Brad Mortensen is the Nashville brewmaster at Rock Bottom, and he was excited to get to play with a new recipe. I have to say that I thought the result was fantastic. Winter Tartan is a traditional Scottish ale with a smooth, malty flavor and a hint of vanilla. There's a nice toasted chocolate character from the use of caramel malt, and just the right amount of hoppiness to make it interesting without overpowering the seasonal flavors.
Winter Tartan is available exclusively at the Broadway location of Rock Bottom at least through the end of the year. They've also added some seasonal items to the food menu like a Swiss Portobello Burger to accompany the new brew, so drop by before a Preds game to try them out.
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
Participants will start with a Turkish-style fish dish, discover what makes this dish work; and move onto soup, changing garnishes to examine different taste sensations. Next comes salad greens, vinaigrette, and a lovely spicy lamb app where the class boldly challenges the art of Tunisian heat. Save a little room, because it will all be capped off with a decadent dessert, whereby the class picks one of three dessert wines as the winner.
But wait, that's not all. Not even close. Kevin McCauley, the manager of Hattie B's, is teaching five different classes this year. I attended one of his seminars last year and found it to be very entertaining and informative. And delicious. For 2014, McCauley will join with Hattie B's John Lasater for a class called Southern Basics. There are rumors of both traditional and hot fried chicken on the menu, so wear your eatin' pants. McCauley will also teach technique classes based around pizza, pasta and seafood, as well as how to plan the ultimate brunch.
Lisa Mays will reprise her Paella Party class that she offered at Natchez Hills Winery over the summer. Like paella, comfort food is on the menu at two other classes, Easy Winter Comfort Food taught by Merijoy Lantz Rucker of Whole Foods, and Vegan Comfort Food for All from Chef Rusty Johnson of Grins Vegetarian Cafe. I've taken classes from both of these instructors in the past and can promise you won't go home disappointed or hungry.
Will Uhlhorn of Miel answers a question that is frequently asked here in Landlockedopolis with his class Learn to Cook and Source Seafood. (Apparently the answer does not involve a Captain named D or a pirate named Long John Silver.) As director of the Grow Local Kitchen at the Nashville Farmers’ Market, Chef Laura Wilson has a lot of experience teaching culinary classes, so USN is lucky that she has volunteered to teach a seminar titled Yes You Can: Pickles and Preserves. People who have attended a similar seminar at the NFM have told me it's a great class.
Another opportunity that has me intrigued is a market tour and dinner hosted by the fabulous Jennifer Justus. She'll be leading and excursion into the international side of our Nashville’s cuisine, specifically Kurdish food. According to the course description, "This will include learning about Kurdish flatbread, eating dinner at Shish Kabob, and imbibing a dessert of ice cream with saffron and rosewater. Vegetarian options include dishes like Tabbouleh, Falafel and Ash Paz (a blend of feta cheese, sour cream, walnuts and spices) served with Kurdish flatbread." Unfortunately, I'll be teaching a class on Feb. 26 while this tour is going on, so I hope somebody can report on how awesome it was.
But to save you a little time, here are some highlights. While the classes I teach might not necessarily be the highlights, since I have the power of the pen (err ... keyboard), I get to lead off with the three seminars I'm leading with some very talented co-instructors. Since my classes generally involve booze and are held in some really cool houses of USN parents, they usually sell out, so jump on it! Plus, I've saved up a year's worth of swag from various food and drink events, so most participants go home with door prizes. I don't remember that happening in any of my college history seminars.
David Paine (Mr. Martini) and I will be reprising our popular Classic Cocktails & Scintillating Spirits class on Feb. 26. The syllabus promises: "Participants will leave the class with more knowledge about bourbon, scotch, brandy and gin as well as some great recipes for home entertaining. Chances are good that these experts will help students discover a new favorite go-to drink." We will do our best to follow through with that promise.
I've enjoyed teaching with the always entertaining Kim Totzke from Provence over the past few years, and this year we've decided to just go ahead and scrap the specific thematic class that we've done in the past, since our classes usually devolve into a fun night of drinking, teaching and storytelling. So we're just calling this one What We're Drinking (And You Should Be Too).
Nuvo Burrito, the locally owned burrito outfit that had been operating on that site, decided to leave and sublet it to Hattie B's, according to Sean Perry, who co-owns Nuvo Burrito with Tom Justice. "We think it will work better for them to have the space," Perry says.
Hattie B's, whose original location is at 112 19th Ave S. and is owned by Nick Bishop Jr. and his dad, Nick Sr., expects to open the new Charlotte restaurant sometime this spring.
Meanwhile, Nuvo Burrito plans to close its original location in Five Points just before Christmas. "The lease is up, and we're opting not to renew," Perry said. Presumably the rent at the high-profile location at 1000 Main St. played a factor. However, those closures are not the end of Nuvo Burrito.
Nuvo Burrito on Peabody currently serves lunch only, but Perry says they'll add breakfast burritos in the morning and extend their hours into dinner, as well.
Perry also notes that Nuvo Burrito has already added delivery in the downtown area through Rush Bicycle Messengers, for a $5 fee.
Nuvo Burrito at 1000 Main St. is scheduled to close for good Dec. 23. Nuvo Burrito at 319 Peabody St. remains open and is expected to extend hours in January.
The tour will kick off at M.L. Rose in Melrose a little before noon (the website gives the improbably exact time of 11:50, so you might want to show up a little earlier than that), and then makes a couple of stops before the bus settles at Craft Brewed for the feast. Pack your potluck contributions to travel.
There will be tours and tastings along the way and some drink specials to stretch your beer-spending dollars. Here's the schedule:
Thanksgiving Leftovers Brew Bus
Depart from M.L. Rose West
Yazoo Brewing Co. — Tour and tasting
Tennessee Brew Works — Tour and tasting
Craft Brewed Nashville — Family style leftovers meal. Buy one pint, get one free
The Black Abbey Brewing Co. — Tour and tasting
End at M.L. West — First pint free!
All participants must be 21 or older. No exceptions.
There are still a few spots left on the bus, so grab a buddy and sign up here.
Over the weekend, a patron at the Pit and Barrel bar and restaurant on Second Avenue South downtown was fatally shot; police say bar owner Chris Ferrell, 44, admitted to shooting musician Wayne Mills, claiming the killing was self-defense. Police say the investigation continues into the slaying early Saturday morning, though no charges have yet been filed.
In a weird twist, Pit and Barrel (formerly BoondoxXx BBQ & Juke Joint) was the scheduled subject of Sunday's episode of Bar Rescue, a Spike TV show in which host Jon Teffer visits underperforming bars and works with the owner to turn the business around.
After Ferrell (who is NOT the Chris Ferrell who is CEO of Nashville Scene parent company Southcomm) admitted to killing Mills at the bar, Spike TV agreed not to air the new episode featuring the bar. The network managed to replace the prime-time broadcast with a rerun, but the second airing, at midnight CST, went ahead as scheduled.
After outrage from Mills' family and friends, Spike issued an apology:
"In our last minute effort over the weekend to pull the 'Bar Rescue' episode featuring the Pit and Barrel, we regretfully did not remove a late-night telecast of the episode. We apologize to all those affected by the terrible tragedy over the weekend and to Jon Taffer, the production team, and our advertisers for our unfortunate human error."
It doesn't seem like there are always happy endings after Nashville restaurateurs team up with reality shows. Chappy's on Church, for example, closed after it was featured on Gordon's Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares.
For more on the death of Mills and the reaction from the country music community, check out sister blog Nashville Cream.
Over on Bites' sister blog Country Life, Jim Ridley calls Egerton "one of Nashville's most esteemed literary figures, and a conscience to the city and the nation."
Ridley continues, "On issues where the South was lagging in progress, from civil rights to poverty, Egerton was dauntless and unwavering, whether he was tackling the problem of 'food deserts' in impoverished communities or charting the early fight against segregation in his landmark 1994 book Speak Now Against the Day: The Generation Before the Civil Rights Movement in the South."
We in the food world know him most intimately for the movement he launched in 1987 with his book Southern Food: At Home, on the Road, in History, a work that author and historian Rien Fertel called "the urtext of contemporary culinary writing and scholarship."
As Ridley explains, in addition to Egerton's passion for social justice, "he was just as adamant about preserving and protecting the region's timeless legacies — its food and folklore — from the strip-mall predations of the New South."
"Southern Food urged Southerners to take pride in their family diners, small-town eateries, soul-food joints and handed-down recipes. Not only was it a cornerstone of the Southern Foodways Alliance, which he co-founded in 1999, it led directly to the prominence and esteem Southern chefs (and cuisine) have claimed nationally in recent decades."
Not only are the flavors wild and amazing, but the packaging is gorgeous (as usual for Third Man), spinning Bang Candy's signature Western revolver into rotary shapes that suggest snowflakes.
Bang Candy's most famous specialty is marshmallows, and the collection's Holiday Libations Marshmallows encompass four flavors: Jack & Ginger, Blackcurrant Absinthe, Bacon Maple Bourbon, and Malt Chocolate & Whiskey.
The other two treats in the collaboration are an elixir to jazz up beverages ("Smoked Spiced Orange Syrup, the perfect wintery, cardamom-y, peppery, hickory-y concoction to complement your dark liquor of choice") and and au courant version of traditional bark ("Electrified Peppermint Bark, a Bang Candy Co. invention featuring 'shock rocks' that sizzle and fizz on your tongue").
The announcement says "the exclusive holiday offerings" will debut on Friday, Nov. 29, and "will be available only at Third Man Records headquarters while supplies last."
Third Man Records is at 623 Seventh Ave. S.
This NYC-based organization works to fight hunger worldwide, with programs like "Imagine There's No Hunger," a partnership with Yoko Ono Lennon, an annual Hungerthon auction and Bloggers without Borders, an international initiative to spread awareness about hunger issues. Hungerthon brings exclusive online auctions, social media activation and a live radiothon broadcast across the country on Dec. 5.
In fact, the first lots of the auction have already gone live at Charitybuzz.com and include some really unique items like a visit to the set of NFL Sunday and a Les Paul Gibson signed by members of Fleetwood Mac.
Nashvillian Martina McBride has kicked in two tickets and a meet-and-greet to her concert at the Prudential Center in March, where she'll be performing with George Strait. Now that's a valid reason to visit New Jersey!
Kenny Lyons, a Watermark veteran who has worked on the management team at Husk Nashville since it opened, has been promoted to run the front of the house at Husk Nashville as general manager, the company announced today.
Dan Latimer, the GM of Husk in Charleston, had been overseeing operations at Husk Nashville as well. The release said Latimer "will continue his role as general manager of Husk Charleston as well as continuing to consult with the Nashville location."
Husk Nashville opened to great anticipation in May. And while the food has generally been well-received, especially the dinner menu (see Carrington Fox's review in the Scene), some diners have complained that service failed to match the ambitions of the restaurant as a whole.
Naming a general manager who works full time in Nashville seems like a savvy step. Lyons is a Nashville native who also has expertise in wine, according to his bio on the Husk website.
Here's the brief statement the company released today:
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