Tennessee, Louisiana,Texas and all of the southern statesin-between are known for signature dishes that define their local culinary heritage. The Morning Menu at The Southern Steak and Oyster is a trip to New Orleans, the Texas Hill Country even a Cuban-inspired breakfast skillet from South Florida.
Sunday Brunch has been a family favorite! We love the Shrimp and Grits with New Orleans style Creole sauce and the locally sourced Leipers Fork strip steak with perfectly cooked sunny side up eggs are two of my go-to brunch items. The omelets are the best in town, for sure!
Breakfast time at The Southern is just right for meeting with a group of friends. My group, The Nashville Food Bloggers gathered for a breakfast treat of freshly scrambled eggs, creamy grits, fluffy waffles with crispy fried chicken breasts. It was a great way to start the day with camaraderie. Everyone was happy!
If you can’t make it for breakfast, make sure to get there for dinner. It will make you proud to be from the south! And, if you are traveling to Nashville and are looking for an authentic culinary experience, just check out the lunch and dinner menu!
At Cafe Fundamental in hip East Nashville, you can hone your culinary skills in the kitchen with Chef Jamie’s Kitchen Fundamentals Cooking Classes. From the proper way to hold a knife to de-boning a whole chicken, Basic, Advanced and Private classes are currently available for sign-up and would be perfect for a group of friends wanting to learn more about how to incorporate the skills of a trained chef in your own kitchen.
Chef Jamie’s vibrant personality and passion for teaching is a recipe for success. You will have fun while learning essential skills that improve your home cooking skills !
Last night, my group had a great time learning basic knife skills as we watched and then got to practice what we learned. Then, Chef Jamie whipped up an amazing fresh pasta dish with lots of chicken, house-made andouille and veggies that we so masterfully prepped.
The class sizes are small so you get a lot of one-on-one attention. We all enjoyed meeting each other, sipped on wine and simply had a great time in the relaxed atmosphere. Browse through the classes being offered such sauces, herbs & spices and if you are so inspired, register for the Advanced Fundamentals and enhance your skills in the kitchen!
Chef Jamie is a world-class classically-trained chef with distinction and puts his own unique touch on his menu which features French dishes that are inspired by Southern and local Tennessee products. Chef Jamie’s passion for cooking is featured on the Cafe Fundamental’s Menu. And, be sure to say HI! to Falon, probably the most essential part of the kitchen! We couldn’t get enough of the Pate’ with Pickled Red Onions and Quail Eggs. Magnifique!
Riesling is one of the fastest growing white wines in the US today.
I have always been a die-hard fan of the Riesling grape because of the beautiful and delicate wines they produce. Riesling wines are versatile with food pairings and express a unique balance between acid and sugar levels. The enticing lush, floral and soft fruit aromas and mouth-tingling acidity had me at the first sip. From dry to semi-sweet to the extremely sweet late harvest dessert wines, there is a Riesling for every occasion and food pairing.
The Riesling Grape:
Although the beautiful and historic Rhine River Valley of Germany is the birthplace of the Riesling grape, it is widely planted all around the world including the wine countries of Washington State, New York, Oregon and Michigan.
Riesling is a cool weather grape that is fruity, aromatic and is distinguished by the retention of acidity. Riesling grapes produce soft, floral white wines that range from bone dry to honey-like sweetness and an abundance of mouth-watering acidity. Cool weather climate produces a very fresh grape and apple fruit character, naturally high acidity and balanced with sugar. Riesling grapes produce wines that reflect their terroir (location and climate) and it does not benefit from oak aging.
Roughly between 30 and 50 degrees in the northern hemisphere and 30 and 50 degrees in the southern hemisphere, Michigan is located within the grape friendly isothermal belt in the northern hemisphere. The diverse climate and terroir along with the moderating Great Lake effects are successful at growing French-American hybrid varietals in the cold-climate conditions with distinct expressive flavors and aromas that reflect the area from which they are grown. The best wines come from the vineyards where midsummer heat and midwinter cold is tempered by the soothing effects of an ocean, lake, river or coast line.
Up North is a concept that was created by us at Eagle Eye Brands. Jason Knysz, VP said in an email: ” We really wanted to showcase the potential of Michigan Riesling. We love to hear of people outside of Michigan (and especially outside of the Midwest) that are trying and enjoying the wine. We really feel we can make world class Riesling in Northern Michigan. I highly recommend a trip up to Michigan wine country, particularly Lellanau, and my favorite, Old Mission Peninsula.” Well, Jason, I think I will visit Michigan wine country soon!
Eagle Eye Brands work closely with the best winemaker in Northern Michigan. His name is Bryan Ulbrich and he owns and makes wine for the winery Left Foot Charley. ” The grapes for Up North Semi Sweet Riesling come from 5 different single vineyard sites. Four of the vineyards are located on Old Mission Peninsula and one just on the other side of East Bay in Grand Traverse County. Strict yield management in the vineyards ensures a high quality harvest. Fermentation is halted partway through to preserve the natural sugars of this semi sweet Riesling.”
Why I love UP NORTH semi-sweet Riesling and believe you will too!
Ripe peach aromas and flavors swirl out of the glass of pale-gold wine with delightful, mouthwatering minerality reminiscent of lemon-lime acidity and a touch of tangerine. The pleasant sweetness which is perfectly balanced by the crisp acidity will be a perfect match for one of my favorite salads, The Chinese Chicken Salad. This classic salad is a fusion of Asian flavors inspired by California cuisine and is my go-to summer salad. Asian foods such as Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese are complex in flavor and layered with the balance of sweet, sour, salty, hot and a touch of umami. Semi-sweet Rieslings are perfect pairing wines, marrying the flavors of the wine with the intense flavors of the salad and cool the touch of heat by Sambal Oelek, a bright red hot chili paste.
*Enjoy this wine slightly chilled with a meal or warm summer evening at sunset with friends, they will love you for it!
UP NORTH semi-sweet Riesling 2011 is distributed by my friends at 100 Percent Italiano and is available in Nashville at the wine shop at Craft Brewed in Nashville at 2502 Franklin Pike. The knowledgeable and nice guys, Sean and Ryan, will take care of you! Priced around $23 and worth every drop.
This is one of my favorite salads of all time and just in time for summer weather dining! It comes really close to the famous salad at Chin Chins in LA and Wolfgang Pucks that I crave. The recipe is simple, ingredients are easy to find and it pairs so perfectly with this cool and refreshing Semi-Sweet Riesling from Michigan.
4 split chicken breasts (bone-in, skin-on)
Good olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
½ pound asparagus, ends removed, and cut in thirds diagonally
1 cup sugar snap peas, blanched
1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded
2 scallions (white and green parts), sliced diagonally
handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds, toasted
For the dressing:
½ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup good apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
juice from ½ lime
1½ tablespoons dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon peeled, grated fresh ginger
½ tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
¼ cup smooth peanut butter
1-2 t sambal oelek, or to taste
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 t sesame seeds for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan and rub with the skin with olive oil.
Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is just cooked.
Set aside until cool enough to handle.
Remove the meat from the bones, discard the skin.
Shred the chicken in large bite-sized pieces.
Blanch asparagus in a pot of boiling salted water for 3 to 5 minutes until crisp-tender. Plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. Drain.
Cut the peppers in strips about the size of the asparagus pieces.
Combine the cut chicken, asparagus, and peppers in a large bowl.
Whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing.
Pour over the chicken and vegetables.
Add the scallions and sesame seeds and season to taste.
Just a few miles down the road from the city of Nashville in White’s Creek,New Orleans native and owner of Ri’chard’s Louisiana Café, Richard Trest, created a South Louisiana-style oasis with a venue for live music and the best damn Cajun and Creole food around! (For those who are not from Louisiana, Ri’chard’s is pronounced “REE-CHARD’S”)
Although Richard has been making music since the age of 16, his career path led him to settle into a corporate job in Baton Rouge. As his song writing passion grew with increasing notoriety, the rich music culture of Nashville drew him and his family to Tennessee.
In 2005, a historic renovated building became Ri’chard’s Louisiana Café. This café is about as authentic as it gets. As you might know, I am a Louisiana transplant and I immediately felt a connection with Richard and his Louisiana Cajun food, the food that we were raised on in Louisiana.
Since Louisiana culture will always be running through my veins, I am always a little bit nostalgic (aka homesick) for my glorious Louisiana-inspired life that made me who I am today. Ri’chard’s is a place where I can get my “Louisiana fix!” If you have ever been lucky enough hang out with a bunch of Cajun’s in their homes, you know how welcoming and generous they are. Their home is your home as you eat, drink and laugh until all hours of the night.
Ri’chard’s Cajun Hospitality will embrace you and then know exactly what makes being from South Louisiana feels like!
The atmosphere is warm and inviting and the music is authentic and original only! Ri’chard’s has made a success out of inviting songwriters and performers for an opportunity to showcase their original music: jazz, Country, Americana, Bluegrass, Alternative rock, Folk. Check out the website for shows!
Richard puts his own authentic spin on classic Cajun and Creole Dishes. That’s what I love about food from South Louisiana. Creating a true New Orleans culinary experience is something that you really have to live and experience it first hand to be understand how it should taste. This is something you just can’t teach. These are skills and recipes that have been handed down in families for generations.
One bite of the Roast Beef Po Boy aka The Katrina, and it transcends you the unique culinary culture of the world~ New Orleans. It’s not just Roast Beef. His recipe is filled with layers and layers upon flavors that all come together in a low and slow oven to produce the best Po Boy I have pretty much ever had!
(Oh, don’t tell Richard that I have the recipe below!)
You must experience first-hand the delicious juicy and mind-blowing flavors yourself, then TRY to recreate it, I dare you!
Our mouths were watering! The aromas of the rich juices and spices were almost overwhelming! Yes! I loved it!
Enjoying a cup of Community Coffee and being treated to music and a Po Boy is about as good as it gets! There will always be Louisiana in my soul with a touch of Texas for flare and it made me just feel great to be surrounded by what I am familiar with and talk to someone who knows what its all about!
This is home cooked food…..food to nourish family and friends of the most primal nature.
What is your comfort food memory?
As the tomato sauce and meatballs gently simmer on the stove top, the whole house is wrapped in a warm blanket of mouth-watering aromas with the anticipation of satisfying, comforting flavors to follow. It doesn’t matter what season it is, comfort food is welcomed anytime.
Vivid recollections of family and close friends sat around our kitchen table sharing stories about life, love and the people who preserved these memories and passed them along. Everyone was always welcomed at our table of comfort food at our house.
This rustic meatball dish is served with garlicky braised Rainbow Swiss Chard with the addition of golden raisins, an Italian culinary traditional. Pass warm and crusty Italian bread to soak up the rich tomato sauce and juices instead of pasta.
I must admit I immediately fell in love with this wine!
Retromarcia 2011 Chianti Classico of the Monte Benardi Estate in Panzano located in the historic Chianti region of Italy, is an elegant Chianti with echoes of rustic charm in every glass. Retromarcia means “to back up” or “step back” to the past. From the first sip to the last drop in the glass, you get the best of yesterday, today. Aromas and flavors of ripe cherries and blackberries accompanied by their natural fresh fruit acidity, a hint of fennel fronds and candied orange peels with a long-lasting finish of this terroir-driven wine is just about as good as it gets. The tender, fennel-scented veal, pork and ricotta meatballs along with the rich tomato sauce paired well with this Chianti Classico. Matching the key ingredients of the recipe with the unique flavors and aromas of the wine are pieces of the flavor puzzle that comes together and creates the perfect comfort meal!
Get your hands dirty! Fold in creamy ricotta, aromatic fennel seeds, and minced garlic into freshly ground veal and local pork with your hands. Form the meatballs with the help of a large ice cream scoop so each meatball will be approximately the same size. Look how utterly delicious they look on their own after roasting in the oven!
Your mouth should be watering by now!
Although we would spend all day gently cooking our family’s famous tomato sauce, I found this recipe to be as delicious and is ready in a fraction of the time.
Braised Rainbow Swiss Chard is very popular among Mediterranean and Italian cooks which can be traced back to Sicily. Raisins were added to help balance the bitterness of the greens and cut the acidity of the dish.