute in New York.
"Her French-inspired training and modernist techniques combined with an understanding and respect for the region will complement Josephine’s refined American farmhouse cuisine," said today's announcement from Josephine.
She joins Josephine's top chef and general manager Andy Little, who combines his background growing up in Pennsylvania Dutch country with the influences of Nashville and Southern cuisine.
Mays says one of her pastimes is tracking down grandmothers' recipes she hears about from friends and working to re-create dishes lost to time. She starts work at Josephine this Saturday, Aug. 16.
Out of that group has arisen an effort to establish an official Nashville chapter of the United States Bartenders' Guild. A local USBG is more than just a sign that a community has made it big in the spirits world. Membership yields benefits like access to health insurance, participation in official USBG events and competitions, and access to online forums where professional bartenders exchange information about recipes and the industry.
And it's simply time for Nashville to be recognized for our prominence in the cocktail community. Heck, Chattanooga and Lincoln, Neb., already have applications for guild membership pending, so you know Nashville deserves a chapter.
The effort has been spearheaded by Alan Kennedy, the managing director at Cask Strength Consulting. He has done the initial organizing of a group of 50 bar professionals who have committed to membership. With the initial application submitted, the next step is to organize even more potential members. If you might be interested or know of a talented bartender who should be a part of this group, Kennedy invites you to email him at email@example.com for more information.
Let's make this happen!
One of Burke's points was that while he realizes that he is neither Japanese or the one who cooks the food at Two Ten Jack, he has spent years learning about the cuisine through restaurant jobs and trips to Japan. A 2007 visit inspired him to start planning the concept that would eventually become Two Ten Jack, and which will soon be replicated at a new location in Chattanooga. Burke is particularly proud that when the kitchen staff first fired up the expensive grill that he had purchased to make yakitori, the meat coming off the griddle tasted almost exactly like he remembered.
That's an interesting point to me, personally. Is there a role in restaurant development for someone who has the palate and vision to replicate food that most folks haven't had the opportunity to experience in person, and then turn the execution over to talented chefs like Jason McConnell and Jess Benefield to replicate the flavors? I think there might be. I would liken it to the role of a creative director at an ad agency who might not be the most talented designer, but thanks to years of experience can recognize good work when he or she sees it.
Burke respects his role as what he calls "the head curator of Seed Hospitality." He is also fascinated with Japanese culture and strives to continue his education. He told me that the back and forth with Steve Haruch and the online community motivated him, and that his pursuit of knowledge comes from an honest place. To further his exposure to Japanese design and food trends, Burke has planned a 10-day trip to the island to experience the wide array of flavor profiles that Japanese food showcases.
His friends at Sun Noodle, who have provided the ramen for Two Ten and Otaku South, gave him recommendations for his aggressive itinerary which will include five days in Tokyo, two days each in Kyoto and Hiroshima and one day in Mijayama. Hiroshima is known for their Okonomiyaki, savory pancakes that might be featured on Seed Hospitality menus upon Burke's return. In Tokyo, he plans to stay in the same hotel where he originally discovered yakitori in a little eatery around the corner. If the restaurant is still there, Burke hopes to recalibrate his taste memories with a return visit.
He also plans to visit the sushi restuarant run by the youngest son of Jiro Ono, made famous in the fascinating movie Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Takashi Ono practices his fare in Roppongi Hills, and a visit to his place is said to be as close as most mere mortals can get to a meal with the master.
But as my Nashville Post colleague William Williams reports, Smith says that if the current Avenue Diner plan dies, he's considering simply making the site into a food-truck park.
Instead of building a new structure, he would just pave over the current construction site, fence it and rent space to food trucks. Smith held a press conference on Thursday to discuss Avenue Diner, which he still hopes to develop, but also his Plan B, the food truck park.
From the Post:
Smith, who co-owns Lower Broadway fixture Tootsie's as well as nearby Rippy's and Honky Tonk Central, said he has long had a good working relationship with Metro officials and would solicit their feedback regarding having food trucks on the smallish site.
“I’ve had some people approach me about a food truck park,” he said, adding the site could accommodate six to eight food trucks and generate, via rents, more than $35,000 a month.
The fate of the Avenue Diner project, which Smith says is inspired by the venerable Junior's restaurant in Brooklyn, may be sealed next month if the Metro Board of Zoning Appeals votes to prohibit the project from restarting construction.
Dallas Shaw, president of the Nashville Food Truck Association, who spoke to the Nashville Post on Thursday after Smith's press conference Thursday, said he is "intrigued" by Smith's idea of a food truck park but wonders if the leases and rents Smith has tentatively mentioned would work for truck operators.
Early on, they recognized the possibility of presenting a goof on the concept of "sessionable" beers with a nod to Nashville's legendary session musicians. They have just released the first in their "Tennessee Sessions" series of lower-alcohol brews with another already in the tanks and ready for release soon.
So what's a "sessionable beer?" According to the Brewers' Association, "Any style of beer can be made lower in strength than described in the classic style guidelines. The goal should be to reach a balance between the style’s character and the lower alcohol content. Drinkability is a character in the overall balance of these beers. Beers in this category must not exceed 4.1% alcohol by weight (5.1% alcohol by volume)."
What this means is that you can now enjoy more than one glass of their citrusy American Pale Session Ale without worrying about putting on your knee pads to crawl home. A sessionable version of their Blonde is also just about ready to go, so your easy-drinking options will soon double. Another bonus is that they are also lower in calories.
So head on down to their taproom at 809 Ewing Ave. between 4 and 8 p.m. on Thursday or Friday, 2 to 8 on Saturday or 2 to 6 on Sunday to enjoy a few of these tasty brews. Use the money you'll save on a cab home to buy yourself an extra pint!
In honor of Child's upcoming birthday on Aug. 15, Midtown Cafe will recognize her with a special "Salute to Julia Child" menu. Diners can order French dishes such as vichyssoise, canard a l’orange, salade Niçoise and sole meunière for lunch and dinner from now through Sunday, Aug. 17, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit a scholarship fund at Nashville State Community College’s Randy Rayburn School of Culinary Arts.
For reservations, call 615-320-7176 or go to midtowncafe.com.
"Save the liver!"
I had lunch there with several friends. We all thought the food was excellent and…
We will be open for regular taproom hours, noon-6 PM.
You can get most of those pastries (and more!) every day of the year at…
I am a huge fan of Paula and I respect her and her work. She…
I'll read and comment on anything I like. FAN. I thought she was disingenuous throughout…