Thanks for the kind words Steve, but I still believe this is a non-story.
When we spoke on the phone, the first thing I told you is that I no longer work for, nor have any financial interest in, the Fatback Pig Project. If this were a story on the use of antibiotics and beta-agonists in swine, or on the use of slaughter protocols developed by Temple Grandin, then yes. If I had mentioned any Fresh Hospitality properties by name, yes, it would have been germane. While I told you that up front, you led people to believe I still work for them, until you get to the bottom of the story and then mention what we discussed.
I would like to address another point you make because to me it is more serious.
You insinuate that I included Arnold's on a list because they bought pork chops from the Fatback Pig Project. Kahlil Arnold did indeed buy pork chops from Fatback at one time, but that was not the reason I included him in the list. Kahlil also buys beef from Double H, tomatoes from Smiley's and produce from Buffalo Valley Farm. It was Grow Nashville that turned him on to the joys of patty pan squash. I included him to remind everyone that humble meat-and-three's also strive to support local farmers.
I could have been much more comprehensive, but the list of restaurants was generated by asking farmers and co-ops who buys from them, not as some sort of payback.
It's an interesting debate, with generational undertones as well. I haven't seen any comment yet (though I'm sure it's been made) recalling the story of Roy Acuff suggesting the old rat-trap Ryman be torn down after the new state-of-the-art Opry house was built out at Opryland.
Thankfully, folks thought better of preserving what Mr. Bradley simply calls a "building" and holding it up as the Mother Church of Country Music.
I respectfully disagree with the first poster (-). I have stood on the floor of the RCA Studio B (I actually was a tour guide there in the 80's) and marveled to be in the "place" where so many hit records were made. To stand where Dolly and Elvis and the Everly Brothers recorded iconic hits has real meaning. Place matters, and a preservation of that place allows us to stand where greatness happens, marvel at the mundane, and imagine greatness in ourselves.
Without original space, you can't recreate certain feelings, you can't evoke the emotional attachment that people have when listening to a song and stand in the place where it happened.
And from a tourism business perspective, that experience has more value than a plaque. We just have to decide if selling the experience, the feeling, the connection to the music that draws people to Nashville is still part of the plan.
First news of Dominique Crenn coming to town and now this? I might implode with food joy. Karl and Sarah are such bright and talented stars on the scene that I just know this new venture will be fantastic--Jim
Thanks Dana. And did I say 50...I meant 40, of course...
This is a huge freaking deal. She is one of the most talented chefs under whose table I have ever had the pleasure to put my boots. My wife discovered Atelier Crenn online and we confirmed its glory through Sean Brock, so I ended up having my 50th birthday meal there for one of the finest food experiences of my life. My concern about the molecular gastronomy side being too precious vanished after the first course. Each plate was as delicious and in perfect balance as it was breathtakingly beautiful. True poetry. She won her two stars the next year and I was so happy for her to get that level of recognition. And on top of all that, she's really, really nice, and fun and accessible. OK, enough already...
Great article Jennifer. I know it's hard to include everyone, and you certainly hit all the notables. Great to see Phila and Miss Daisy here. I also agree that there are countless others that fly under the radar like new-comers Tom Morales' daughters. I wanted to give a special shout and echo to Mindy Merrell, plus Tammy Algood (though she's quite well-known), Linda Carmen and others who have long worked behind the scenes but have made great contributions to our understanding of food and as guardians of tradition. Mindy, Linda and Tammy in particular were "country before country was cool" in the sense that they did farm-to-table because seasonality made sense, not because it was a buzzword. And I'm sure I'm forgetting others.
Now that part of my job description includes makin' bacon (ha, I said it), I have a new appreciation for the breadth of styles and flavors out there. Y'all should also get hip to Zingerman's (http://www.zingermans.com/) which has a great selection, and hosts a Camp Bacon in the summer.
I cut my teeth on Neuske's and love their applewood smoke, and I can appreciate Mr. Benton's heavy smoke- and salt-forward version as well. I've tried most of the others, except for Rice's which must be good because the folks at Broadbent know what they're doing.
Of course, I'm partial now to what we're making, like Donald Link's Cochon Butcher Bacon which is a great balance of sweet, salty, and smoky, as well as John Currence's Big Bad Breakfast bacon which cures in spent mash from the Tabasco factory for a healthy kick.
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