Provence Breads & Cafe owner Terry Carr-Hall had the nerve to forward a link to his online photo album from Paris, where he is currently basking in the glow of stinky cheeses and bejeweled pastries. (How's that for a botched metaphor?)
Terry, thanks for the gorgeous glimpse, you lucky bâtard. I hope you come back fat, fat, fat.
Your mother always warned you about gambling, and this is exactly why.
City House owner Tandy Wilson made a bet with a co-worker on the Tennessee/Auburn game, and you can see who won the bet. After the Vols lost a close one, Tandy had to work his whole shift last night with the Auburn team name emblazoned on his forehead. He took it in stride, and was gracious enough to allow Bites to take a picture. (Pardon the quality. It's an iPhone photo.)
Even with magic marker on his forehead, the man still makes a mean pizza. In fact, the whole meal was fabulous. Padrón peppers with a sardine/bread crumb topping, some delightful chicken wings with chef Aaron's top-secret Alabama sauce, and the exceptionally tasty aforementioned pie, topped with zampina (house-made Italian sausage), fennel and pecorino.
If you've never been to City House, make it a priority. It's one of the most imaginative, delightful and consistent restaurants in town. And, unlike most of the city's best eateries, it's open on Sunday night!
Next time the person serving your artichoke pesto has a matching artichoke tattoo on her forearm, say hello to chef Julia Helton, who recently took up residence at Provence Breads & Cafe, as executive chef for the locally owned five-store bakery chain.
A former co-owner of Family Wash, whose résumé includes Whole Foods' Grill at Green Hills and Mitchell Deli in East Nashville, Helton will work predominantly at the Hillsboro Village location, where she will oversee the production of the savory side of Provence's European-inspired menu.
A self-professed "cheese whore" who lived in France for a year, Helton will work with owner Terry Carr-Hall and director of operations Kim Totzke to develop a repertoire that is "more old school French and less sandwich shop," with features such as polenta pizzas and crustless quiches. She is beefing up the cheese case, adding local chèvre--as well as 2 oz. packs of foie gras ($9)--and expects to collaborate with pastry chef Megan Williams to create a line of savory tarts.
Top tip for party planners: Invite Marne Duke to your potluck. The local food booster and former head of marketing for the Nashville Farmers' Market just might present you with a gorgeous mountain of open-face sandwiches like the platter pictured here.
For this seasonal appetizer, Marne piled soft rounds of Silke's bread from Clarksville (purchased at the Turnip Truck) with fresh homemade ricotta from a friend in East Nashville and canned peaches from the Farmers' Market.
If you invite Marne to your fête, she just might reciprocate with an invitation to a canning party, like the one where she--along with Friends of the Nashville Farmers' Market founder Jennifer Hagan-Dier, Slow Food Nashville director Robin Riddell and Caroline Trost--put up more 60 pounds of local produce.
"The peaches look like beautiful plump babies' bottoms when they are done," Marne said. "And it only took a few hours after work one day to make sure I can make yummy peach cobbler in January. I know that makes me officially old in some way. Next thing I'll be bragging on my knitting party that was off the hook!"
I like Julia Child, enough to interview her twice and cook from a couple of her books. I love that she's the unlikeliest food icon -- that pleases me for so many different reasons. But not every story is compelling enough to become a film.
Sheila Lukins, one-time proprietor of the 165-square-foot-shop Manhattan takeout shop The Silver Palate and author of several cookbooks, has died at age 66 of brain cancer.
She and business partner Julie Rosso opened the shop in 1977, selling cocktail fare, salads, pastas, side dishes, cookies and mousses. They also catered, and made sauces and preserves. Their food incorporated a wider world of flavors, including Greek, northern Mediterranean, Provencal, and rustic Italian.
It wasn't just a store -- it was a force for cultural change, and soon the need for a cookbook was obvious.
The Silver Palate Cookbook was published by Workman publishing in 1980. Many Americans discovered pesto, fresh mozzarella, balsamic vinegar and arugula in its pages. It's been referred to as the "Joy of Cooking for a new generation of American cooks."
Its best-known recipe is Chicken Marbella, a marinated combination of unlikeliest ingredients (prunes, olives, 1/4 cup of oregano, brown sugar) that cooked into an irresistibly garlicky, sweet-tangy caramelized sauce.
Chef Ashley Quick has joined the team at Flyte World Dining & Wine, where he has been polishing the menu with chef Jen Franzen and pastry chef Erica Waksmunski for the past month. Quick brings a global résumé to the Eighth Avenue eatery, including stints at The Fat Duck in England, Clio in Boston and Bouchon in Napa.
Most recently, Quick was executive chef at Bistro 360. He has also worked with chef Tyler Brown at the Hermitage Hotel's Capitol Grille and at the exquisite but short-lived Andrew Chadwick's at Rutledge Hill.
Quick and Franzen will roll out a new fall menu on Sept. 22. In the meantime, the current menu reflects early input from Quick and is available after the jump.
At first the rain split the tomatoes, which healed over with unsightly cracks that could be cut away, so the tomatoes were usable. Later in the season, nearly ripe tomatoes all looked as if a rotten patch was forming around a spot that might or might not have been nibbled by one of the many creatures that visit our kitchen garden.
Then I saw that even Martha Stewart and her 50 varieties of tomatoes have the blight. I didn't feel better for either of us. It also doesn't get my tomatoes back. But it does make me feel better that the "good" half of a tomato I salvaged, stuffed with crabmeat and ate wasn't bitten by a creature.
Can you tell your garden secret? Or news?
Commenter Ryan B. noted a certain Scene writer's fascination with the idea of salted caramel ice cream. He made a batch, and, in an example we certainly hope sets an example, brought it to the offices of the Nashville Scene.
I just happened to be in the neighborhood. Just happened. And I can tell you that salted caramel ice cream is sheer madness, and madly good. The rich caramel drapes itself over the buttery bolster of heavy cream, decorated with the occasional flake of sea salt. Every bite is like sinking into a butterscotch velvet down-filled sofa.
I just happened to be in the neighborhood again the next day. I know--what are the chances?--so I had it again for breakfast!
Thanks, Ryan B, for the ice cream--and for an inspiration. With a neighborhood fig tree bent over with figs, we're thinking fig ice cream with a salted caramel swirl. Can you share the ice cream recipe?
Tonight begins the four episode final arc of this season's abbreviated Top Chef Masters competition. Unlike the regular Top Chef, which is populated with some creative up-and-comers, or the frightening Hell's Kitchen, whose contestants often look like they couldn't boil water, TCM brings the heat every week. What began with 24 renowned chefs is down to the six semi-finalists.
The final sextet is made up of more than just celebrity cheftestants. These folks can really cook! Most of them own and run multiple restaurants and have displayed a creative coolness under fire during the show that place them head and shoulders above your normal television recipe wrangler.
The final six are:
- Hubert Keller
- Suzanne Tracht
- Rick Bayless
- Anita Lo
- Art Smith
- Michael Chiarello
One of the chefs will be eliminated each week for the next month until the last two face off for the title of Top Chef Master (or Mistress). There's some internet rumor-mongering going around that some SF Bay food writer has already leaked the name of the winner, but you won't hear that from me.
Who do you think will bring home the bacon and win $100,000 for their favorite charity?
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