Category Archives: Nashville Lifestyles

Alton Brown brings his ‘Edible Inevitable’ tour to Nashville

Alton2

Television culinary celebrity Alton Brown is coming to Nashville on Thursday November 7 to bring his “Edible Inevitable” tour to TPAC’s Andrew Jackson Hall at 8 p.m. The combination variety show/cooking demonstration event has been a hit as Brown has made his way across the country, leaving a swath of planned destruction in his path, thanks to a particularly messy cooking demo that necessitates a “Poncho Zone” for the front three rows of the auditorium.

In advance of the show, Brown spoke with us about his relationship with Nashville and answered a few other silly questions.Alton4

“I love coming to Nashville. I used to perform regularly at Gaylord Opryland. Your food scene has really changed so much over the past few years; it’s really grown! I’m definitely going to set aside some time for visiting restaurants while I’m in town. But I’m not interested in finding what’s new and trendy. I just want to find some excellent food and a good glass of whiskey.”

“I made a visit to Nashville recently to tape a future episode of my podcast. I spent time with Scott Witherow and his crew at Olive and Sinclair. I’ve been focusing on Southern food producers, and I really love what they’re doing at Olive and Sinclair. They are inherently Southern in both zip code and mindset.”

Then it was time for the silly questions. We asked how come the first pancake is never any good.Alton1

“I’ve actually studied this. It’s not that the first one isn’t any good; it’s just that the subsequent ones are better. It has to do with getting the excess heat off the griddle so that the pancake can cook more evenly. Also, people don’t let their batter sit long enough before cooking. You have to allow the leavening in the batter to thicken, so batter is better after 3 to 4 minutes. Ideally, you should make it the night before and keep it in the refrigerator.”

Recently at the Southern Foodways Alliance Symposium in Oxford, MS, Kat Kinsman of CNN’s Eatocracy and Kim Severson, Atlanta bureau chief for the New York Times staged a Lincoln/Douglas-style debate on the merits of pie vs. cake. We questioned where Brown comes down on this particular controversy.

“Oh, I’m definitely on the pie side. Pies take more advantage of the great agricultural resources of the South. Pies show off the amazing nuts and fruits that are grown around here. Cakes just don’t show off as much.”

Tickets for Alton Brown’s “Edible Inevitable” tour are still on sale now at tpac.org.

Alton3

Advertisements

Exclusive: Behind the Scenes of CMT Crossroads with The Band Perry & Fall Out Boy!

Nashville Lifestyles was at the exclusive filming of a CMT Crossroads episode that united country megastars The Band Perry with emo rockers Fall Out Boy.

The Band Perry
Our initial reaction: “Huh?” But the instant the unlikely friends hit the stage at Rocketown on Oct. 2—riffing, bantering, and dressed in matching black ensembles—we thought, “Oooh.” Kimberly Perry’s feisty, forceful vocals were the show’s highlight, although FOB frontman Patrick Stump held his own wailing on Perry tracks like “Better Dig Two” and the beautifully somber “If I Die Young.” (After the latter, Stump quipped that he’d considered swiping Kimberly’s “…and I’ll wear my pearls” line.)

Sprinkled throughout the genre-bending set were chipper versions of Fall Out Boy hits like “Sugar, We’re Going Down” and the newer, anthem-y “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Alone Together).” The two bands—which we have anointed The Boy Perry—also were allowed to tackle one agreed-upon cover; we don’t want to spoil the fun, so let’s just say that FOB bassist Pete Wentz’s familiar eyeliner wasn’t the show’s only homage to Freddie Mercury.

CMT Crossroads: The Band Perry & Fall Out Boy premieres Nov. 29 at 9 p.m. CST.

Behind the Scenes at Christie Cookies

Cookies
Working at Nashville Lifestyles gives me the unique opportunity to go behind the curtain and experience some “unseen” territory in this town. A few weeks ago a small group of food bloggers and I aproned-up and witnessed the 30-year-renowned Christie Cookie recipe from start to finish. We toured. We tasted. And now we’re talking.

Christie Cookies
CC2Nashvillian and Vandy grad Christie Hauck opened his first retail store down on Church Street near the main library. Gussied up in a rented suit and red cumberbund, he plated up cookie samples and took to the street. Blame it on the Heath toffee or the real butter, but people were hooked. The Christie Cookie is now a booming mail-order business sending out “the perfect cookie” across the nation—about 89,000 tins of baked perfection during the holiday season. If a gracious client, friend, or family member has ever sent you a tin of Christie Cookies, you know they don’t last long.

Bite-Sized Facts:
• The factory and headquarters is located in the heart of Germantown at 3rd and Madison. They have free tasting every month—test their cookie of the month plus their existing flavors. These small batches are available for a limited time and you can a whole tin full of your favorite.
• Keep up with the new flavors of the month by ‘liking’ the Christie Cookie Facebook page. Coming up: August-Chocolate Chunk, September-White Chocolate Cranberry, October-Rocky Road.
• All the cookies are trans-fat free, Kosher certified, and do not contain high-fructose corn syrup or preservatives.
• Also available are brownies, muffins and a line of chocolates that have the same focus on quality ingredients, just like the cookies.

Inspired by the goodies they sent home with us, I put together a batch of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Sandwiches from food blogger Lindsay Landis’ Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook. I paired Christie Cookie’s chocolate chip cookies with Lindsay’s recipe (click here to get the recipe) for a decadent and amazing result. Cookie SandwichesA small plate of these cookies at the office was divided and conquered in less than 5 minutes which means next time I’ll have to make more…
DealThe nice folks at Christie Cookie are offering all Nashville Lifestyles readers a 15% discount! Use the Promo Code “LIFESTYLES” from now til September 9 at ChristieCookies.com and surprise someone (even yourself) with something sweet!

— Valerie Hammond, Designer/Web Editor

Preview: The Tippler and Pisco Portón

The next big thing in the Nashville cocktail scene may just be The Tippler, a massive three-level lounge/restaurant opening in August in the ground level of The Adelicia building in Midtown. Most recently the penultimate home of Fish and Co., the space has been closely watched by local foodistas anxiously awaiting the new tenant.

The Tippler is a spin-off of a very successful Manhattan establishment located in Chelsea Market. Known for artfully-prepared innovative cocktails and classic architecture, The Tippler aims to replicate that formula with their second location. On July 23, a gathering of Nashville mixologists and spirits purveyors got a sneak peek of the bar at a special event presented by Best Brands and Pisco Portón, the best-selling Peruvian liquor made in the oldest distillery in the Americas.

Music City Tippler
Pisco is a distilled spirit made from eight different varietals of grapes, the only fruit-based white liquor as opposed to grain products like vodka and gin. Best known as the base for a tart Pisco Sour, this spirit can be used to create all sorts of interesting cocktails. The guests of honor at the event were Johnny Schuler, the head distiller at Pisco Portón and Dale DeGroff, noted mixologist and cocktail historian. Schuler and DeGroff regaled the assembled audience with tales of the history of the distillery, which dates back to 1684, and DeGroff mixed up a bowl of Button Punch from a recipe that was popularized in San Francisco in the 1870’s. The cocktail is mentioned in the writings of Mark Twain and Jack London, and the revelers at the launch party agreed that it has aged quite nicely.

Music City Tippler
Other Pisco Portón cocktails were served as accompaniments to a four-course dinner prepared by the kitchen staff at The Tippler, a meal which promises good things for Nashville diners once the saloon doors swing open to the public. Best Brands Business Solutions Leader created several of the cocktail recipes and was kind enough to share one with Nashville Lifestyles readers.

Peruvian BBQ
1.75 oz Porton
¾ oz Lime Juice
½ oz maple syrup
1 dash of Bitter End BBQ Bitters

Mix ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake to chill. Serve up in a champagne coupe or cocktail glass. Garnish with a basil leaf.

More about the Tippler in Nashville Lifestyles HOT LIST issue!

—Chris Chamberlain, NL contributor

Coming Up: The Nashville Wine Auction’s L’Ete du Vin

Now in its 34th year, the Nashville Wine Auction‘s major fundraiser, l’Ete du Vin takes place this month. But leading up to that is a series of wine-focused events, which NWA is calling Pour de France, that gives wine lovers a number of opportunities (and price points) to help raise much-needed funds for seven local organizations dedicated to cancer treatment.

Sylvia Roberts
To kick off the series, NWA hosted Grand Cru, a preview event that took place in mid-June at the home of Sylvia Roberts—aside from boasting a gorgeously appointed wine cellar, the home also happens to play the part of Rayna James‘ house on the ABC television show, Nashville. The night featured various tributes to the show including a showcase of photos of the set that is modeled after the home (so carefully, in fact, that it features working appliances in the kitchen) and hand-held paper masks of the stars.

Rayna James
But, of course, the emphasis of the night was on the wine and driving up excitement for the auction items that will be up for bid at l’Ete du Vin. A note to the wine lovers out there: You do not want to miss this auction. Why? Because you might be walking home with a trip for two to California’s Central Coast, including lunch and a barrel tasting with Au Bon Climat winemaker Jim Clendenen. Or a wine tour for six to the best chateaux of Bordeaux, that includes stops at Chateau Marguax, Chateau Lynch-Bages, and a private tour and tasting at Taittinger. Or an elegant diamond pendant from Luca Carati (for that one, all you have to do is purchase a glass of Tiattigner Comtes du Champagne Blanc de Blanc for a chance to win). Tickets to the Saturday, July 20 event are still available and you can preview the whole auction catalog here.

Wine Cellar
But if your tastes run closer to the $30-and-under range, there’s still an opportunity to join in the fun, including an evening at The Franklin Theatre. On Wednesday, July 17, NWA will host a screening of A Year In Burgundy, which guides viewers through a year in the winemaking process alongside French importer Martine Saunier who will be on hand for a pre-event reception—and yes, there will be wine! ($30 per person, $100 for VIP.) The Vintner’s Tasting takes place on Thursday, July 18 and includes a tasting of a selection of French wines ($135).

Regardless of your level of taste or ability to bid high, the events are sure to bring your appreciation and love of wine to a whole new level—and support a host of important cancer initiatives, too.

Wine Tasting

Pour de France Schedule:

Wednesday, July 17
A Year In Burgundy at The Franklin Theater

Thursday, July 18
Vintner’s Tasting at Hillwood Country Club

Friday, July 19
Patron’s Dinner at The Hermitage Hotel

Saturday, July 20
l’Ete du Vin at Loews Vanderbilt Hotel

For tickets and more information, go to nashvillewineauction.com.

Also check out our Wine + Spirits page for recipes, events and more!

Q&A with Cirque Du Soleil Quidam performer Adrienn Banhegyi

The Cirque Du Soleil performance Quidam comes to Bridgestone Arena this weekend, bringing with it a host of high-flying experts. We caught up with performer and professional jump roper Adrienn Banhegyi to learn more about her experience and what goes into the show.Q3

NL: What brought you to Cirque du Soleil?
Adrienn Banhegyi: (AB)
After 20 or 15 years of competitive jumping rope at one point I was ready to make a transition in my career and that’s when I received an e-mail from the Hungarian Jump Rope Federation that Cirque Du Soleil was looking for a professional jump rope artist. I sent them a video to Montreal, to their headquarters. They invited me for an audition. That was about 8 years ago. [My sister and I] auditioned together. She actually was elected to be part of the show a couple of months after we did the audition while I had to wait for almost 4 years to receive a contract which was for a different show than Quidam.

NL: Jumping rope takes a lot of concentration. Especially when competing, I imagine. Is it difficult to hold that concentration while also focusing on performing?
AB:
Actually that’s something we start our training program with in Montreal once we are selected to be part of a show. They train us to be good actors and artists as well. Because I come from a competitive background most of the time I was focusing on the difficulty and the endurance so it’s a big change to learn how to project the joy I feel inside. When you’re performing and you see how other people react, it helps a lot.

Q1
NL: Cirque du Soleil is known for its eccentric artistic flare and creativity. What’s the most surprising or strange thing you’ve happened upon back stage or in rehearsal?
AB:
The funniest thing that happened was on stage the first time I did the show. We have different roles so, more or less everybody’s main act is almost always perfect, or close to perfect but the side roles add other disciplines. I had to be a momma character and we are rolling in on skateboards laying on our belly and kind of imitating freestyle moves, rolling all the way to the front of the stage. Then we stop for a second and we have to turn. I couldn’t turn my skateboard because my dress got stuck and I was trying to move and I kicked all the lines. For the audience it was probably not that visible because it was not the main thing but everybody back stage was laughing and when I came off, they said, “Ah, momma didn’t make it too well.” There are some funny things happening on stage. It brings a little bit of color to the performance. For the audience it’s something that probably only a person who saw the show, I don’t know, a hundred times would recognize but otherwise it’s something for us to laugh at.

NL: What was the toughest trick for you to master?
AB:
I think one of the most difficult ones is called a release. When you let one handle go, spin the rope around twice and then you grab the handle again and that’s something that you have to be really good with the timing and focus on catching the handle.

NL: Are there any other forms of exercise you use to keep in shape for jumping rope like yoga or pilates?
AB:
I do a lot of different things. I studied physical education and I’m also a pilates instructor and I was teaching [as a physical education teacher for children] before I joined Cirque. It was nice to experience that as well. And I am also a fitness instructor and personal trainer. The nice thing is that when traveling around we have a gym back stage always that is set up in the arena so we have the chance to use very different equipment. And also within the group we have artists who are qualified to give lessons to each other. So we have martial arts classes, pilates; we have dancing, we have personal training. What I try actually is all the aerial things like climbing rope and it’s really a great workout and you have fun spinning around.

NL: As a little girl, did you ever think jumping rope for a living was possible?
AB:
I always wanted to do something that I really liked and my dad is a physical education teacher so he always wanted us to be in sports. I played professional handball but I always stayed with jump rope. I really liked it. The original idea was that if it doesn’t work out, it’s still going to be a really good sport to keep my fitness level. But after a while I said, “No. No. Actually it’s the main thing for me.” I don’t want to do anything else anymore, I just want to do this.

Quidam will perform seven shows June 26-30 at Bridgestone Arena. For a full schedule and tickets, go to cirquedusoleil.com/quidam.

For more of what to do in Nashville, visit our Things to Do page!

— Emily Grace Markanich, editorial intern

Staff Salvation: Soulshine Pizza

We’ve heard plenty of reports about the new Midtown hotspot, Soulshine Pizza Factory, which is why we decided to send the team over to investigate. Longtime readers of Nashville Lifestyles know that we like to treat ourselves to a little post-production outing. Last month, Soulshine truly hit the spot.

Pizza
Music and pizza are at the heart of this massive space. Dozens of original live show posters line the walls and there are a few areas set up for live music including outside on the spacious, covered, second-story roof deck. Inside, pops of color warm up the otherwise industrial room, including the stained glass window panes that take up much of the front wall of the restaurant.

Stained Glass Windows
We were in search of a few lighter, mid-day snacks, so we started with the hummus plate and a heaping Greek salad, layered with iceberg lettuce, artichoke hearts, peppers, onions, olives, and feta. To go along with it, a few of us ordered that day’s cocktail special, called the Tart-y Pants: sweet-tart vodka mixed with sugar-free Red Bull. They also boast a pretty lengthy beer list, with a dozen beers on tap and an even longer bottle list, including a strong showing of Nashville-brewed beers. They also have a signature Soulshine Beer brewed locally by Blackstone Brewery.

SS7 Brews
Of course, what we really wanted to try were the pizzas. Fair warning: These are huge pies with a soft, doughy crust but a well-balanced ratio of toppings. The CCR was a hit with our group—it’s grilled chicken, bacon, mozzarella, cheddar tomatoes, and ham—as was the Mediterranean, which we ordered with a whole-wheat crust, and came loaded with shrimp, pesto, and sun-dried tomatoes. Johnny’s Garden satiated our veggie needs since it was layered with artichoke hearts, tomatoes, broccoli, sautéed onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, black olives.

Three Pizzas
After filling up on pizza, we took a peek downstairs inside Soulshine’s brand new sister restaurant, the Slider House. More of a burger-and-beer joint, this first-floor neighbor has a number of fun, retro touches like communal bar tables made from old bowling alley floors from the beloved Melrose Lanes. The beer list at Slider House is still getting beefed up but look for an all-can selection of about 50 or more plus a few boxed wines (the good ones). Also on hand? A frozen drinks machine that will pump out Painkillers, a heady concoction of spiced rum, coconut, pineapple, and orange juice.

Between the patios, the tasty offerings, and the constant supply of good music, these two new additions are becoming a one-stop-shop for fun. If you haven’t checked out them out yet, now’s the time.

Soulshine PizzaPhotos by Katie Jacobs