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Husk to Expand to Nashville and More News

Husk to Expand to Nashville and More News


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In today's Media Mix, 'Iron Chef' the original returns, plus in defense of foie gras

Arthur Bovino

The Daily Meal brings you the biggest news from the food world.

Iron Chef Host Replaced: Looks like Takeshi Kaga won't be returning to the original Iron Chef in Japan after a 13-year hiatus. Instead, Hiroshi Tamaki, an actor and singer, will be taking on the role of Chairman. [Kotaku]

Husk Expanding to Nashville: Sean Brock is returning to Nashville to open Husk Nashville by March. Even better, he's overtaking a 1895 historic house. [Post and Courier]

London Department Store Defends Foie Gras: Fortnum & Mason will continue to sell foie gras, arguing that it is a very traditional product. "The steps we take are the best possible welfare standards in the production of foie gras," a representative said. [The Telegraph]

Manuel Trevino on Celebrity Chefs: The chef behind Marble Lane notes that "all the big hardcore celebrity chefs just walk around like they’re God’s gift to this Earth. And they’ll stop to talk to [fans] but they don’t really talk to us [other chefs]." Ouch. [The Braiser]

Rachael Ray's Puppy Food Truck: The celebrity chef is launching a food truck for dogs to promote her wet dog food line, with dishes like chicken meatballs and pasta so you can recreate Lady and the Tramp. Kind of. [Village Voice]


Bill would expand criminal offenses to homeless camping and panhandling

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Tennessee, like other states, has a growing homeless problem. State lawmakers say they are creating legislation they believe will protect those living on the streets and the general public.

But there is one proposal that has some people divided on the issue.

State Senate bill 1610/HB 978 makes it a Class C misdemeanor offense for a person to solicit from any public roadway, shoulder, berm, or right-of-way of a controlled-access highway or entrance or exit ramp of such highway.

The bill goes further by adding camping on the shoulder, berm, or right-of-way of a state or interstate highway or camping under a bridge or overpass, or within an underpass, of a state or interstate highway.

"This is totally about public safety for all Tennessee citizens including our homeless population. We just want to make that everyone remains safe on our public roads as well as public right a-ways," said State Senator Paul Bailey.

Under the bill, a person will receive a warning citation for a first offense.

A second or subsequent offense will be punishable by either a $50.00 fine and a sentence to 20-40 hours of community service work, or a sentence of 20-40 hours of litter removal.

"It’s about compassion for these folks there’s a lot of misunderstanding about it. Most of our communities know Senator Bailey and I our passionate about our state and service," said Representative Ryan Williams, "This is just a way to extend the current statute to allow for public safety and public health in our communities and across the state in the same way that it does in the state."

The lawmakers say it’s one of a series of legislation to help the homeless --- like ending the certificate of need to open more mental health facilities which is needed for people to receive treatment.

The Equal Access to Public Property Act of 2012 generally makes it a Class E felony offense for a person to camp on property owned by the state not specifically designated for use as a camping area.

This bill makes the Equal Access to Public Property Act of 2012 applicable to all public property rather than only state-owned property.

This bill also extends to local governments and their employees the provisions of the Act concerning impoundment and disposal of camping equipment that is used in violation of the Act.

Bailey and Williams says the bill is not designed to send anyone to jail and it's not a felony offense.

"It is purely a Class C misdemeanor," said Bailey.

James Wilke says he struggles with mental illness and even spent nearly a decade in prison before he found himself with no place to call home.

"I had a one-man tent and I had an air mattress and stuff in there. I had my scooter that was in there with me," Wilke said.

He says thanks to organizations like the Salvation Army, he is steps away from finding a permanent home.

But he knows how easy it can be to land back in that tent which why he's upset to hear state lawmakers wanting to expand penalties to those who call the streets home.

"I feel that's wrong, I feel like it’s against our Constitution. That's just wrong for them to do that to us."

Wilke says there has to be a better solution to helping the homeless.

"If they’re so worried about it, why don’t they take some of these abandoned buildings here in Nashville and turn it into another shelter open up more shelters for us to be in," Wilke said, "They need to take the time and sit down together and figure out a solution that helps the homeless instead of punishing them for it."

Homeless advocacy groups like Open Table Nashville and ACLU of Tennessee has expressed opposition to the bill.


How to Eat Like an Award Winner in Nashville

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Photo: Heidi Ross

Lisa Donovan is one of the country&rsquos best pastry chefs. Full stop. The Nashville-based chef&rsquos creations (everything from buttermilk chess pie and peach hand pies to caramel layer cake) have anchored the dessert menus at some of the city&rsquos top restaurants from Husk to City House to Margot Cafe and Bar. But since leaving Husk&rsquos kitchen in 2014, she said she has &ldquoput the days of the kitchen arena happily behind me.&rdquo

Today, Donovan devotes time to her other passion&mdashfood writing. Donovan&rsquos 2017 James Beard Award&ndashwinning Food & Wine essay about sexual harassment in the professional kitchen made waves and, more importantly, encouraged other women to own and share their stories. Next summer, Penguin will publish her first memoir, Our Lady of Perpetual Hunger.

Donovan is an unabashed fan of her city&rsquos culinary scene&mdashfrom the old school meat-and-threes to the high-end (but not pretentious) fine dining spots. She has even found a few stand-out desserts that break through her exacting pastry chef standards. I spoke with her earlier this year to learn more about her Nashville favorites.

(Note: this interview has been edited.)

Anytime I want a beautiful, well-articulated, and not pretentious meal I go to Folk. I don&rsquot think I&rsquove had a miss there yet. It wears me out when restaurants try too hard, but the team at Folk cooks confidently and from a place of great care. They have this amazing version of a Caesar salad made with cucumbers, trout roe, and these super-duper twice-crispy bread crumbs. It&rsquos not traditional at all, but it has just the right flavor profile. It is also very rare that I go nuts over a dessert, but I love their tiramisù cream puff. It has a crispy texture outside with a beautiful set cream inside that tastes just like tiramisù. It is covered in cocoa powder and a bit of finely ground coffee&mdashit is super simple and so perfect, which is emblematic of every dish at Folk.

We also have had amazing meals at Peninsula, which is a Spanish restaurant. They have an awesome gin and tonic program and beautiful sherries on the drinks menu. And their food manages to have elements of molecular gastronomy while still feeling warm and lovely and not intimidating or obnoxious. We had this perfectly cooked mackerel dish that came in a bowl of yeasted foam. Upon first appearance I was like, &ldquoOh great, foam.&rdquo But it is the most wonderful dish that somehow evolves every few bites.

Peninsula's braised rabbit with garlic broth and pimentón (photo: Danielle Atkins Photography)

And the desserts&mdashI was so mad about how good they were! We had one that was a sweet milk ice cream with caviar and housemade potato chips. It was so crazy. We also had a sassafras panna cotta with this beautiful cloud of whipped cream that somehow had the texture of a marshmallow. I&rsquom very particular about panna cotta, but I swear it is one of the most lovely desserts I&rsquove had in a long time.

For special occasions, we also love this old-school steakhouse called Sperry&rsquos. My son, who is now almost 20, has been requesting it for his birthday dinner since he was a kid. They have one of those killer salad bars where everything is in a metal container on ice, and I drown my feelings in Thousand Island dressing. They have a delicious trout amandine and shrimp scampi. Everything comes out from the kitchen the same way every time&mdashbut not in a boring way, in a beautiful way.

Crema's coffee soda (photo: Ben Lehman)

Another place I&rsquod be remiss not to mention is Arnold&rsquos Country Kitchen [a James Beard Foundation America&rsquos Classic!], which is a meat-and-three restaurant run by the Arnold family. I appreciate that they spend the extra money on good meat and work with local farmers while still making their food really affordable to people. And the food is so very good&mdashthe fried catfish, the stewed cabbage, their beautiful squash casserole. I could literally go to Arnold&rsquos every day. I have to purposefully forget that it is there or I really would.

I don&rsquot love to spend money on coffee away from home&ndashso often you get charged eight bucks for a cup of fancy coffee that tastes like hot orange juice. But two friends of mine opened this place called Crema that is wonderful. Their espresso is my favorite and they have this coffee soda that I love. It&rsquos cold and fizzy with a citrusy essence. It gets so hot here, so it&rsquos the perfect thing to drink in August when it is 500 degrees outside.

Nashville has the highest Kurdish immigrant population in the United States, and there&rsquos this great Kurdish bakery called Azadi making traditional flatbreads. They sell other things like olives and halva, but when I go in I typically make a beeline straight to the back to watch these four women slapping the breads around this round-bellied oven. I get a little teary, get my bread&mdashusually a plain one that I warm up in the oven and brush with garlic butter&mdashand go home.

Folk's tiramisù creme puff (photo: Emily Dorio)


For cocktails I love this place called Duke&rsquos. My husband, who is a sculptor, and I primarily work from home these days. Sometimes we will take a midday break and head over to Duke&rsquos for gin and tonics. They make these killer stoner sandwiches too, like the sloppiest grilled cheese with hot giardiniera. We go and crush one of those and a gin and tonic and get back to work.

Lisa Donovan&rsquos Nashville Dining Guide

Arnold&rsquos Country Kitchen (Meat and Three)
605 8th Avenue South 615-256-4455


The Nashville Finale Failed to Give Fans This One (Important!) Thing

Well, Nashies, the moment we’ve all been dreading has finally arrived. After six years on the air &mdash the last two spent at its new home on CMT &mdash Nashville said goodbye to fans with a tear-jerking finale. And while the series’ final episode was fantastic, it failed to give us one crucial thing: closure.

[Spoiler alert: This article contains plot points pertinent to the series finale of Nashville, titled &ldquoBeyond the Sunset.&rdquo]

Did some of the characters get some form of closure? Sure. For that matter, the series should be applauded for not trying to wrap everything up in a neat and tidy bow. The way the show handled the fates of most of the characters felt refreshingly grounded.

Take, for example, Daphne. The Disney-movie-happy-ending-version of her send-off would likely have included her taking home top honors on the Nashville&rsquos Next reality competition in which she&rsquod been competing. She instead chooses staying true to herself over appeasing slimy producer Brad, and it costs her the competition. She&rsquos devastated, naturally. However, this later leads to her signing with her Highway 66 &mdash the label her mom started, Deacon runs and which her sis Maddie is also signed to.

Speaking of Maddie, she&rsquos another solid example of a more subdued and realistic wrap-up. It would have been easy to have her ride off into the proverbial sunset with Twig. He made a grand romantic gesture for her, and she seemed at first to reciprocate his feelings. But after a pep talk from Scarlett, Maddie realized she had to hold space for her own needs right now. In the end, that amounted to her buying her own sweet little home in Nashville to live in alone.

That&rsquos not to say the show wasn&rsquot without any fairy-tale romance, though. After a health scare with Cadence sends them to the hospital, Avery and Juliette begin to grow closer. And by the end of the episode, Avery joins Juliette at her new farm home outside of the city limits to pledge his love for her (again). Aw!

Will wound up right where he belonged to &mdash strolling hand in hand with Zach. Although we weren&rsquot privy to their reconciliation, it&rsquos clear they reconnected at some point during the &ldquoseveral months later&rdquo time jump.

Now, let&rsquos talk about the characters whose endings felt less, well, like an ending.

Let&rsquos start with Alannah, whose arc with Avery fizzled out as she spent more time with Brad. The breakup with Avery was all well and good, of course, because it made way for Avery and Juliette to reunite. But after Alannah records Brad sexually harassing and threatening her, she sparks her own #MeToo movement with other women Brad had victimized. He has no other choice but to sell his record label to Deacon and give full custody to Jessie.

Which brings us to our next point: Why couldn&rsquot Deacon and Jessie pick back up where they left off? The big obstacle standing in their way was Brad. Once he was out of the picture, it stood to reason they would finally be able to be a real couple. Instead, Jessie just hangs with her son, and Deacon gets hit on by Daphne&rsquos music mentor. Neither one are bad turnouts, but are we wrong for wishing the series would have come full circle with another wedding?

It didn’t even have to be Deacon and Jessie who made it down the aisle. We would have been perfectly content with Scarlett and Gunnar getting hitched. Yes, we were absolutely holding out hope they’d find their way back to each other! Alas, Gunnar “grew out of” his need to be in a relationship and threw himself back into the band with Will and Avery.

As for Scarlett, she apparently fell in love and got engaged. While we would have loved to see that relationship develop on-screen, it was admittedly cute that they got Clare Bowen’s real-life husband, Brandon Robert Young, to play her Nashville fiancé.

Still, it would have been nice to see all of these stories fleshed out more. We wanted them to be given more room to grow. That’s just it, though. The lack of closure we feel is rooted in a more pressing feeling &mdash wanting more.

This was never more apparent than in the final moments when the cast and crew all came together onstage at the Ryman Auditorium to sing Rayna and Deacon’s song, “A Life That’s Good.” Seeing everyone together and listening to series creator and EP Callie Khouri say goodbye &mdash to be honest, we’re not ashamed to admit it was an emotional moment.

It also came with the heavy realization that we’re not ready to say goodbye. We still have questions. These characters still have stories to tell and songs to sing. The series was an important watershed in Southern culture, so the hope is that &mdash even though it is ending &mdash the conversations it fostered will continue to take place.

And hey, who knows? Maybe we’ll see Deacon and the gang again one day. If we’re being optimistic, we’d say that perhaps so many storylines were left open-ended so that a Nashville reboot or movie would be possible down the road.


Share All sharing options for: Charleston Without Sean Brock

When a young, bare-armed chef named Sean Brock took over Charleston fine dining restaurant McCrady’s in the spring of 2006, the small Southern town was nothing like the cosmopolitan city seen on Southern Charm and in-flight magazines today. Above Calhoun Street were boarded-up storefronts, and many downtown restaurants served the same tired menu of crab cakes, she-crab soup, and stuffed flounder, in a pastiche of idealized antebellum decor.

Twelve years later, Brock now wears an entire sleeve of heirloom vegetable tattoos, has eight restaurant openings under his belt, and is the poster child for the modern, Billy Reid vision of the South: highly polished and expensive. The Charleston restaurant scene has exploded up the entire peninsula over sixty restaurants opened since the beginning of 2017, and there’s more on the way, with new openings routinely making national best-of lists, while the annual Charleston Wine + Food festival pulls in top talents from across the country.

Brock helped bring about that change. Cast as the city’s leading culinary voice by nearly every local and national outlet, he pointed that light towards the under-appreciated wonders of Charleston with his restaurants, cookbook, television appearances, and magazine spreads — and now he’s leaving.

On Wednesday, the chef announced that he has walked away from his roles with Neighborhood Dining Group, the company that essentially made Brock a household name. He remains “founding chef and culinary advisor” of the four-city Husk empire, but he is no longer involved with the other NDG restaurants: McCrady’s, McCrady’s Tavern, and Minero. His departure marks perhaps the single most significant event in the Charleston food scene in the last decade.

Brock has always been ahead of the culinary crowd trends — or at least on the very cusp. In 2006, the young chef offered Wylie Dufresne-esque molecular gastronomy to diners at McCrady’s, a white-tablecloth restaurant housed in an eighteenth-century tavern. While pushing local palates with freeze-dried foie gras and sea urchin powder, Brock also blogged incessantly, optimistically sharing his love of Ossabaw hogs, heirloom seeds, and the glory of Lowcountry rice — all at time when most of the prominent restaurants in town were still more interested in feeding imported, flavorless shrimp and grits to tourists.

Brock made his definitive case for the little city by the sea with the opening of Southern-ingredients-only Husk. When the Queen Street restaurant opened in 2010, an avalanche of praise came swiftly after a much-hyped first night. Brock became a bonafide celebrity, and the New York Times set out to determine if Husk was “the most important restaurant in the history of Southern cooking.” He would go on to win a James Beard Award for “Best Chef Southeast” that year, and Charleston dining hasn’t looked the same since. Working with heirloom products and a sense of history has become a key tenet of Charleston’s restaurant culture rare bourbons, a Brock passion, are now commonplace and nobody blinks an eye at a $30 plate of locally raised chicken.

It’s easy to credit (or blame) Brock for the city’s sudden-feeling resurgence, but it was more like the Southern stars aligned. The Charleston Visitors Bureau was pumping money into advertising the amenities of the Holy City to the world. South Carolina had recently loosened the mini bottle law, so the bar at Husk could stock up on rare bourbons. Other ambitious restaurants began popping up around Charleston: Asian comfort eatery Xiao Bao Biscuit, late-night sandwich shop Butcher & Bee, Mediterranean-meets-South the Grocery, and James Beard award-winning chef Mike Lata’s the Ordinary.

Charleston was a “foodie” destination by late 2013, with Husk at the top of the list for must-visits. It was the beginning of boom times for everyone that made a living off of Charleston’s tourism economy. But many of us locals wondered whether the glut of new restaurants wasn’t also the beginning of the end of the city we loved. With all the talk about Brock, Brock, Brock, Charleston became known as “a town afloat on bacon-washed bourbon,” and that specific point of view spread across the South, with restaurants clamoring for rare bottles of cult-favorite Pappy Van Winkle and pork belly on every menu. Brock helped bring “home” recipes into high-end restaurants. He served pig ears and chicken skins, and critics declared it a revolution.

More than just a star chef, Brock became known as Charleston’s scholar of the South, having spent a good portion of his career studying its history, foodways, and heirloom recipes and attempting to honor those traditions. He would often speak about the African descendants of the American slave trade who created the cuisine of the South and cultivated the staple products he celebrated at Husk, whether that’s Carolina rice or benne seeds. As he got more famous, Brock would name-drop Charleston’s smaller, black-owned food businesses, sending media attention, television crews, and tourists their way. But there’s no denying the primary audience for Brock’s work was white and the question of whether Brock’s work is outrightly appropriative has been and will continue to be up for debate.

When Brock opened a Husk in Nashville in 2013, the narrative started to change. It was the the first sign that he would not, in fact, “never leave,” as he had told Eater only two years prior. With Husk Nashville — which some considered even better than the original — he was no longer a Charleston chef, he was an empire-builder. He went on to open Mexican-inspired Minero (2014), Gilded Age restaurant McCrady’s Tavern (2016), and, again in 2016, an updated McCrady’s with a tasting menu of “the most intense” food he had ever created. He then went to work building two additional Husks in Greenville, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia.

He opened up about battling a rare autoimmune disease and later told the New York Times about going to rehab and sobering up. Despite his having businesses across the Southeast, Brock’s 157,000-plus Instagram followers could see that he was most invested in life in Nashville, newly sober and living with his girlfriend, two French bulldogs, a growing obsession with classic guitars. He seemed happy there.

But what does a post-Brock Charleston look like? The Neighborhood Dining Group restaurants will be just fine without their main attraction Brock is well past the stage of his career where he would be rolling the burritos at Minero or saucing the plates at McCrady’s every night.

Charleston, meanwhile, has continued to mature. Like the new McCrady’s, Charleston 2.0 looks more expansive — chefs like Shuai Wang, Josh Walker, Jill Mathias, and Paul Yellin are finding inspiration far away from their own backyards, even as they remain totally committed to artisan producers.

Of course, along with the exciting talent that has found a home in Charleston came the Husk copycats, chains, and restaurateurs with too much money and too little vision. Investors and developers continue to build restaurants here, and tourists keep arriving to eat at them. Rents are climbing alarmingly fast.

It’s tempting to see Brock’s exit as an ending or, at the very least, the beginning of an ending, like the indie song played to death in an Apple commercial. If Brock’s past ability to predict where culinary culture was heading says anything about Charleston, it’s that the city risks draining itself of the energy needed to support the type of creativity that fueled the chef’s meteoric rise.

But his exit also leaves room for the city’s other chefs. Charleston has plenty of talent beyond Brock, talent that too often was relegated to the shrimp-and-grits cliche — or straight up ignored for not being, well, Brock. It’s up to them, and to us in the local media, to make the argument that Charleston still matters.


Our menu frequently changes with what the region’s producers provide daily. See what’s cooking fresh today. Here are a few of today’s offerings.

DINNER:
5 pm - 10 pm Sun - Thurs
DINNER:
5 pm - 11 pm Fri & Sat
BRUNCH:
10 am - 2 pm Sat & Sun
BRUNCH TO GO:
10 am - 2 pm Sat & Sun
CURBSIDE TO GO:
5 pm - 9 pm Sun - Thurs
CURBSIDE TO GO:
5 pm - 10 pm Fri & Sat


Holiday Cocktail Recipes to Try At Home this Season

Whether you’re cozying up to a backyard bonfire or sharing a toast with a special few, these simple holiday recipes are here to elevate your cocktail game.

Pumpkin spice lattes get all of the press when it comes to seasonal drinks.

But sometimes you want a little more spirit in your cup. Sure, the holiday kind. Also, the ABV kind. OK, mostly the ABV kind. Pouring a nip of rum into a piping hot cup of tea might do the trick. Or splashing some whiskey in your cup of joe. But you deserve more than that. Your quarantine bubble deserves more than that. And truth be told, sometimes it’s just too cold out to make the trek to your neighborhood bar.

That’s why we tapped some of the best barkeeps in Nashville for their favorite make-at-home seasonal cocktail recipes. These simple yet festive sips are poised to elevate your cocktail game, whether you’re shaking up a drink for one or mixing up a batch for your roommates. You can even level up the occasion by ordering takeout from one of the spots featured here. ‘Tis the season for sipping.

Silver Spoon

The Joseph, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Nashville

“This cocktail was inspired by fond memories of family ski trips,” says Carrillo. “This winter cocktail is named after one of the mountain runs in Keystone, Colorado — Silver Spoon. It was always my final run of the day, which was followed by an après-ski peppermint hot chocolate.”

Ingredients:

  • 1 1⁄2 ounces rye whiskey
  • 2 ounces homemade hot chocolate*
  • 1⁄2 ounce Creme de Cacao
  • 1⁄4 ounce simple syrup
  • Branca Menta foam**
  • Peppermint candies for garnish

Steps: Add all ingredients into a metal shaker. Shake and double strain into a coupe glass. Spoon Branca Menta foam on top and sprinkle with crushed peppermint candies.

*To make the homemade hot chocolate:

Melt together over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Additional milk chocolate creates an even richer cocktail.

**To make the Branca Menta foam:

Combine ingredients in metal shaker. Shake vigorously until almost firm. Use immediately.

The Gustavo

Courtesy of Hayley Teague, Hathorne

“I love the way the smoke of mezcal pairs with the earthiness and sweetness of root vegetables such as the carrot,” says Teague. “The shrub is a great way to add acidity to your drinks without using lemon and lime. The vibrant color of this thoughtful beverage will not only wow your guests—it will look stunning and seasonal in photos.”

Ingredients:

Steps: Combine all three ingredients into a shaker tin filled with ice. Shake until chilled, strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice. Garnish with a carrot ribbon and fresh seasonal herbs.

  • 2 cups Pom juice
  • 1 1⁄2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup honey (or more to taste)
  • Small handful of cardamom
  • Medium-sized ginger root peeled and quartered
  • Small handful of peppercorns
  • 1-2 oranges peeled and sectioned

Combine all ingredients in a large glass jar with a lid. Can be used immediately, but for optimum results, allow the mix to age for two weeks refrigerated.

Where the Cold Wind Blows

“The Hot Toddy is a necessity when the cool air sets in,” says Morgan. “It’s a perfectly excusable reason to have bourbon at 8 a.m. It’s something you can pass off as medicine. It’s something to share around a roaring fire with loved ones.”

Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces boiling water
  • Pine tea
  • 1 1⁄2 ounces Old Soul bourbon
  • Squeeze of a half lemon
  • 2 barspoons of honey
  • Dash of Boker’s Bitters
  • Pinch of salt
  • Apple slice for garnish

Steps: Pour six ounces of gently boiling water over a pine tea bag (High Garden’s ‘In the Pines’ is recommended) and let steep for 90 seconds in a coffee mug. Add the remaining ingredients and stir gently. Garnish with a lemon twist and apple slice.

Melted Snowman

Courtesy of the L.A. Jackson bar team

“We love Christmas, so we decided to capture it in beverage form,” says Novel Day, general manager of L.A. Jackson. “This cocktail is super light and approachable, which juxtaposes the unpredictable Nashville weather we see in the winter months. The garnishes drive home the melted snowman look and bring us back to building snowmen up North where we grew up.”

Ingredients:

  • 1 1⁄2 ounces vodka
  • 1⁄2 ounce dolin blanc
  • 1⁄2 ounce cocchi americano
  • 1⁄2 ounce honey syrup
  • 1⁄2 ounce lemon juice
  • Soda to top
  • Spritz of orange flower water

Steps: Pour all ingredients—minus soda and orange flower water—into a shaker with ice and shake. Pour into a tall Collins glass filled with crushed ice. Top with soda and additional crushed ice to create the snowman’s melting head. Optional: Add a carrot and two juniper berries as the snowman’s face and a grosgrain ribbon scarf.

White + Spice

“This is a slightly boozy cocktail that doesn’t drink like one,” says Holtsford. “It has the sweet and spicy indulgence of the holidays without sacrificing potency. Many of the ingredients are things most people will already have in their homes. Also, it can be adjusted for people who are averse to dairy—without sacrificing flavor.”

Ingredients:

  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3⁄4 ounce demerara syrup or raw turbinado sugar
  • 1 1⁄2 ounces of espresso (or regular coffee)
  • 2 ounces Belle Meade Bourbon
  • 3 1⁄2 ounces milk product of your choice (whole and skim milk, or oat milk will produce a thicker, creamier beverage)
  • Rosemary garnish

Steps: Add the sugar and spices to the shaker. Pour the espresso or coffee into the shaker. Pour in the Belle Meade bourbon. Add your preferred milk product. Add ice and shake vigorously to ensure proper mixing. Pour over fresh ice. Garnish with rosemary.

“World’s Best Coffee”

“The ‘World’s Best Coffee’ is a reference to the movie ‘Elf’,” says Nelson. “The holidays are already complicated and hard to figure out, so your cocktail shouldn’t be! This cocktail features the French Occupation coffee from 8th & Roast, as well as Nelson’s Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey, which is also local to Nashville.”

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces 8th & Roast French Occupation (Hot or Cold)
  • 1 1⁄2 ounces Nelson’s Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey
  • 1⁄2 ounce demerara syrup
  • 4 dashes of Regan’s orange bitters
  • Bailey’s Irish Cream whipped cream*
  • Orange zest

Steps: Stir all ingredients in a tulip or rocks glass (or your favorite coffee mug). Top with whipped cream. Garnish with fresh orange zest. If serving cold, add ice.

*To make the Bailey’s whipped cream:

  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • 1 cup of Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 1⁄2 cup of confectioner’s sugar

Combine all ingredients in a food mixer or whisk by hand until you reach the desired consistency.

Naughty Intentions


Chef Sean Brock says walking away from acclaimed restaurant "was an incredible gift"

Over the past 25 years, chef Sean Brock has risen to the top of the culinary world, operating eight restaurants in five cities, including the acclaimed Husk in Charleston, South Carolina, at his peak. But this year, at the age of 41, he walked away from it all.

Brock spoke with "CBS This Morning" co-host Anthony Mason about why he took a break from the restaurant industry and how he hopes to prioritize the mental and physical wellness of the staff at a new restaurant in Nashville.

"I was under the illusion that I was, you know, unbreakable," Brock said.

Brock has won two James Beard Awards, released two best-selling cookbooks and is featured on the Netflix series "Chef's Table." Husk, which was named "Best New Restaurant" by Bon Appetit in 2011, now has four locations across the South.

"It's so fast paced, and it's so stressful that &hellip you lose access to the part of your brain where all the rational decision making occurs. And so you just keep making mistakes over and over," Brock said. "It's easy to get trapped in that tornado."

Asked if he was trapped, he said, "I was in the center of that tornado. I was conducting it."

Brock admitted to being a workaholic and obsessive about everything he does. His body was shutting down, and in 2016, he was diagnosed with a chronic autoimmune disease that can be aggravated by stress.

"My immune system started attacking itself," he said. "I woke up one day with double vision. And you can't use a sharp knife with double vision, and you can't juggle flaming hot pans &hellip And that was the first time in my life where I kind of had my hands tied."

He was frustrated, angry and drinking. His family and friends were alarmed, especially his mom, Renee.

"His dad, you know, was a workaholic, and he dropped over from a heart attack at 39. So I held my breath until he reached 40. I literally held my breath," Renee said.

Brock turned 39 years old in rehab. "There was a period of time that I didn't know him. He was just &mdash he wasn't Sean," his mom said.

Turning to her son, she added, "You'll agree, you were a different person, totally different person, weren't you?"

"Completely," Brock said. His drinking pushed his close friends to intervene and Brock went to rehab.

"Even when you know you have to change, sometimes it can be very hard to change," Mason said.

"I think that's why the universe didn't give me a choice," Brock said.

Asked if he likes himself better now, he said, "Absolutely. I've never been happier or healthier, or &hellip a better cook than I am now."

"How does it change your cooking?" Mason asked.

"Being healthy and being happy has allowed me a clarity that I didn't know existed, honestly," Brock explained.

He said when he decided to walk away from Husk this year, it was "something that a lot of people were very confused about."

"To build something up and to put so much time into it and for it to be so successful and so important, and just to be able to walk away from that was an incredible gift that I gave myself," he said.

Brock hasn't worked in a kitchen in a year. Instead, he got married and had a son, Leo.

The new father said the first time he made food for his son was "pretty humbling, pretty embarrassing." He had gone to the Nashville farmer's market, where he visits regularly, to "pick out, like, 15 to 20 different varieties of squash or sweet potatoes, then line up all the spoons for him to taste each one."

"He gagged," Brock said, laughing.

At the farmer's market, Brock brought Mason over to the pea vendor.

"He's the king of peas with his pea machine," Brock said. "Taste that &hellip that vibrancy, that's the way that food has always tasted in the South &hellip It's the food that I grew up with &hellip Over the years, unfortunately a lot of this flavor got bred out."

The peas inspired the chicken and dumplings recipe in his new cookbook, "South," published this fall. It's a celebration of the unheralded Appalachian cuisine Brock said runs through his veins, absorbed growing up in Virginia coal country.

"You ever had leather britches?" Brock asked Mason. "Maybe you might know them by shucky beans," his mom added.

This food will be the star at his upcoming restaurant project in Nashville, where Brock will also try to transform the restaurant business the way he's done his own life.

"I think it's time in this industry," he said. "It used to be, your decision making was based around what you're capable of doing. Like, how far can you push it? &hellip Now it's more, what can we achieve while staying happy and healthy?"

The mental and physical wellness of the team will be paramount. "You're trying to change the culture effectively?" Mason asked.

"Well, in the industry, we bend over backwards all day every day to take care of the guests. And in the meantime, we're breaking ourselves," Brock said.

"You've described this as kind of the second act of your life," Mason said.

"It really is," Brock said. "This is the restaurant that I'll serve my last meal in. This is the restaurant where I'll clock out for the final time."

His two-restaurant project, named after his grandmother Audrey, will open next spring. It will have a shorter menu to alleviate stress on staff and a special lighting system. There will also be a soundproof sanctuary room for staff to decompress, meditate or seek other de-stressing therapies.


Nashville's Restaurant Scene Goes Boom

To borrow a line from country singer George Jones, Nashville&rsquos hotter than a two-dollar pistol. Here&rsquos why restaurateurs keep coming.

To borrow a line from country singer George Jones, Nashville’s hotter than a two-dollar pistol. Here’s why restaurateurs keep coming.

Philip Krajeck ticks off a list of restaurants that are opening in Nashville. “I hear the folks from Au Cheval are coming from Chicago,” he says. 𠇎very week it’s a new chef, a new place. Donald Link is bringing Cochon Butcher from New Orleans. Flip Burger, Farm Burger, Yeah! Burger: They’re all opening places. Tim Love is supposed to be coming from Texas. Jonathan Waxman is already here from New York City.”

“It’s like they found the golden ticket,” Krajeck tells me on my most recent trip to the Tennessee capital. He is a relative newcomer, the chef-owner of the two-year-old Rolf and Daughters. Even he is astonished by the pace of change. “I don’t know what to compare this to. Maybe the boom years in Vegas?”

Nashville is, to borrow a line from George Jones, hotter than a two-dollar pistol. Developer teardowns are so rampant that the Tennessee Preservation Trust recently named the city the most endangered place in the state. And competition for leases on the industrial Germantown buildings favored by chefs like Krajeck is so fierce that when superstar Sean Brock opened Husk Nashville, he ended up in Rutledge Hill, a newly gentrifying neighborhood across town. Olive & Sinclair Chocolate Co., the local candy company behind the prettily packaged salt-and-pepper bars that are now ubiquitous across the country, chose East Nashville for its open-to-the-public factory.

The city has been hot before. In 1969, Bob Dylan arrived to record Nashville Skyline. By 1975, filmmaker Robert Altman was calling Nashville the “new Hollywood.” Locals didn’t slander arrivistes then. And they don’t disparage the restaurateurs arriving now. That us-versus-them divide is an Old South trope. This is a New South city, welcoming all who respect this place and its institutions, all who do more than plaster walls with reclaimed wood and set tables with Mason jars. Nashville famously welcomes newcomers: Kurdish refugees (the city is home to the largest population in the US), rock and country pickers who still make pilgrimages here to cut a record, young chefs and expansion-minded entrepreneurs.

When I lived in Nashville in the 1980s, the restaurants that best showcased the city’s talent were lunch spots. Meat-and-three cafés like Hap Townes and Sylvan Park were justly famous for smothered pork chops, collards and hoecakes. Back then, André Prince Jeffries of Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack, the doyenne of the hot-chicken phenomenon, had yet to welcome chefs like Thomas Keller to her strip mall joint for skillet-fried, cayenne-swabbed birds piled on white bread.

Working-class excellence still defines the Nashville lunch hour. What’s new is a genuine connection between lunch cooks and dinner chefs. Today, steam table champions like Kahlil Arnold of Arnold’s Country Kitchen source ingredients from the same farmers and cattlemen as ambitious chefs like Tandy Wilson of City House and Tyler Brown of Capitol Grille. And hot-chicken riffs are de rigueur at high-end restaurants like The Catbird Seat, where the multicourse tasting menu has included sorghum-lacquered hot-chicken skins.

Outsiders tend to think that Nashville’s latest upswing began when contrarian rock and roller Jack White moved to town. Or when The Black Keys’ front man, Dan Auerbach, began claiming Barista Parlor, the East Nashville bunkhouse of high design and caffeine, as a sort of office salon for the creative class. It would be a mistake, however, to think musicians powered Nashville’s latest boom, says architect Nick Dryden.

During dinner at Prima, a big-night-out, soaring glass-and-chrome restaurant that Dryden designed for chef Salvador Avila, he argues that Nashville’s enduring mythology is the true magnet for new arrivals. “No matter how cool Jack White and Dan Auerbach seem𠅊nd they are cool—they’re part of this town’s historical arc,” Dryden tells me over a stack of fig-jam-topped sweet potatoes. “The history of this place and its music drew them here. That’s the vibe we all tap.”

Wandering the city, I never see Auerbach at his Barista Parlor hangout in East Nashville. Or at the new Gulch location, designed by Dryden. But I do spy the scruffy rocker at the place everyone in Nashville eventually ends up: City House, where he’s hunkered down with a bowl of pasta.

If there’s a foundational restaurant in this Nashville moment, it’s eight-year-old City House, Tandy Wilson’s neo-Italian clubhouse, famous for corn bread gnocchi and pork belly pizza. The Nashville food scene grew up at his communal tables. He taught the city to love places that weren’t crusty steakhouses or Continental food time capsules. Instead, at City House, a young and inclusive crowd orders clams tossed with white beans and trout stuffed with peanuts and raisins.

When Wilson, a Nashville native, opened City House in 2007, he led the charge to Germantown. Five years later, Philip Krajeck launched Rolf and Daughters a few blocks away. People come for the raucous table-hopping scene as well as for the bread course of sourdough and seaweed butter, a cult favorite, and pastas like a decidedly Southern sweet potato agnolotti with mustard greens. Krajeck’s showstopper ricotta cavatelli with nut ragout straddles Mediterranean and middle Tennessee sensibilities. If the Nashville restaurant scene went to college at City House, it went to grad school at Rolf and Daughters.

Toward the end of my stay, I meet Miranda Whitcomb Pontes for a drink at Josephine. The elegant new neighborhood restaurant has high-back banquettes, high-concept cocktails and a flair for dishes like rabbit with mustard dumplings. But the reason I’m talking to Pontes is that she’s just taken possession of Dino’s, a beloved dive bar that’s famous for canned beers, flat-top𠄿ried eggs and lovably surly service.

The new Dino’s menu includes slices of pie from Lisa Donovan—whose exceptional desserts earned her national attention when she baked at Husk Nashville𠅋ut also a good basic burger and fries for $6. Pontes wants her version of Dino’s to be so true to the original that you’re not exactly sure what’s different. “It’s like when you get a really good haircut,” says the restaurateur, who arrived here from Boulder, Colorado, in 2002. “It’s such a good haircut that people tell you that you look great𠅋ut they don’t realize that what’s different is you got a haircut.”

“That’s a lot to promise,” she tells me, as I flash back to my last night at Dino’s, an urban roadhouse with a Bukowski-on-a-bender vibe. 𠇋ut I have to. Right now, in Nashville, the contest goes to the survival of the soulfulest.”

John T. Edge, director of the Southern Foodways Alliance, is writing a new book, The Potlikker Papers, a history of Southern food.


What once had disintegrated into an austere ruin next to the main dining room of Husk now houses an innovative freestanding bar. A complete renovation transformed what had been a brick shell into the most exciting bar in historic Charleston. Tightly arranged and rough hewn, with century-old exposed brick still intact and master bartenders stationed on the first floor, the bar at Husk recalls a bygone era of Charleston nightlife, and Husk’s emphasis on classic cocktails continues the city’s historic tippling traditions. Our team of passionate mixologists offer an extensive lineup of historic and modern cocktails on the bar menu, which is designed to honor the traditional spirits of the Southern table and trace the historical lineage of regional mixology. Patrons can sit upstairs in the second-floor lounge of the bar, overlooking the wide verandas of Husk’s streetfront while tasting some of the most delicious drinks in the South. It is a place to relax, to wait for a table next door, and always a discovery of new tastes derived from old virtues. Rare artisanal microbrews and a wine list grouped by terroir and soil type, rather than the traditional classifications of political geography or grape varietal, further connect the concepts of Husk’s bar to the mission of the restaurant.



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