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NOVEMBER 2015 BOOM FOREST


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TABLE OF CONTENTS NOVEMBER 2015

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44 18

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THE GOODS

76

15 Beer from Here 18 Cocktail 20 Master Platers 90 Observatory 95 Animal of the Month

FEATURES 24 John Jackson 34 Luke Wiget 44 Boom Forest 56 Fifty First Kitchen 68 Moseley 76 Todd Alan Martin and Brandon Frohne

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Join us for a staged reading of a play. Directed by the Academy Award winning writer of Crash and Million Dollar Baby, Bobby Moresco, and including actors Eddie George, Howard Gentry, Sheila Calloway, Harrell Love, and local youth. Come experience a play about one of the most explosive issues in America today: How our man-made environment in high-poverty communities affects the sparkling potential of our youth. Proceeds from the event will support the groundbreaking work of the Oasis Center’s REAL Program.

R E A L

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V O I C E S


DEAR NATIVES,

T

hanks for tagging us, y’all! Be sure to check out these Instagrammers, and #nativenashville to share your photos with us.

president, founder:

ANGELIQUE PITTMAN JON PITTMAN associate publisher:  KATRINA HARTWIG publisher, founder: 

creative director:

MACKENZIE MOORE

managing editor: 

CHARLIE HICKERSON DARCIE CLEMEN

art director: 

COURTNEY SPENCER

community relations manager:

JOE CLEMONS

film supervisor:

CASEY FULLER

editor:

@justinrearden

@mrciaramitaro

          writers: photographers:

​@theturniptruck

@jenm.photography

production:

@sweetbitesbakes

@leahgraystelt

MATTHEW LEFF LUKE WIGET HENRY PILE JONAH ELLER-ISAACS CHARLIE HICKERSON SCOTT MARQUART ITORO UDOKO COOPER BREEDEN

JEN McDONALD DANIELLE ATKINS GABRIEL MAX STARNER EMILY DORIO JESS WILLIAMS ITORO UDOKO

GUSTI ESCALANTE

founding team: founder, brand director:

DAVE PITTMAN

founder:

CAYLA MACKEY

MACKENZIE MOORE JOSHUA SIRCHIO TAYLOR RABOIN

to advertise, contact:

for all other inquiries:

@childishsambinooo

@kevinmasch

SALES@NATIVE.IS HELLO@NATIVE.IS

PROUDLY DELIVERED BY RUSH BICYCLE MESSENGERS

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hair and beard: @warfieldsupply location: @derekhoke lens: @nolanfeldpausch

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event spaces C615 offers multiple indoor and outdoor event spaces ranging in size from 1,400 to 10,000 SQ FT. Corporate functions, wedding receptions, art shows, parties of any kind – you name it, we have the space!

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Captain

Rhodes

by Ben Clemons of No. 308 ph o t o by j e n m cd o n al d

With the holidays here, people will be looking for a large-format cocktail to share with loved ones. Punches and sangrias are perfect ways to share the spirit. Here’s one of our favorites we’ve kept around through all the years, just like family.

THE GOODS 5 oz rum* 2.5 oz grapefruit juice 2.5 oz lemon juice 2.5 oz simple syrup 1 oz grenadine 5 oz water 10 oz Big House Red Wine*

F Makes one serving. Combine all ingredients in your favorite glassware (we serve it in a large mason jar). Top with diced fruit (green apple, orange, pineapple). Seal the container and refrigerate for two days to allow the fruit to macerate.

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*Any good red wine will do as well as any rum. This one is a “find it around the house” sort of job.


MASTER PLATERS

SCHIACCIATA WITH PLUM WITH SAM TUCKER, OWNER OF VILLAGE BAKERY

PHOTOS BY DANIELLE ATKINS

AND PROVISIONS

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FOR THE DOUGH 1 1/2 cups cold water 2 oz semolina 12 oz bread flour 2 tsp salt 1 tsp instant yeast -------------------F In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the first four ingredients. Using the paddle or flat beater attachment, blend together. Then add the yeast. F The dough will look quite wet. Mix until a smooth, homogeneous mass slaps the sides of the bowl. F Refrigerate overnight.

FOR THE PLUMS 10 black plums, medium dice 3/4 cup granulated sugar 3 sprigs rosemary 6 sprigs thyme splash of brandy pinch of kosher salt -------------------F In a mixing bowl, toss all of the ingredients together. Refrigerate overnight.

ASSEMBLY F Heat the oven to 450 F. Pull three 8-ounce dough balls and flatten them onto a floured surface. F Remove the herb sprigs from the plum mixture. F Cover half of each piece of dough with the plum mixture. Fold and seal the dough. F Top the schiacciata with olive oil and dust lightly with sugar. F Place dough on a sheet pan or baking stone and bake until golden brown.

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JAVA•5TH AVENUE

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OF N O I T LLEC

SPIRITS + E N I W + ER COFFEE + BE EE TS ! SM AL L BI TE S & IR RE SI ST IB LE SW

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(BRING YOUR OWN VINYL) BRING YOUR OWN VINYL AND WE WILL SPIN IT WHILE YOU RELAX WITH ONE OF OUR SEASONAL LATTES!

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ARTIST SPOTLIGHT

JOHN JACKSON I’m all jacked up on having my first major breakthrough in ten years. After my show at The Rymer Gallery (they represent me) went up in June 2015, the dam finally broke. I had painted on and off my whole life but finally committed myself to it completely in 2005. I hadn’t painted full time in seventeen years and wanted to make sure I had my foundation and technique solid again. Learn the “rules” so I could break them. I studied intensely for five years. The problem was that I had become pedantic. I had painted myself into a corner with “proper,” “detailed,” “realistic” technique. It’s not the way I ever really wanted to paint necessarily, it just happened to be the way I had learned how to paint. Eventually I found myself not knowing how to break out of it and get past it. Evidently, finishing the work for the June show completed that era of painting for me, and I suddenly felt free to finally say, “Fuck it. I’m going to paint whatever the fuck I want, however the fuck I want. I’m going to have fun again.” And so now I’m having the most fun I’ve ever had painting. For years, I felt like my ideas were traveling at 1,000 miles per hour and I was painting at 5 miles per hour. Now I can paint at a speed much closer to the rate of my ideas. It’s a blast. I’m finishing eight paintings in the time it used to take to finish one. And I’m really happy to finally allow myself to incorporate language into my paintings. I’ve always had a close relationship with writing, words, phrases. Previously, I didn’t know exactly how to incorporate them in my work. But in my new “fuck it” era, it’s easy! I just throw them in however and whenever I want. It’s only been a few months, so the spectrum of my direction is pretty wide open. I suppose eventually it will narrow and focus into a more cohesive path. However, I never want to get pigeonholed again. I want to always keep the work fresh and exciting. As far as where the work is coming from, I feel like a giant satellite dish antenna. I receive whatever our culture is beaming out, then transmit it onto the surface with paint. It’s very spontaneous, interpretive, and intuitive. I’m finally painting the way I’ve always wanted to paint. —JOHN

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COLOSSUS, AFTER GOYA 2014, Oil and acrylic resin on linen, 80” x 96” # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E ///// / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / 2 7 # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E //// / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / 2 7


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See more of John’s work at saatchiart. com/johnjackson and therymergallery.com.

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Now sellinn gii cardd for thh holidaa seasoo!

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LUKE WIGET LIVES IN NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE, BY WAY OF BROOKLYN, NEW YORK. HE RECEIVED THE 2015 QUIDDITY LIT EDITOR’S PROSE PRIZE, AND HIS WORK HAS APPEARED IN GREEN MOUNTAINS REVIEW, SMOKELONG QUARTERLY, HOBART, THE RUMPUS, BIG TRUTHS, AND BOMB MAGAZINE, AMONG OTHERS. HE TEACHES FICTION FOR THE PORCH COLLECTIVE, A LOCAL LITERARY ARTS CENTER, AND COCURATES drDOCTOR, A READING SERIES AND PODCAST. YOU CAN FIND MORE OF LUKE'S WRITING AT LUKEWIGET.COM.

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MY PARENTS COULD HAVE GIVEN ME AN EASY-BAKE OVEN. Maybe that would have changed everything. I don’t know. There were nine of us kids. I guess I get it. But maybe if I was perfecting my brownies I’d have steered clear of roadkill. I’d have studied Better Crocker or some shit instead of reading about and perfecting my defleshing process. I would have let a dead animal be instead of always trying to get at its bones. I wouldn’t have stalked the hollowed-out tree where that raccoon family lived. I wouldn’t have wasted so much time and attention, so much affection, waiting around for raccoon babies to die. But I wanted a skull I could balance on the end of my finger. It’s like a sugar cube when they’re that small.

If you’re going to do something, you may as well do it right. I got that from my mother. I learned everything I could about gathering and fleshing out animals and whitening their bones. Dilute your bleach. That’s one thing, for example, I learned early on. Severe bleaching causes unnatural effects. The color of the bone passes beyond the white you want and ends up back at that strange yellow-gray. Once you’ve whitened your bones, either with bleach or by sunlight, which of course takes more time but is more satisfying in a way, lacquer can and should be sprayed or painted on if you plan to keep your skull and/or bones in good, clean condition. But before all that, though, you have

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to decide how you want to get rid of the skin and muscle, the meat. It’s easier than you think. Trust me. A “bug box,” as they call it, is one way. And if you can get your hands on some beetles, they’ll handle the flesh faster than any wind or rain or occasional bug. Choose a box that’s just bigger than the animal. A coffee can, a steel drum. You just need something that closes. You want to keep your bugs in. I liked to use the wire method more often than not. You want to wire your animal off from other animals but not from the elements. You want the elements to do their work. I had an old screen door that I’d dragged to the edge of our property. I used the screen portion to hold the animals down and then rocks and whatever else I could find to hold the whole thing in place. You always had to prepare for dogs to come by. Dogs would root around and drag off the dead animals. Dogs don’t care one bit about what you’re working on. This screen door method was effective, and over the weeks you could watch through the screen as the weather washed the meat away. Once I got a skull basically to showroom status, I hid it in an old Wheaties box—or whatever had been on sale that week that my family had emptied in one sitting—and hid the box deep in the back of my closet. I would take the boxes out sometimes and have a look. I’ve always loved to stand back and look at something I made. Look at this thing I orchestrated. One of my brothers found one of those boxes after I’d been collecting for a few years. I offered him some lizard bones and a blue jay skull to keep quiet. He took the bones but said something anyway. My mother told my father, and he talked to me in the family room when I got home from school. He said it was basically harmless, Dad did. If something is dead I don’t see the difference,

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IT SEEMS TO ME LIKE AGING IS JUST UNWANTING MOST THINGS.

I said. Couldn’t we find some other way to spend our time? he said. Parents always say our when usually they meant your. What about soccer or piano, Jessie? he said. You’ll be driving soon, how about we get a job? He didn’t know about the box in the back of the orchard with the dead highway cat or the two-by-two-foot section of wire screen holding two ground squirrels in place—the two cute squirrels lying together in their very last bed, defleshing in unison. You can see how quickly this becomes gruesome. You can see how quickly this becomes beautiful. At least I still had the most-hidden part of my collection. At least it’s not a boy, my dad said to my mom that night. At least she’s not having sex. I was sitting outside their bedroom door listening. All of us kids did this after we’d gotten in trouble. Yeah, my mother said. You’re right. But still, it’s abnormal. Sorry I couldn’t have collected stamps like you, Mom. I’d picked the lesser of two evils. I hadn’t chosen badly per se, but I had chosen strangely. And strange is actually worse sometimes. It’s tough to repent of being strange. So bleaching and boxing up animal bones was better than premarital sex? Okay, fine. But then it was better than sex. When everything is better than sex, everything becomes better than sex. See? So here I am. Hello, thirty-four. Hello, no one. Hello, medium-cool haircut and fashionable but not sexy clothing. Hello, memories of boxed bones that come out when I drink. Hello, my life’s highlight reel of thimble-sized bones winding through our family’s apple orchard. Look


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there, a hummingbird under a screen, a blue jay working on his hawk’s call. Another apple decomposing into the dirt. Hello, apples decomposing into dirt. Here I am, just wanting to be waiting for the blackberry bushes to bloom. I hate Los Angeles. Everyone is someone here. Everyone is on his way. In Northern California there are places to hide things and be hidden, and being hidden and feeling lonely are two different things altogether. I do graphic design. I am a graphic designer. It’s a safe/normal job. A job all people our age seem to do for a while. Jessica J., Graphic Designer. It’s why I came down here, to make connections. What were we talking about? Sex and bones? To be honest, I can’t actually remember what I wanted when I was kid. I only know what I didn’t have and shouldn’t have done. And with sex, it’s don’t, don’t, don’t and then suddenly, do. Oh, Los Angeles. I could use a little of that Northern California in-between where the Pacific is actually pacífico and not always a forty-five-minute drive away. Maybe I should just go back home. I miss my regular sadness. Here it comes at a person from all directions. I don’t know. Sometimes I wish I would have tried for bigger bones. Imagine ants eating rhinoceros meat off the bones. It seems like a fairy tale when something that small wins. But I’m done with that, right? It seems to me like aging is just unwanting most things. Sometimes I think that’s what people mean when they talk about “focusing” or “applying yourself.” But any kind of growth or trip home, every version of therapy takes time, which quite obviously I don’t have much more of. Soon it’ll be hello, thirty-five. Hello, more gray. Hello, new Internet. Hello, retirement. Hello, great nieces and nephews and old dogs dying that won’t be replaced. Soon it’ll be hello, sagging skin. Hello, hollow face. Hello, goodbye. Hello, bones.

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*This story originally appeared in great weather for MEDIA 700 Fatherland St. (615) 770-7097

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SARAH SEVEN, CLAIRE PETTIBONE, RUE DE SEINE, SARAH JANKS, HOUGHTON, CHRISTOS, ANNA CAMPBELL, TWIGS & HONEY, TRUVELLE, KATIE MAY, HAYLEY PAIGE, JOHANNA JOHNSON

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INTO THE WOODS EXPERIMENTAL FOLK ACT BOOM FOREST WANTS YOU TO LIVE IN THE NOW BY HENRY PILE | PHOTOS BY GABRIEL MAX STARNER

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I RECEIVE A MAP VIA TEXT. A crude red line connects meandering directions from a parking lot, down a paved trail, to a rustic path, into an open field, and stopping at a wooden bench. Having already spent a bit of time with John Paul Roney, frontman and bandleader of Nashville band Boom Forest, this cryptic invitation doesn’t surprise me. He’s the guy who shows up with a bottle of red wine and unlaced boots. He’ll sing a capella at a moment’s notice. He’s the one who pontificates on the treachery of our digital “connectedness.” I follow the map to the marked spot. It’s one of those first chilly nights of fall. The air is dense with the ripping buzz of whatever bug hops from the waist-high overgrowth. Overhead, the stacking airplanes line up to land and whirl like metal birds with bright white eyes. “We found it.” John Paul’s voice punches through the woods before I see his face. His beard is rough but managed. His long hair pulled behind his ears and maybe a week unwashed. His dog, Albie, bounds from behind. He looks like he belongs in the woods. He’s wearing buffalo plaid, dirty denim, and leather boots. His eyes are translucent blue marbles. Taking a seat next to me on the bench, he crosses his legs, leans forward, and looks back the way he came.

John Paul Roney grew up in rural Baraboo, Wisconsin. He read books. He sang. “When I was seven, the Madison Boychoir came through my hometown. They weren't like anything in my town.” He thinks for moment, wiping his forehead. “They were serious and making beautiful, timeless art from composers who lived around the world.” His mother made him an offer: play hockey or sing in the choir. He chose to sing and joined the choir when he was eight. By nine, he was a soloist and traveled to Japan, Greece, Canada, the United Kingdom, and more. “We sang Vaughan Williams and Benjamin Britten,” he explains. “I traveled to schools and arenas packed with one hundred thousand people. I sang a solo in Japanese. Instead of spending my summers playing in sprinklers, I was traveling the world and singing.” The music changed him. The composition opened his mind to the possibility of calamity and softness as equally valued parts in art. “Music is music,” he says. “You know the second you hear it if it moves your soul. In my music, I tell stories that are part of all the truths I’ve collected. Sometimes it connects with people and vibrates their soul. When that happens, that mystical transference, it makes me believe something more is possible.” Sitting in this rough-hewn landscape, I imagine John Paul the choir boy, dressed in a

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soft gown, hands clenched in front, standing out for a vocal solo with a multitude of young voices behind. I imagine him sitting cross-legged on the floor, drawing pictures of birds over a pond. I imagine the 24,902 miles he traveled around the world before landing in Nashville. Now, he splits his time between cowriting, production, graphic novel storyboards, live music, recording, and writing. His mind is a factory. He’s never settled. Even with Boom Forest, he took the music a step further and developed a complex backstory to promote the fundamental theme: live in the present. This backstory involves technology surpassing its use as a tool and becoming self-aware. At some point, the machines come to life, building a giant city, the “White City,” which doubles as a prison housing every human on earth. John Paul, assuming the persona “John Rayne,” escapes the White City and slips through time to arrive in the present, form a band, and attempt to wake the masses from their slumber. It sounds absurd, but this story sets the tone for the passion he and his bandmates embody when they take the stage. When you go to a Boom Forest show, you’ll see the band wearing white face paint. They are warriors emerging from the woods to fight the onslaught of diversions that take us out of the present moment. “We wear war paint to remind ourselves of what we’re there to do,” he says, looking toward the woods. “The way our faces look is not important. It’s a reminder to be humble.” The war paint is part of a sym-

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“I REALIZED THAT TO MAKE ART IS TO BE HUMBLE. YOU HAVE TO LOSE LIFE.”

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bolic fight. In his former band, John Paul was engaged in a more aggressive musical battle. He was fighting for attention. The stage fed his ego. Looking back, he admits, “I didn’t want the right things. I was trying to win life with music. It didn’t translate.” So he stepped back to reassess and consider his purpose. “I realized that to make art is to be humble,” he explains. “You have to lose life. You have to make it enjoyable for others. That is the labor of love. That is the difference. Back then, when I had the honor of being in front of a room of people, I thought they were there for me. But now I understand that I am the smallest member of the room and I am there to serve everyone else. I am creating a moment of peace so they can enjoy themselves for a second. That is pure joy.” This new approach made him a stronger performer, and rather than pushing people away, he pulled them closer. The most recent benefit of his magnetism is a partnership with Eric Hillman. Together, they created a new Boom Forest album. “We chopped songs apart and polished them up,” he explains. “We brought in great players and they added their pieces. It took three weeks to assemble everything. Now, we’re ready to get it out so we can encounter rooms of people.” This new album, Post Knight Errant, is the trojan horse John Paul has longed to unveil. The lyrics do not warn people about the White City, dangerous technology, or digital overlords. Instead, the songs are snake charmers lulling listeners under a spell. Drop your baggage. Relax. Open your soul. “We think we’re all alone and no one is worried about the things we’re worried about,” John Paul explains. “I want people to let go. I want to pick people’s locks and make environments where we’re free to express ourselves.” He wants everyone to be present and together for a moment. The title, Post Knight Errant, refers to a transition in the history of storytelling in which the art of the overall story became less important than the purpose or “end goal” of the story. According to John Paul, “In the Eastern style, every step is important and the end is almost the saddest part. The Western style started with the King Arthur myths. His knights would go on quests with the goal to slay dragons, kill trolls, or take a bridge. If they were successful, they would receive accolades and tracts of land. In this story style, the end result was the most important part, and the journey was only a

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BOOM FOREST: boomforest.com Follow on Facebook @TheBoomForest, Twitter @BoomForest, Instagram @boomforestmusic native.is

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success if the result was a success.” At this moment, John Paul is animated. He’s speaking faster now. “Our entire lives are dictated by this way of thinking. You go to school to get the job to get the girl to have the kids to be rich and to get famous. All these things are set just over the horizon so you will run as fast as you can to get there.” He finally comes up for air. “I decided I was going to live my life to appreciate every moment rather than hoping for the next event over the horizon. This group of songs is from the first time in my life where I haven’t been on a mission.” Whether you’re an intellectual, a hedonist, or a humanist, there are certain truths. They may be small, but they encircle everyone. Everyone wants to be loved, to matter, to give back. John Paul is on an adventure looking for these little truths. “I believe that music is a pathway to open up our souls,” he says. “If I can give people truth while I open up their soul, they can be healed of whatever pains them. I can use music to bring people something their social media life cannot offer. I can give them something they haven’t felt before and let their minds go someplace they haven’t gone before. They can feel the togetherness and connectedness between humanity and Earth. We don’t have to live forever. We don’t have to put forth that kind of effort.” With that, he stops. He stands and whistles for Albie. The sky is dark. The city lights drown out the stars on the horizon. The silhouettes of tree tops shine with silver spun from the moonlight. John and Albie head back in the direction they came. His footsteps pause, and I can see his outline. His voice cuts through the cries of crickets and whine of airplane engines. “Can you find your way out of here?” “Yes,” I respond. But I’m going to stay here for a bit longer.

Some people might see a kid with an attitude. We see an aspiring painter and a great older brother who has been denied a few opportunities.

Learn how you can make a difference in a teen’s life at OasisCenter.org # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

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HUSBAND AND WIFE TEAM TONY AND CAROLINE GALZIN HAVE TURNED A CENTURY-OLD HOUSE IN THE NATIONS INTO A HOME FOR INVENTIVE, FRESH ITALIAN CUISINE BY JONAH ELLER-ISAACS | PHOTOS BY EMILY DORIO

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“Fall is like a funeral for me,” Caroline Galzin says with a sigh. Caroline, an Alabama native, could not be happier to have moved back south with her husband, Tony. Tony and Caroline met while working together in restaurants in Chicago, where autumn was a warning to brace for the seemingly endless frigid slog that is the Upper Midwestern winter. But this year, Caroline can escape the barren, denuded landscape and ensconce herself in the cozy confines of Fifty First Kitchen and Bar, the intimate eatery that the couple opened together this past June. The restaurant sits at the corner of 51st and Illinois Avenues, in a house originally built in the 1890s. Fifty First’s residential setting gives it a comfortable vibe, as if you’ve come to a friend’s house for a meal. The house will be a lovely place to ride out the shivers, and it will be all the more pleasant when filled with the aromas of Tony’s contemporary take on rustic, seasonal Italian cuisine. I drive to Fifty First to sit down with Tony and Caroline, and my trip takes me to the heart of The Nations. The Nations Neighborhood Association, in announcing the recent release of the Made in The Nations video series, noted the “tremendous neighborhood growth in recent months.” Like so much of Nashville, The Nations is on the rise, and the Galzins are excited to sate the appetites of present and future neighbors. Tony, Caroline, and I take a table next to a battered column of stone and brick, which Caroline points out is “the original fireplace that was used for heating and cooking” when the house was first built. From beneath the brim of his Chicago Bears cap, Tony’s gaze turns toward Caroline as she recalls the start of their romance at the celebrated Chicago restaurant mk: “Tony was the pastry chef there. I was the bartender there . . . kind of a restaurant cliché, a chef and a bartender. Met, fell in love, got married.” Before meeting Tony, Caroline had already decided she’d endured enough winters and was ready to return south.

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Tony “wasn’t averse to the idea.” He explains, “Logistically, as you’re getting older, you have a few options . . . as far as being a chef and wanting to not always make twelve dollars an hour for the rest of your life.” Caroline laughs. They make each other laugh a lot. They constantly finish each other’s sentences and respond to my questions with the same words at the same time. I know—gross, right? They’re so in love with each other. Tony and Caroline had heard about Nashville’s food scene and came to check out the city for the first time a few years back. Looking at the high cost of living and the even higher commercial rents, Tony knew that starting his own business in Chicago was unlikely. Nashville, though, seemed within the realm of possibility, and just as importantly, moving there would get Caroline back in the South. The service industry isn’t exactly known for promoting financial stability and padding savings accounts; as they considered relocating, Caroline recalls with a laugh, “We were already broke! If we moved down here and it didn’t work out, we’d be in the same position.” One of their old regulars at mk was Scott Atkinson, co-owner and wine director at Flyte. When Tony mentioned a potential move to Nashville, Scott offered him a pastry chef position to help get his feet on the ground. With nothing to lose, they headed south with their Honda Civic and little else. Away from Chicago, Tony and Caroline found space to breathe. For the first time, they were able to think deeply about their culinary identity. Tony had worked with Green City Market, a Chicago-based nonprofit farmers’ market that also administered after-school programs and community workshops focused on sustainability and healthy eating. Looking for a similar program locally, Tony found the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm. When Tony and Caroline decided to host a series of pop-up dinners, they donated the proceeds to the Urban Farm. The pop-ups, produced un-


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der the name Sycamore Nashville, helped support their newly established hometown while simultaneously giving Tony a chance to form relationships with local producers, a space to experiment with new recipes, and a preliminary sense of how Nashville would respond to his cooking. The response was strong. Nashville Lifestyles named Tony Nashville’s Best Pastry Chef. Tony and Caroline began their search for a restaurant to call their own. Excited by the vibe in Germantown, they were close to closing on a space, when, as Tony explains it, “A bunch of stuff happened. And it fell apart. The stadium [First Tennessee Park] deal got announced. They wanted to triple our rent. Investors got shaky.” Caroline hops in and tells me about the disheartening collapse. “We unfortunately got back to this place where we had been working on this deal for a year, maybe over a year, with this particular investor group and this particular property that we were pursuing . . . That fell apart and we were back at ground zero.” Undeterred, the Galzins partnered with local restaurateur Christy Thurman. Christy had a group of investors interested in a venture in The Nations similar to her wine bar, Rumours. Initially, Tony and Caroline came on as consultants, but Tony wasn’t sure that a wine bar was the best use of his talents, so he suggested that the group shift focus and allow the pair to run a full restaurant. Tony explains that the primary investor owns multiple properties in the neighborhood, and so “his thinking was to try to help encourage some development in The Nations, and in the neighborhood, and on 51st specifically.” The owner had a house they were considering; it was the house in which we’re sitting today. The century-old property has countless quirks. Some are small: Caroline laughs loudly when sharing, “I have a dream that one day I will wake up and I’ll come in and floors will be level and I can throw my wobble wedges in the dumpster. But that—that will never happen.” Other issues with the house are more significant. Construction was especially complicated and an exhausting experience far outside Tony and Caroline’s comfort zone. Tony tells me with an exasperated laugh, “Opening a restaurant has nothing to do with knowing how to run a restaurant.” The most critical consequence of the house hosting their new restaurant was simply the size of the rooms, in particular the kitchen. On their first tour of the property, Tony recalls, “[We] looked at the space, looked at the footprint that we had for a kitchen, and we’re like, ‘Alright. We’re gonna have to do small plates . . . ’cause

we don’t have a lot of room to do a lot of stuff. And we don’t have a lot of room for storage, so we’ll just bring in whatever’s super fresh every week.’” Tony had worked in kitchens that focused on seasonal, local fare, but this time, it was a matter of necessity. Tony and Caroline had to carefully consider what the house would allow, and that deep thinking carries over into their whole food philosophy. Though their kitchen has only been open a few months, the pair have great confidence in their vision. Caroline proudly states, “Everything that we’re doing, we know exactly who we are. We know exactly what we do. And we try to keep that very consistent.” I’m not sure what to expect when I chew over the idea of Italian small plates. My general concept of Italian cuisine is gigantic servings of starches lathered with heavy sauces. I’m not the only one—Caroline points out that when it comes to Italian food, “a lot of people, unfortunately, think spaghetti and meatballs. And we couldn’t be farther from that.” Still, Tony’s cooking has a comforting nature associated with the dishes of Italy. Sampling a few choice plates with my wife at the table, we marvel at the rock shrimp with guanciale (a cured meat), chiles, charred tomato, and squid-ink radiatore, a jet-black pasta with grooves that give it the appearance of a tiny radiator. The charcuterie arrives on a beautiful cutting board, a handmade block from local artisans Blue Vine Woodworks, and the flavorful meats are accompanied by some of the best pickled goods I’ve ever tasted. The pickled green tomatoes must be brined in heaven. I don’t know if I’ve ever been this excited about something pickled. Moderately priced, the plates aren’t especially small, unless compared to a traditional Italian serving size, and we’re able to taste a good percentage of Tony’s menu. My dining companion takes a bite of the cast-iron quail with polenta, pumpkin, sage, and almond. She pauses to sit with the subtleties of the dish, the flavors and textures swirling around her. “This kid is talented,” she rightly declares. Tony and Caroline have a good thing going at Fifty First Kitchen and Bar. Still, I wonder if The Nations, even with its recent growth, can sustain fine dining institutions. I reach out to Frank Stabile, president of The Nations Neighborhood Association, and ask if their local food scene stands up with the rest of the city. “With regard to your question,” he writes via email, “about where 51st Ave falls on the culinary meter, the needle is barely

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“WE COULDN’T REALLY AFFORD GOOD INSTRUMENTS, SO OUR DRUM SET WAS JUST POTS AND PANS IN THE BEGINNING.”

FIFTY FIRST KITCHEN AND BAR: 51nashville.com Follow on Facebook @FiftyFirstKitchen&Bar or Twitter and Instagram @51Nashville native.is # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

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registering.” He adds, “I think what most new residents find attractive about this neighborhood is the potential.” I’m optimistic that new additions to The Nations, both residents and business owners, will find a way to grow into that potential in ways that are beneficial to all. The Galzins are deeply dedicated to their chosen location. Caroline enthusiastically explains, “We really want to be a part of this community . . . We’re here! We’re here for the long haul . . . We love working with our community. We work with our neighbors down the street at SPEAKeasy Spirits, and Pickers Vodka is our house vodka. Tony works with all the local farmers, and we work with Porter Road Butcher to source most of our meats.” The Nations is certainly one of the hottest parts of town at the moment. Tony and Caroline have given their new home a great gift, and it’s not only their phenomenally delicious, inventive Italian cuisine served in a warm, cozy setting, perfect for escaping the winter. It’s also their dedicated pursuit of a deeply connected and supportive community. Their delectable food and community consciousness are sure to make regulars of their nearby neighbors as well as diners from across the city.

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h(om)e

since 2012 So grateful fuonrity! m

3 years of com

Madeline Harper Photography

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GREAT EXPECTA TIONS BY CHARLIE HICKERSON | PHOTOS BY JESS WILLIAMS

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T

AFTER A YEAR OF LAYING LOW, MOSELEY IS SET FOR POP ROCK DOMINATION

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“Sorry, I think I’m still a little drunk,” Moseley vocalist and guitarist Suzie Chism says, opening her front door. Last night, she ended up drinking with a random group of Belmont kids that happened to stumble into her front yard. One of them told her he was into older women. Suzie is in her twenties. This morning, she drinks coffee out of an oversized, donut-shaped mug while navigating through a maze of gear: a couple of speaker cabinets, assorted guitar pedals, a drum set, a mannequin wearing a “Moseley Sucks” T-shirt, and a wooden box with a giant M painted on it. Her living room’s like a venue loading dock with a couple of couches and an old fourteen-inch TV thrown in as an afterthought. I find a seat across from Abby Hairston, Moseley’s drummer. Christy Callaway, Moseley’s bassist, walks in. Then an exterminator, coming to take care of a squirrel infestation. The excitement causes Suzie’s West Highland Terrier, Nugs, to lose his shit. Abby tries to calm him down. Christy tries to talk about their new album. I try to hear the album, which is playing from the TV’s tinny speakers. Suzie tries to tell the exterminator about the squirrel situation. Everybody tries to hear each other over the barking. The exterminator makes a joke about setting a squirrel trap to catch Nugs. Nobody laughs. Then, after about ten minutes of this back and forth, the exterminator leaves, the barking stops, and the record becomes audible again. The band lets out a collective sigh of relief, but I don’t think it’s just because Nugs has decided to take a nap. They’re also relieved that this album, which has been a year

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in the making, is finally finished. As the nine tracks play, there’s a general air of contentedness and pride in the room—like a runner that’s just finished a marathon. Abby points out the African percussion on “Snake,” a lumbering slow-burner driven by Christy’s fuzz bass and the rattle of iron chains. Or at least I think that’s the rattle of iron chains: it’s actually a shaker made of dried pig ears. Suzie tells me about drinking during another track’s vocal takes to help deal with her nerves. They all laugh at a bar of guitar feedback on the album’s closer, “My Best,” that they refer to as the Free Willy section. Later, in a moment of sincerity that undermines her otherwise devilmay-care demeanor, Suzie says, “This album is going to change everything for us.” I can believe it. Even through this shitty TV—which, ironically enough, is the only thing that can play CDs in this living room full of speakers—it sounds massive, especially for a three-piece.The guitars feel like they’re constantly on the brink of destroying whatever amps they’re plugged into; Abby beats her poor floor toms within an inch of their life; Christy lays down fuzz lines that’d make Jack Bruce proud. At their rawest, Moseley can launch into Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness–style displays of power. At their cleanest, they can ease into hooks that call to mind early No Doubt. The still unnamed album sounds like a major label debut—something that’d come after a couple of bedroom EPs, (maybe) one indie label release, and years of touring across the country in a smelly van. It doesn’t sound like something from a group that only has two years, one two-week tour, and a rough three-song EP on Bandcamp under their belt. But that’s exactly what Moseley is. In comparison to most acts with mainstream aspirations, Moseley has kind of done things in reverse. Rather than building the ever-intangible “buzz,” using said buzz to attract a label and/or management, and relying on that label to help release a proper debut, they went straight to making the proper debut. And they did it with producer/songwriter/musician Jay Joyce (who’s worked with Emmylou Harris, Iggy Pop, Cage the Elephant, Eric Church, and Carrie Underwood, to name a few) and his right-hand engineer, Jason Hall. Suzie says getting the chance to record with the industry giant was “like a fairytale . . . and that’s not to say it was handed to us—we have worked really hard. But we know that this kind of shit doesn’t happen every day to people.” It definitely took a while for it to happen to Suzie. The daughter of a Nevada pastor, she grew up playing in church bands with her siblings. After a series of punk


“WE KNOW THAT THIS KIND OF SHIT DOESN’T HAPPEN EVERY DAY TO PEOPLE.”

bands in high school (she tells me about trying to buy Anti-Flag records as a kid, but her dad wouldn’t allow her to get anything heavier than Relient K), Suzie began writing pop and formed a duo with Edwin McCain. You know, the “I’ll be your crying shoulder” guy. They took a series of meetings in Nashville and were even staying at the Opryland Hotel when the flood hit: “We were staying on the first floor, and the whole first floor flooded. It was like the Titanic. All the power went out, we had to be evacuated . . . We relocated the whole project to South Carolina because the whole city was in crisis.” Shortly after the flood, the duo dissolved and Suzie was left broke and working at a Hot Topic in Reno. Because that’s something no one wants to do for an extended period of time, she moved to Nashville later that year in hopes of landing a publishing deal and becoming

a songwriter. In Nashville, she met Christy, who’d also grown up playing in churches. They met while, fittingly enough, working with a women’s ministry that was filming a documentary on body image acceptance. It wasn’t long before they recruited Christy’s friend Abby to play drums. “[Abby and Suzie] met . . . and it was like the heavens aligned,” Christy remembers. “Like, ‘Whoa, we’re a band now.’ It was instant.” That was in May 2013. By August, they’d released their EP (produced by

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Stephen Keech, Christy’s husband and former member of Christian metal band Haste the Day), and by October, they were on the road. Then a waiting game: Jason Hall had pitched Moseley to Jay Joyce when they first formed, but the super-producer told them to “sit on the songs for six to eight months” and get back to him. The delay was a blessing in disguise. During that time, Christy broke her hand, forcing the band to take a fourth-month hiatus, and Suzie went through a “horrible, horrible—like fucking Jerry Springer breakup” that would drastically influence her writing on the upcoming record. “It was the biggest mind fuck in my life,” Suzie says. “It was a double-life situation—dude had a double life . . . [When I found out], we were on the road. We had to cancel shows; I had a straight-up meltdown. I was in the shower crying with my clothes on at one point in Chicago.” But that’s not to say she started writing breakup songs—as Suzie says, “I’m not going to Taylor Swift anybody.” Instead, the songs are written from the perspective of someone who’s teetering between acceptance and denial, somebody who’s been forced to question everything they once took for granted. The narrator isn’t vindictive or accusatory, just confused. “[The theme of the album] is delusion. It just has this feeling of, ‘Am I crazy? Or are my feelings valid?’ [The breakup] made me feel like I was mad,” Suzie admits. “Honestly, I have a little bit of anxiety about this album coming out because it says it all. A lot of people have opinions about all of that [the breakup], and they think I’m crazy. So they’re going to hear me say, ‘I think I’m crazy too, and I don’t know what’s real and it sucks.’” It’s this sort of unapologetic vulnerability that makes Suzie and the rest of Moseley so relatable. Whether it’s in their lyrics or in conversation, all three members are nothing if not honest. They’ll flat-out tell you if they’re drunk at 10 a.m.; they’ll admit some of their past bands were embarrassing; they’ll own up to a bad show. Simply put, they’re not trying to put on airs or come across as anything they’re not. As Suzie tells me during an embarrassing point of the interview: “Don’t print that. Just kidding, print whatever the fuck you want. I don’t care.” So, true to form, Suzie was totally transparent with Jason and Jay about recording. “I called Jason and said, ‘I’m having a rough time, I need to make music, and if we’re not doing it with you, we have to walk. Because I’m going to go crazy if I don’t do something.’” A few months later, Moseley was putting in twelvehour days at Jay’s Neon Cross Studios. The Eastside studio, which has hosted locals like Emmylou Harris, COIN, and The Wild Feathers, is a gutted cathedral

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MOSELEY: moseley.band Follow on Facebook @Moseleyband or Instagram and Twitter @Moseleymusic native.is

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that’s still technically listed as a ministry. Jay even had to be ordained before buying the space. Moseley tracked live in the windowless basement of the studio, an area musicians refer to as “hell,” while world-famous country stars recorded above them. One day, they came in for a session and the studio itinerary read, “Carrie Underwood: Heaven / Moseley: Hell.” Draw what conclusion you will from that. “If [you] know what feeling starstruck feels like—when you walk into that studio, that’s how you feel,” Abby explains. “We had an opportunity most bands would literally kill for.” They tell me about nervously playing an overdub session in front of Emmylou Harris, who’d casually strolled into the studio last Halloween. Suzie still gushes about the guitars she got to use, specifically the Sparkle Jet Gretsch used on The Wallflowers’ Bringing Down the Horse, one of her all-time favorite albums. I can’t blame them for getting a little starstruck. Now, a year later, Moseley finds themselves locked in another waiting game. They’re sitting on a collection of commercially viable, polished songs, but now they’ve got to figure out what to do with them. It’s a good a problem to have. “I’m really proud of the product, and I believe in these players wholeheartedly,” Suzie says, gesturing to Abby and Christy. “They’re so stinking talented, and I love this record. So if there’s somebody who’s going to help us put it out in a big way, that would rule.” The band understands that good things happen to those who wait, so they’re not in any rush to make that happen—if it does even happen. Right now, they’re just grateful to have made it this far. “We’re trying not to have any expectations because it’s Nashville and you could get your heart broken in five seconds,” Suzie says. “We’re just enjoying this, and if nothing comes from it, at least we got to feel like rockstar princesses for a year.”

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CHEFS TODD ALAN MARTIN AND BRANDON FROHNE DISCUSS THE HARD WORK, LONG HOURS, AND UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE IT TOOK TO MAKE THEIR MARK ON NASHVILLE’S EVER-CHANGING CULINARY LANDSCAPE BY SCOTT MARQUART | PHOTOS BY DANIELLE ATKINS

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“Is it too early to drink?” Brandon Frohne asks rhetorically. We all shake our heads—definitely not. We’re at Miss Saigon, where we’re now neatly packed into a booth by the door.. Brandon’s never been here before, and he takes a while to consider the different pho options on the menu. Until recently, Brandon was the head chef at Mason’s, the muchlauded modern Southern restaurant at the base of the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel on West End. Now he focuses his time on his own company—Forage South—a food provision line for home cooks. Today, he’s joined across the table by Todd Alan Martin—head chef of The Treehouse in Five Points—who looks a bit exhausted. In addition to putting in mind-numbing hours curating and executing The Treehouse’s ever-changing menu, he just returned from a twothousand-mile drive to Texas for his twentieth high school reunion. Looking at Todd, it’s a bit surprising to hear that he’s been out of

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high school that long, especially considering how the hours and stress of the restaurant industry can age a person. But then again, as I’m equally surprised to learn, Todd has only been cooking professionally since 2009. Our photographer, Danielle Atkins, and I flank the two of them at the edges of the booth. There are only two other parties seated at the Vietnamese restaurant, but it is three in the afternoon—a sort of purgatory between a restaurant’s lunch and dinner rushes. The room is sparingly adorned with Vietnamese flair, and the playlist is a broad range of Southern blues—everything from Lead Belly to Stevie Ray Vaughan. Todd and Brandon are both on the short list of inventive chefs who have helped take Nashville’s culinary efforts to a new level in the past few years. Both have worked in what some might label Southern cuisine, but they’ve each strived to push that envelope by incorporating different ingredients and paying homage to their varied influences. Though they’ve both received their share of acclaim, they’ve done so without compromising their integrity as chefs. Todd and Brandon make dishes that people love to eat, but they constantly strive to push themselves—and their customers—outside of their comfort zones. Though the two chefs are very different people, they’re united by a shared love for cuisine. They relish the chance to talk about the proud heights and inevitable

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pitfalls that come with both its invention and preparation—or perhaps they’re just happy to have an hour away from work for a change.

ON THEIR INFLUENCES TM: What I’m doing isn’t Southern food. I think of it as soul food a lot. But it’s crazy to people because the ingredients are new. It’s not like I’m doing crazy things. There aren’t stacks of gibberish or anything; it’s more comfort food, piles of food on plates that are delicious. And it may not be from my personal background or my family’s heritage to cook this food, but it is somebody’s. BF: But it’s something you’re passionate about. TM: It’s something I care to learn about and carry on some kind of tradition of these foods and introduce people to them. Because they’re awesome. They’re delicious. [Brandon nods eagerly. Todd takes his time, seeming to mull words over in his head before he says them out loud.] TM: I try to think about bringing food from the Americas to a plate, not food from Italy or France. That’s what, to a lot of chefs—everyone I’ve ever worked for—that’s what food is, that’s what cooking is, it’s French and it’s Italian. But we’re from our own place, that had a thing all it’s own. All these traditions, all these culinary experiments. I mean we wouldn’t have corn if it wasn’t for probably some woman in a field planting something next to some-

thing else and seeing what happens, and the next thing we know we have corn. BF: I go through phases. A part of me is about my family’s history, being from Europe—Germany, Switzerland—so I cook European in a sense. But it’s whatever you’re influenced by at the moment. I do like a lot of Asian and Mexican cooking too. I don’t know how to explain it, but I just put all the stuff together and make it work. TM: Again, you’re from the United States. It’s a melting pot. I don’t feel like we have to have any kind of specific thing to do. There’s so much in food that’s all the same. How you make a mole in Mexico and how you make a curry in India are incredibly similar. There’s a few ingredients, actually, in both of these things that make them different. Cardamom, ginger would be the big ones I can think of that would make it a Thai or Indian curry dish. If you use a lot of nuts and seeds and a few different herbs, with basically the same aromatics—anise, cinnamon, peppercorn—you’re making mole . . . So I don’t really feel like there’s a real big difference. Obviously when you get into it there is, but I like the idea of the simple, person-sitting-over-a-fire view of the dish.

ON WORKING LONG HOURS BF: [For] like three years, I didn’t see my entire family. Literally [I saw them] for like an hour a day. TM: I’m [at The Treehouse] seven


stock. Porter Road Butcher usually has some for sale. Just season it as you like, and add whatever you like. Thai basil, cilantro, hoisin sauce, and a bit of sriracha will help authenticate your experiments . . . Typically, my home version is made of vegetable and mushroom WHAT MAKES GOOD PHO? BF: The most important part of stock. I like to roast the scraps of making pho is developing a good whatever I'm cooking with before using them for the stock. When stock. This is the foundation. TM: Pho is all about a high-quality, seasoning, I like to use salt, sugar, well-seasoned broth. Everything and lime juice, a little at a time, to appease my taste buds. else is bonus material. CAN GOOD PHO BE MADE BY A NOVICE COOK? IF SO, HOW? BF: Understanding how to make and develop the stock is the key. Start with the right bones to extract the best flavor. I like to use marrow, shin, oxtail, and knuckle. This mixture contains a good amount of marrow and connective tissue—which is made of collagen, a protein that breaks down into gelatin as it simmers in a stock. These components combine to give the stock a good mouthfeel and body/richness. Blanche your bones for fifteen minutes in a pot of water to remove impurities. Start the stock with cold water and allow it to gently simmer so you develop a clear broth. I simmer mine for three hours. Char onions and ginger and add them to the stock to provide a subtle sweetness and smokiness. Add a bouquet garni of toasted spices (cinnamon, clove, fennel, and star anise), yellow rock sugar (for a slight sweetness/earthiness), and fish sauce. Allow the stock to simmer gently for three hours, scraping off any scum or impurities that float to the top. TM: A novice cook can prepare just about anything at home. Pho is no exception. Start with a good

IS THERE ANY TRICK TO FINDING A GOOD PHO SPOT IN A GIVEN TOWN? BF: Word of mouth in the community. TM: Always start looking in diverse neighborhoods. I really like holein-the-walls. It's always a good sign if the place is packed, but not always the best way to find the best. WHAT TIPS WOULD YOU GIVE TO THE AVERAGE RESTAURANT LOOKING TO GET MORE OUT OF THEIR PHO? BF: I have tried pho at a couple of restaurants before where the stock tasted like it was made from bouillon cubes—dark and murky. Being that pho has French roots, I always follow the techniques of making French stocks, which yield a welldeveloped flavor and clarity to the broth. TM: Make sure everything is of high quality. No one likes wilted, brown herbs or spongy, funky meat. Buy the best you can afford, treat it with as much care as you can muster, and serve it the best way you know how. Do it with honesty and passion, and people will respond.

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days a week. We’re not open seven or anything—we were open six, but there’s three of us and that was ridiculous. I keep losing people because no one wants to work hard . . . They have some crazy idea that I’m like this famous guy that does all this cool shit—like tweezing things— which is hilarious, because it’s anything but that. BF: Tweezer food. TM: I kind of hate that. I use a Tom Colicchio quote with my cooks all the time. I’m like, “The food falls out of the pan or off the spoon, onto the plate or in the bowl.” It doesn’t need to be anywhere, and we’ve got to go. We don’t have time to do all this . . . It’s five days a week now, but the two days off just give us an opportunity to do things a little better, without the looming doom of service. [On a day we’re open], I have to get all this put away, cleaned up, all this other stuff out, organize it all, inform the staff on the dishes, and be cooking, and we haven’t eaten ourselves because we’ve just had our heads down . . . I usually am there from eight in the morning until one or two or three in the morning when we’re open, and I’m popping in and out of there on Sunday and Monday. DA: Do you have kids? TM: No. I got married two days before the restaurant opened. [Brandon and Danielle gasp]

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TM: It was getting pushed so fast, I was trying to order some food into this kitchen that’s brand-new and never had a thing in it, ever, to get some balls rolling so we could have some stuff to open with. And [the owners] were like, “We’re going to be open this week.” So my rehearsal dinner and my wedding dinner on Saturday and Sunday were our only moments to try anything, and it was basically our prep to open. There were some soft opening nights, and then it was just like, we’re open six days a week for all these hours.

ON NASHVILLE’S CULINARY COMMUNITY TM: It’s interesting. Everybody kind of knows each other and knows of each other. But everybody’s in the same boat, you know? I don’t see anybody unless I go see them, where they’re chained to the stove or whatever. It’s the same thing. DA: And then they’re like, “Hi! Hey, I’ve got to go.” TM: Yep, back to work. And it’s always like, “Hey, there’s somebody out here who knows you and wants to see you.” And I’ll be like, “What? Uh, let me figure out how to stop all this and go say hi.” It’s interesting. BF: I feel like it’s a pretty tight-knit community. Nashville’s small enough. The biggest thing that was eyeopening for me was that whenever I left Mason’s and I still had charity dinners on the books and no kitchen


to work out of, everybody was like, “Our kitchen is yours.” And I was like, “Dude, thank you so much.” So that means a lot right there. You can collaborate with people, you can talk about issues with the restaurant business. Like, sometimes you have pain-in-thebutt customers. . . TM: Gluten allergy. [He imitates a monster’s voice.] The mighty gluten allergy. BF: But it’s always good to hear that other people are going through the same thing that you’re going through. You’re not alone. Like you said, we’re all in the same boat.

mon. - fri. 6am-7pm || sat. & sun. 7am-7pm

ON SUCCESS TM: I love what I do and I’m very happy doing what I’m doing. But do I feel successful? I don’t have a gauge for that. Like, cool, there are people eating in the restaurant. You know, that’s all I wanted. So I don’t really know what, beyond that, I could expect success to feel like. BF: I think [success is] whatever brings you self-fulfillment. That’s kind of the phase I’m going through. Like Todd said, it’s hard to gauge your success. People have said, “Oh, you’ve done this and that and this,” and to me it’s just like, this is what I do every day. This is my life. There’s a part of me [that’s never comfortable]. You set these goals and then you reach them, and you’re like, Okay, what’s next? But at the end of the day, if you’re happy with what you’re doing and people love what you’re producing and putting on plates, that for me is success.

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[Todd nods] BF: That’s all we’re trying to do is make people happy, or introduce people to things, or cook really solid food, or strike a memory with them. TM: If people aren’t telling you that they’re enjoying it, then something’s wrong. Now I don’t always just sit there and wait for people to write bad Yelp reviews or anything. But usually, if it is really good, people will tell you . . . I don’t think that I would do it if it wasn’t making people happy.

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CHEYENNE MEDDERS ers.com cheyennemedd cebook, Fa on ow Foll stagram In d an r, Twitte ders @CheyenneMed native.is

YOU OUGHTA KNOW: CHEYENNE MEDDERS

Cheyenne Medders is a musician’s musician, doing stage, session, and cowriting work with a slew of local acts: The Secret Sisters, The Nobility, Sarah Darling, The Kernal, Anna Haas, and The NonCommissioned Officers, to name a few. And if that weren’t enough, he also produces and engineers around town. Maybe it's no surprise, then, that it's been awhile since Cheyenne’s last solo release. He took time to craft his newest effort, Day Stood Still, a story-driven album that focuses on the more charming and worthwhile elements of the Southern experience. Check it out on November 12. # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

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ANIMAL OF THE MONTH

Written by Cooper Breeden*

e h TNORTH AMERICAN

R E T T O R RIVE There are several different fuzzy and fairly common critters that prance around on the riverbanks in Middle Tennessee. Some of them get along just as well in the water as they do on land, if not better. While all these little mammals have their own unique charm, the North American river otter is the most likely to rouse your puppy-loving sentiments with its playful antics. Male river otters live solitary lives for the most part, but if you happen to come upon a female and her pups, you may be lucky enough to witness an adorable display of cuteness: little otters juggling their food or frolicking, wrestling, and swimming together. River otters are pretty distinguishable from other semiaquatic mammals, but they are often mistaken for a muskrat or beaver. Otters have an elongated body whereas beavers and muskrats are much stockier. Furthermore, otters have a long and bushy tail—much different than the beaver’s characteristic flat and wide tail that it slaps on the water when sounding the alarm. As far as lifestyle goes, river otters are quite a bit different than their water-loving, mammal doppelgangers. Beavers and muskrats are rodents and are, for the most part, herbivores. As a mustelid (the name for members of the weasel family), otters are carnivorous and spend their days hunting. They eat primarily fish, though an otter may nab a crayfish, mussel, frog, or other creature when the opportunity arises. River otters are considered an apex predator in many freshwater ecosystems, meaning

they are at the top of the food chain and no other animals prey on them. Further south, they are even known to hunt alligators. As an apex predator, they play a key role in their environment: the loss of an apex predator can throw the ecosystem out of balance, and the effects can ripple down the food chain. The river otter has always called Middle Tennessee home, but it has not always been easy for them. At first, they were hunted and trapped for their fur. And then, as our population grew, the river otter’s habitat became fragmented and polluted and their populations in the state dwindled. This changed in 1984 when the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA) started a reintroduction program and successfully introduced river otters in every major waterway in the state. TWRA continued this for many years, and eventually the North American river otter was removed from the state’s list of threatened species. Today, the river otter is still hunted and trapped, but it is legal to do so due to the successful reintroduction program. Otters are prone to wander, so it is a challenge to predict their specific whereabouts. Additionally, they are typically nocturnal, though they sometimes remain active during the day. If you ever find yourself on a stroll near a river or stream during sundown, you “otter” keep your eyes peeled—you just may see a river otter splashing around in the water or scurrying along the banks.

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Profile for Native

NATIVE | NOVEMBER 2015 | NASHVILLE, TN  

FEATURING: Boom Forest, Fifty First Kitchen & Bar, John Jackson, Luke Wiget, Moseley, Brandon Frohne, Todd Alan Martin, and more.

NATIVE | NOVEMBER 2015 | NASHVILLE, TN  

FEATURING: Boom Forest, Fifty First Kitchen & Bar, John Jackson, Luke Wiget, Moseley, Brandon Frohne, Todd Alan Martin, and more.

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