Wednesday, September 19

We're Not Bashful; We Love Nashville

Thanks to everyone who supported our Stir the Pot fundraising series in Nashville this week! We enjoyed a South-meets-SoCal dinner at the Capitol Grille on Sunday night, prepared by guest chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo of Animal and Son of a Gun in LA. The kitchen talent was deeper than (insert really good sports team if you're someone who knows this sort of thing) , thanks to assistance from STP founder Ashley Christensen of Poole's Diner in Raleigh and Nashville STP co-hosts Tyler Brown (and his chef de cuisine Cole Ellis) of the Capitol Grille, and Tandy Wilson of City House.

On Monday night, we mingled with Nashville-area SFA supporters who braved the rain to share a potluck supper at Corsair distillery and taproom. To complement the chefs' main course of smoked brisket, guests brought everything from watermelon salad to Goo Goo Cluster brownies. It all went down easy with the craft brews on tap and Corsair's own spirits. We caught up with longtime SFA buddies and met plenty of new ones.

In short, Nashville, you rock, and we can't wait to go back. Stay tuned for another helping of  Stir the Pot: Nashville in spring 2013.

Herewith, some photographic highlights of a glorious 48 hours in the Music City.
Whiskey for breakfast at Collier & McKeel distillery. Distiller Mike Williams explained that his whiskey gets its sweet, mellow flavor thanks to a round of filtration through sugar maple charcoal, an old-fashioned step that only a handful of Tennessee distilleries maintain these days.
This is where the magic happens. Meet "Pappy," Collier and McKeel's 570-gallon pot still.

An early lunch at Arnold's, the mecca of meat-and-threes, sopped up the spirits and kept us rolling. 
The second science lesson of the day: a tour of the Olive and Sinclair chocolate factory. These cocoa nibs had just spent a month in an empty bourbon barrel. Unfortunately, our blog is not yet equipped with smell-o-vision. Gene Wilder has nothing on Scott Witherow 
Mas Tacos takes the cake for best signage, best chicken tortilla soup, best pineapple-cilantro agua fresca, and best elote of the trip.
You knew it was coming: on the way out of town, we sank our teeth into some Prince's hot chicken. "I'll just have a bite or two" quickly turned into a no-holds-barred attack in a gas station parking lot.