There is so much taking we do on a daily basis. We take in the atmosphere around us, take what is being offered us, and even take from limited resources that can’t afford to be taken from. It’s wired into our everyday culture. But what if we gave more than we took? What if we opened our eyes to what’s going on around us and looked for needs to fill, hoping that we could someday wire into our everyday culture the act of giving.
Mayme Gretsch is the brains, the brawn, and the buttery fingers whisking the batter of Utterly Nashville, her fine pastry project she founded in 2014. Before crashing the local confectioner's party with her classic treats (cannelé! pies!), Mayme worked in kitchens across the Midwest (and Spain!), and helped open The Catbird Seat as pastry chef. Utterly Nashville's doughnuts, macarons, and cannelé live at CREMA Friday through Sunday, while Mayme's pies and other dazzling delectables set up shop at Dino's all week long.
Behind the reins of Prima, chef Sal Avila has steered Nashville dining into a delightful spot. Settled nicely into the Gulch, the going-on-one-year-old restaurant has been a bright light in the city's crowded culinary scene. Prima, an impressive take on American fine dining, is a restaurant spiced with Sal's unique international experiences, boasting fantastic wine, cocktail, and -- if we may say so ourselves -- coffee programs. In fact, Prima's commitment to the restaurant coffee experience is nearly unparalleled in the city. It might just be that we got Sal hooked during his morning trips into CREMA. Sal answered some questions via email -- check 'em out below! (Since we talked, Sal has changed things up -- and the "breakfast of champions" [you'll learn about it in a minute] is no longer on the menu!)
A dozen years ago, Claire Meneely emerged from the culinary school oven, fresh and warm and eager to bake. After years of getting her hands doughy in San Francisco, and learning from the best in Paris, Claire returned home--to Nashville. In her hometown--which she never thought she’d return to--her pop-up holiday cookie store become Dozen Bakery. The story just gets sweeter from there. We emailed with Claire, Dozen’s owner and baker, last week.
One bleary winter day in 2008 during our grueling buildout Mark walked in. He had one question for us, “You need help making a sign?” Oh right, we’ll need a sign was our thought and one we downplayed, “Yeah, we’re gonna do something cool out there on the front of the dealio”. It turns out Mark’s question soon revealed deep roots, beliefs we’ve come to admire and have inspired us along our journey.
Once upon a time not very long ago, we'd drive the long way around what's now the Gulch. Today we head straight to it. One particular place is working as a bright-orange honing beacon: The 404 Kitchen, a remarkable restaurant wrestled into a shipping container. For decades, bluegrass has packed the room of next-door neighbor Station Inn--but now, just on the other side of those walls, an act of culinary artistry is taking the stage.
A couple weeks ago, we visited our partners and friends in Chattanooga at The Farmer's Daughter and Copacetic Coffee, whose delicious and minimalist collaboration have inspired us from the day their doors opened. Copacetic Coffee is located in The Farmer's Daughter restaurant, serving up excellent coffee to restaurant patrons and walk-ins.