A Moveable Feast | Dinner with Sunny & Butch Spyridon

Sunny & Butch Spyridon |  All photos by Emily Dorio

Sunny & Butch Spyridon | All photos by Emily Dorio

They say that life is like high school. If that’s true, and Nashville really is just a cool campus with an especially great music program and a righteous athletics department (Titan up!), then Sunny and Butch Spyridon are most certainly our Prom Queen and King.

The Spyridons are very much people-people (they’d be a shoo-in to win the “Friendliest Couple” if our general elections ever decided to support campaigns for superlatives). By all appearances, they are equally comfortable driving the welcome-wagon that greeted the 600,000 visitors who descended on downtown Nashville during April’s record-breaking NFL draft — which, it must be mentioned, would not have happened were it not for the hard work of Butch, who is president of the Convention & Visitors Corp — as they are hosting an intimate group of neighborhood friends in their home.

In March, A Moveable Feast dropped in on one of their smaller gatherings: a springtime dinner at their home on Granny White Pike, where they had gathered a warm and spirited group of pals for drinks and a light dinner.

“Butch and I both are pretty casual people,” said Sunny, who is very involved in the Nashville community as a volunteer. ”Especially when we’re at home, we like comfort and ease. And when you’re here, we want you to feel the same way.”

Mission accomplished. 

AMF_Spyridon+Mosshart_EmilyDorio_27.jpg
AMF_Spyridon+Mosshart_EmilyDorio_55.jpg

The evening’s meal came courtesy of chef Matthew Mosshart, of Two Spoons. Matthew was right at home in the Spyridon kitchen, having cooked there many times before: his partner is Sunny and Butch’s daughter, Alyssa. (The party was a true family affair for Matthew: his sister, Alison, was also in the house.) “When Matthew is in our kitchen cooking, everything feels right in the world,” Sunny said.

The dinner format was light bites, a nod to Sunny and Butch’s proclivity for eating toward the top of a menu. Translation: they are all about the apps.

“I believe this must have started 21 years ago, on our very first date,” she said. “We have both always loved to have food for the table to share, whether it’s just the two of us or a large group. Our closest friends know that if they go out to eat with us, Butch will ‘take a lap around the appetizer menu.’ Plus, we always have snacks at home. I can throw an appetizer platter together at the drop of a hat.”

This time, she left that pleasure up to Matthew, who curated a menu of foods that could be eaten by hand or from a small plate, ranging from a gorgeous spread of dips and light veggie dishes to shrimp rolls and slices of beef tenderloin. Folks started the party gathered around the dining room table and in the kitchen (and, ok: the bar area). Some never moved, sticking to their comfortable posts throughout dinner, only moving slightly during breaks in their conversations, to reach over the table for another bite. Others drifted outside, where a fire crackled in a backyard pit.

AMF_Spyridon+Mosshart_EmilyDorio_590.jpg
AMF_Spyridon+Mosshart_EmilyDorio_533.jpg

Sunny and Butch’s besties are a diverse bunch, reflecting the broad scope of the couple’s histories and interests. This dinner party included business leaders and budding creative entrepreneurs, media chiefs and fashion professionals — even a rock star or three. And to get there, none of them had to stray too far from home.

“We are lucky to have so many of our dearest friends live so close to us,” Sunny said. “With everyone’s schedules being so busy these days, there are plenty of impromptus — last-minute dinners, a cup of coffee on a Saturday morning, coming over for a game, or just to be together. We watch out for each other. We celebrate each other. We are family!”


At The Table

Brooke Baxter, Chris Caputo, Julie Caputo, Ceri Hoover, Craige Hoover, Jessie Followill, Nathan Followill, Wes Marshall, Erin McCarley, Alison Mosshart, Barbara Moutenot, Roger Moutenot, Tim Nichols, Becca Sudduth, Steve Sudduth, KS Rhodes, Darren Potuck, Tamara Potuck, Stacie Standifer.

 In The Kitchen

Chef Matthew Mosshart of Two Spoons Catering & Events

BUTCH SPYRIDON, SUNNY SPYRIDON AND MATTHEW MOSSHART.

BUTCH SPYRIDON, SUNNY SPYRIDON AND MATTHEW MOSSHART.

AMF_Spyridon+Mosshart_EmilyDorio_571.jpg

The Look

Sunny’s early spring tablescape was a splendid mix of old and new spiked with fresh seasonal greenery. “I like a nice mix of pieces that are mismatched,” she says. Many of the vintage piece are heirlooms from her Greek mother-in-law, who loved to entertain. “She gifted me the Spyridon silver, the white dishes, and the stemware years ago. Some pieces were her mother’s. I use it as often as possible. I do not believe that you should just bring out the good stuff for special occasions. Any time is the right time!”

The Menu

Arugula, Delicata & Prosciutto Salad
Sourdough breadcrumbs, Manchego, lemon vinaigrette

Marinated Heirloom Tomato & Fennel
Chile, mint, sesame

Dips, Chips & Veg
Whipped feta, smoked trout dip, black olive tapenade, West Indies crab
Spiced pita chips, parmesan croutons
Crudites

Shrimp Rolls
Toasted roll, pickles, lemon, horseradish

Slow Roasted Beef Tenderloin
Green beans, garlic, herbs

Flourless Chocolate Torte
Strawberry sugar, whipped cream

The Recipes

Marinated Tomato Salad

4 large heirloom tomatoes, cut into cubes
½ bulb fennel, thinly shaved  
¼ cup fish sauce
¼ cup grapeseed oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes  
1 teaspoon white toasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon black toasted sesame seeds
Handful mint leaves, torn by hand

In a bowl, gently mix the tomatoes, fennel, fish sauce, and grapeseed oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a bowl or plate.  Garnish with Aleppo, sesame seeds and mint.

 
Slow Roasted Beef Tenderloin

1 trimmed beef tenderloin (2-4 pounds)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper

Tie tenderloin at 1-inch intervals using butcher’s twine. Season with salt.  Place on wire rack over a baking sheet tray and refrigerate uncovered for to 2 days or up to a week. Preheat oven to 225°F.  Season tenderloin with black pepper. Place tenderloin in oven and roast, using a meat thermometer pull out tenderloin when internal temperature reads 120°F to 125°F, about 2 to 3 hours. To finish, preheat grill or broiler to high heat, sear and turn each side to produce a charred surface.  Let tenderloin rest 15-30 minutes before serving. Slice to desired thickness.

Russ Pollard’s TCR Mixtape

Russ pollard, at home in East nashville | All photos by  Yve assad

Russ pollard, at home in East nashville | All photos by Yve assad

One of the things I love most about living in a city packed with super-accomplished musicians is experiencing what I call the “thrill of association.”

More than a few times, I’ve made a new friend in Nashville only to find out later that they played a part in making my favorite music. That’s what happened a few years ago when I met Russ Pollard, an LA transplant who is a multi-instrumentalist and popular local DJ.

One day, not very long after we were introduced, I was stuck in my car, inexplicably without my phone. Bored, I started poking around for reading material within arm’s reach and found a Sebadoh CD case wedged under my seat (yes, I am a relic). That album, The Sebadoh, is one of my favorites of that band’s; I’ve listened to it dozens of times since it came out in the late ‘90s. To kill time, I pulled out the little paper insert and read the liner notes. And I’ll be damned: Russ played drums on it. (To be fair, Russ has played in a lot of bands and on many other albums, but this particular record just happened to be my personal entrée into the RP oeuvre.)

The next time I ran into him was in Florence, Alabama, backstage at a Billy Reid fashion show that we both walked in. I told him the bored-in-car-with-The-Sebadoh story and how much I dug his work. He was very sweet about it — perhaps a little surprised that I whipped that out while we were both waiting in line for makeup. But super-gracious in accepting the compliment. And, to his credit, he did not make me feel weird about semi-fangirling out on him.

Since then, Russ has showed up on several more Billy Reid runways (check him out on Vogue.com!) and I’m happy to say we’ve found more occasions to talk about music. After a few of these chats, when he had an idea of what I dig – glammy ‘70s rock, post-punk, Neil Young – he started making ace recommendations for bands that I should check out. (Right now, The Pretty Things and Karen Dalton are on my Russ List.)

This act of rock ‘n’ roll kindness gave me an idea: What if Team Callaway asked our music-making friends to come up with mix tapes for TCR? Better yet, what if the songs on those mixes were tied to a certain Nashville neighborhood? Kicking it off with Russ and the neighborhood home of Callaway HQ was a no-brainer.

East Nashville has been Russ’ home since 2013. That’s the year he and his wife Chandra Watson, also a musician, moved here from California with their chihuahua, Jimmy Dean, and a shit-ton of vinyl in tow. (Fun fact: Chan and her twin sister Leigh are TCR alums.) “East Nashville seemed like the right fit for us,” Russ says of the couple’s choice of neighborhoods. “We're creatives and East is full of like-minded people.”  

The mix he made for TCR represents a day in his East Nashville life — “from my eyes first opening in the morning to just before they close at night” — with song choices that “hover around the late '60's with a couple of OTT gems.” 

Between playing music and spinning vinyl, Russ is a busy dude. Early next month, he heads out on tour with fellow Eastsider Carl Broemel in support of Carl’s new record, Brokenhearted Jubilee. First stop: Jazz Fest in New Orleans. Then it’s back to spinning vinyl at Nashville’s coolest parties.

You can keep up with Russ on the road and track his local DJ appearances via Instagram or his website.

Until you can catch him live – either on stage on in the DJ booth – we’re happy to offer his awesome custom mix can tide you over.


Vashti Bunyan, Diamond Day. From Just Another Diamond Day (1970)
Vashti is an English singer/songwriter who released her debut in 1970. This song reminds me of the cardinal birds outside the window in my tree. Good morning...

Joy and Jubilee, Bonnie “Prince” Billy. From Master and Everyone (2003)
After a long winter, this is nice to hear when you first open the shade on a spring day.

Me And My Arrow,  Harry Nilsson. From The Point! (1970)
My Chihuahua Jimmy Dean was always afraid to go on walks in Los Angeles where we lived. I remember the first time I took him out for a walk in East Nashville and he had no fear. That was a big deal for me and him and this song reminds me of that walk. Jimmy is my Arrow.

Been So Long, Vetiver. From To Find Me Gone (2007)
"Where have You Been, Russ?" - East Nashville

See Emily Play, Pink Floyd. From The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967)
Walking around the airstrip at Cornelia Fort Airpark/Greenway is like a psychedelic experience for me. This song seems to fit perfectly. Written by psychonaut/personal hero Syd Barrett. 

Picture Book, The Kinks. From The Village Green Preservation Society (1968)
Track 3., Side 1, off of their only self-produced album. Makes me think of the first time I saw Pujol play Record Store Day at Grimey's in 2013.

Andmoreagain, Love. From Forever Changes (1967)
One of the lesser-known bands from late ‘60s Laurel Canyon scene. This song, penned by singer Arther Lee, reminds me of the first hang I had with Nashville singer/songwriter Jessie Baylin. Her house is situated on a hill with a beautiful view of an emerald valley. I thought, "This is like the Laurel Canyon of Nashville.”

Grass, The Pretty Things. From Parachute (1969)
This record is good medicine. It's my sage smudge in any new space. My desert island jam.

If I Could Have Her Tonight, Neil Young. From Neil Young (Nov. 12, 1968 - his 23rd birthday)
Side 1., track 4, on his debut solo album. Makes me think of driving down Natchez Trace to Leiper's Fork in the fall.

St. Elmo's Fire,  Brian Eno. From Another Green World (1975)
The sunsets here are spectacular and this song goes perfectly with them. God-like. 

Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore, Scott Walker. From Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore (1966) 
Scott Walker passed away this March. He was a prolific singer/songwriter and avant-garde adventurist. He influenced me and many.  (TCR Note: It’s not on Spotify, but you can listen here.)

Across The Universe, The Beatles. From Let It Be (1970)
Reminds me of the stars at night and how small I am. When I moved to Nashville and didn't know anyone, I somehow felt so connected at the same time. It's a small world here and the community is tight. If I had to have a song permanently stuck in my head, this would be the one. Good night.

YAA_5604.jpg

yve a.jpg

Yve Assad is a photographer based in Nashville, but her home is mainly on the road, specifically on the back of a motorcycle. A seeker of beautiful landscapes, she shoots on the ground and in the air. She also has a passion for two wheels, and has been documenting motorcycle culture for the past decade. Her travels have taken her all over the United States and as far as India. In 2014, she completed a 5000-mile solo journey to Nova Scotia on the 1976 BMW R90/6 her husband gave her as an engagement ring. Enjoy her photography here.

A Moveable Feast | Dinner with Author Caroline Randall Williams

Caroline Randall Williams | All photos by  Emily Dorio

Caroline Randall Williams | All photos by Emily Dorio

Caroline Randall Williams has no idea what time she went to bed the night of her Moveable Feast dinner. All she knows is that it was well past midnight and that people were still dancing in the downstairs parlor of her 1913 Prairie-style manse on Blair Avenue when she headed upstairs to kick off her high heels and fall into bed.

And who could blame her guests for their late-night reveling? Earlier that day, the majority of the group — which included several dancers from the Nashville Ballet ­, a handful of musicians (one of them with a Grammy to her name), three poets, an historian, a fashion designer and more than a few published writers— had wrapped the inaugural run of Lucy Negro Redux, a multi-discipline performance based on the poems in Caroline’s book of the same name.

In the book, the Nashville native imagines the life of the Elizabethan brothel owner known as Black Luce, aka Lucy, a dark-skinned woman whom scholars have determined was well “acquainted” with Shakespeare and his merry band. The book debuted in 2016, as a small run of 300 copies, one of which ended up in the hands of Nashville Ballet artistic director Paul Vasterling, who imagined a dramatization of the storyline that included dance, live music, and Caroline as narrator. Flash forward three years, and the show is a big hit, selling out of its Nashville performances and getting ink in the New York Times. (Lucy was given its second run last week, at Knoxville’s Big Ears Festival.)

Indeed, there was a lot to celebrate the evening of Sunday, February 10, when a group including cast members Kayla Rowser, who danced the part of Lucy, and Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi, the acclaimed musician couple who scored the show, joined a group of Caroline’s proud family and friends for a congratulatory meal prepared by City House chef/owner Tandy Wilson and pastry chef Rebekah Turshen.

On the subject of food: upon entering the house, guests were greeted by a huge rectangular palette crafted from 1,000 cookbooks in the entrance hall. If that sight sounds odd, consider that Shakespeare is far from Caroline’s sole topic of expertise: much of her professional writing has been in the food sector. In 2015, she joined her mother, author Alice Randall, to write Soul Food Love, a book presented healthy approaches to dishes traditionally identified with black culinary traditions hailing from the American South.

It was Alice who commissioned Nashville artist Herb Williams to construct the entry area art piece, which incorporated just over half of the titles in the massive (and quite well-known) congress of cookbooks that Caroline inherited years ago from her godmother. The rest of the collection lines a long wall in the kitchen.

Alice and her husband, historian David Ewing, moved into the Blair Avenue house in 2000, when Caroline was barely a teenager. The Ewing-Randall household has always been a party-hearty place. The couple’s annual parties were legendary, with each commemorated with a Hatch Show poster. The collection now hangs in the kitchen, over the wall of cookbooks.

After a drinks hour featuring “Dark Lady” cocktails, one made with local Belle Meade Bourbon and another a non-alcoholic version concocted in honor of the occasion (check out recipes from the dinner below), guests headed to the dining room, dominated by a long table custom-built to sit 18 (though that number seems almost quaint, considering that Alice shared that she once hosted a dinner for over 90). There, bowls heaping with Tandy’s soup beans and turnip greens, roasted sweet potatoes, late-winter cabbage sprouts, and braised chicken with grits and cheese were passed family-style.

As the third dish made its way around the table, Alice introduced the chefs to the table and shared some anecdotes about entertaining on Blair Avenue. “These dinner parties are a tradition,” she said. “And with this dinner, I’m turning it over from my generation to the next.”

Caroline was happy to assume the mantle. “It feels like the house is back to doing its job,” she said, as the dinner wound down and guests headed to the entrance hall to take selfies on the book pallet. “This is what this house is for. And it feels good to have Lucy pass the torch.”

Speaking to the table, Caroline admitted that she never imagined that a story like Lucy’s would have a life outside the pages of her book, let alone a ballet. “I don’t expect the world to say yes to weird black girl stuff,” she said, going on to thank Paul, her fellow performers, and Chet Weise of Third Man Books, who re-released the book last month.

“I thought that I was going to live a life that wasn’t my dream, because that’s what most people do,” she said. “You just don’t know how big people will help your dream grow.”

AMoveableFeast_CRW&TandyWilson_EmilyDorio_527.jpg

ABOUT THE FEAST

At The Table

Adia Victoria, Chet Weise, Chris Scribner, Ciona Rouse, Doug Fitch, Francesco Turrisi, Jason Facio, Kayla Rowser, Mason Hickman, Nicholas Scheuer, Nick Tazik, Owen Thorne, Patrick Luther, Paul Vasterling, Poni Silver, Rhiannon Giddens, Stephanie Wilson, and Virginia Henry.

In The Kitchen

Chef Tandy Wilson and pastry chef Rebekah Turshen, both of City House.

The Vibe

Some houses were made for entertaining — and 2126 Blair Avenue is one of them. Alice Randall and David Ewing have thrown countless parties in the house; Caroline has taken up the mantle with a personal flair. Before-dinner cocktails were served in the main living room, where guests gathered for conversation in formal seating vignettes or clustered around a record player spinning Americana and rock albums. In the dining room, the central table was strewn with red roses (a la the kind that get thrown at the feet of curtain-calling ballerinas) and lined with 18 place settings including French glassware and silver that has been in David Ewing’s family for more than three generations.

To Drink

Locally made Belle Meade Bourbon was the hearty base for a tipple called Dark Lady II, which featured straight liquor served in a martini glass with three twists of orange peel. Teetotalers were not left out, thanks to Dark Lady I, a smoky tea-based drink that sprung from a collaboration between food writer Julia B. Bainbridge and D.C.-based bartender Evan Zimmerman.

Dark Lady I

Steep an excellent quality lapsang souchong black tea at a ration of one heaping teaspoon of tea to one cup of water. (Use an extra heaping teaspoon for a pot for five to six minutes.) Chill. Mix with equal parts cold-pressed unsweetened cherry juice, chilled. Pour into an old-fashioned stemmed champagne glass. Express the oil from one lemon peel strip into the drink; drop in the peel. Serve.

To Eat

Tandy is a longtime friend of the Randall/Ewing family. At dinner, Alice shared that for the last 15 years, every time she finishes the draft of a book, she celebrates by asking him to cook her dinner.

 Tandy’s MO for Caroline’s Moveable Feast was to cook foods that she loves to eat and that he loves to make. “I believe that I cook soul food in many ways, be it the ingredients that I choose, the love that’s behind them, or the constant desire for a meal to be sustenance, physically and mentally,” he said. “Many of the thoughts of who I am as a chef have come through talks with Alice and sometimes Caroline. So the opportunity to cook in the house where our friendship began was a special one.”

For Rebekah’s part, she paid homage to the world of a ballet by making individual pavlovas, a traditional dessert named for the Russian dancer Anna Pavlova that is often served at celebratory meals.

Menu

Soup Beans, Hearty Greens, Sorghum Dressing, Hot Water Corn Crunch

Roasted Sweet Potatoes  Tahini, Crispy Rice, Peanuts, Lemon, Herbs, Chilies

Frico, Tomato Braised Cabbage Sprouts

Braised Chicken, Tomato, Cauliflower, Grits and Cheese

Pavlova Meringue

THE RECIPES

BRAISED CHICKEN, TOMATO, CAULIFLOWER, GRITS AND CHEESE

Tandy is well-known for his use of braising and roasting methods to prepare meat. “I like to cook the chicken until it’s tender but not over-cooked and stringy, and then let it rest in the cooking liquids,” he said. “I brown the chicken and then build the flavor with onion, garlic, anchovies, oregano, chilies, white wine and tomato.”

As for the all-important base: “Grits and cheese are something I grew up with and will always love,” he said. “I have reduced the cheese in this recipe and we mill our own grits. But other than that, this is Nana’s recipe.”

2 cups good quality grits
3 eggs, slightly beaten
6 cups water
1 stick butter (½ cup)
12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
Salt

Cook grits at a simmer until tender and thick. Stir regularly and season with some salt. Just as they finish stir in the butter and cheese. Check salt and then temper in the eggs. Transfer to a greased baking dish and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

PAVLOVA MERINGUE

Eight large meringues plus 32 small for crushing

1/2 cup egg whites (usually 3-4)
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup toasted crushed pecans
1 tablespoon vanilla 
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 300. Combine sugars and cornstarch. Put egg whites and salt in stand mixer. Whisk on medium high until whites have turned opaque and you see slight whisk pattern on the surface of the mixture. Add sugar mix 1/4 cup at a time and increase speed to high. Meringue will continue to thicken and become glossy and strong peaks will form as whisk is removed. Dump nuts and vinegar on top of meringue and fold in with a wide rubber spatula. Scoop 8 meringue with a 1/4 cup sized cookie scoop at least an inch apart onto the first parchment-lined baking pan. Pan spray the back of a kitchen spoon to press divots into the middle of meringues. Scoop remaining meringue with the tablespoon-sized cookie scoop onto the other baking pan. Bake approximately one hour. Meringues should be light tan with a peek of white inside the very middle when ready to pull.

To assemble the dessert: Spoon desired fruit and preserves, sherbet or ice cream, and whipped cream into divoted meringues. Crush smaller meringues for garnish, save in airtight container for snacks or share with guests in tiny gift bags. Meringues can be baked ahead and will keep for several weeks in an airtight container.

Heidi Ross, Photographer | Nashville: Scenes from the New American South

Heidi Ross, Photographer | Nashville: Scenes from the New American South

Heidi Ross’ new book of photography, called Nashville: Scenes from the New American South, overwhelms me with gratitude for the friendships I’ve made during my 15 years in Nashville. Enjoyed through a more macro lens, it gives me an enormous sense of pride in the creative community that’s flourishing in my adopted hometown. “It City” didn't get that way by accident; it came from a lot of hard work. Nashville is a community of self-motivated ass-kickers who make things happen and get. it. done. Heidi is one of those ass-kickers.

Read More

A Moveable Feast | Dinner With Emily & Julian Dorio

A Moveable Feast | Dinner With Emily & Julian Dorio

Emily Dorio was born to entertain. “Giving parties is in my DNA,” she says, giving credit to her two grandmothers who were both known for their dinner party prowess. She’s also had a lot of practice. In the late Aughts, while living out her post-college “salad years” in Athens, Georgia, Emily and her best lady friends, Jesse Warner and Lily Noel, staged epic dinner parties. Last month, she brought the tradition to Nashville to kick off A Moveable Feast, a new TCR series that documents how Nashvillians eat and entertain, circa 2019.

Read More

Greetings From Nashville Dinner Party

Greetings From Nashville Dinner Party

Last October, half of Team Callaway relocated to Brooklyn, where we hosted Greetings From Nashville, a retail pop-up at the Wythe hotel, starring the work of almost 40 local makers, designers and artists, as well as creative companies including Third Man Records and the Country Music Hall of Fame. GFN also featured special events including a kick-off party with a silhouette art project by our dear buddy (and TCR alum) Bryce McCloud of Isle of Printing; a screening of “It All Begins With A Song: The Story of the Nashville Songwriter,” the documentary made by our event partners, the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp; and an evening of music by the indefatigable Queen of Outlaw Country, Nikki Lane. Without a doubt, one of the early GFN highlights was the intimate dinner party that Libby co-hosted with her longtime friend, Kerry Diamond, the co-founder of Cherry Bombe. We have the story here, along with amazing photos by Emily Dorio.

Read More

Brett Warren, Fashion Photographer

Brett Warren, Fashion Photographer

I'll stop short of claiming to be Brett Warren’s biggest fan, but only because so many folks are vying for the title and I’m not one to pick fights. As a fashion photographer, Brett is admired for his skill and imagination. As a friend, he’s beloved for his kind and gentle nature and unwavering loyalty. That’s a pretty rare package, especially in the fashion world. This post is an excerpt of a talk I led with him during his exhibit at the downtown gallery, The Art Company. Photos are by Matthew Priestley.

Read More

Mary Mooney, Artist & Jewelry Designer

Mary Mooney, Artist & Jewelry Designer

Mary Mooney is a professional fine artist and an accidental jewelry designer – and she’s very good at both. This chat about process and inspiration was timed to the debut of her 2017 show, Denied Realities, at East Nashville’s Red Arrow Gallery, where she depended on a color palette that was decidedly feminine, and unapologetically ‘80s retro. Photos are by the lovely Chelsea O’Leary.

Read More

Sarah Gavigan, Chef & Owner of Little Octopus & Otaku Ramen

Sarah Gavigan, Chef & Owner of Little Octopus & Otaku Ramen

I run with a group of remarkable and accomplished women who continually impress me with their personal and professional achievements, as well as their generous hearts and open minds. They’re smart, determined, and work very hard to make our community a more hospitable place to live and visit. And they get shit done. This chat with Sarah Gavigan, chef and owner of Otaku Ramen and Little Octopus, explains why she is chief among them. Photos by Andrea Behrends.

Read More

Caroline Allison, Photographer

Caroline Allison, Photographer

Atlanta native Caroline Allison studied at The University of the South, Sewanee and The School at the Art Institute of Chicago before hearing the siren call of New York in 1999. Since her move to Nashville in 2006, Lina’s been busy, shooting commercial and editorial gigs for shelter and lifestyle magazines and creating personal work for solo and group shows across the U.S. This chat with my dear friend (and frequent TCR contributor) is accompanied by photos from Heidi Ross.

Read More

My Space: Vadis Turner's Family Home on Old Hickory Lake

My Space: Vadis Turner's Family Home on Old Hickory Lake

Vadis Turner’s grandparents built their home on Old Hickory Lake in 1968. It has floor-to-ceiling windows, a wide deck that overlooks a pool and, at the bottom of a deep grassy hill, the lake beyond. Inside, it’s a shag carpet and marble wonderland, with a built-in spiral staircase connecting three sprawling stories. It’s marvelous. Vadie gave TCR a tour, and then humored me by dressing up in vintage clothes for a photo session there with Caroline Allison.

Read More

Elise Joseph, Owner of Goodwin

Elise Joseph, Owner of Goodwin

I met Elise Joseph almost ten years ago, when she applied to be my intern when I was working at the Nashville denim company Imogene + Willie. Since then, we’ve become dear friends. I’ve had the pleasure of watching her grow not only her social media empire, but also fulfill a life-long goal of being a shop-owner. Today, Goodwin has a storefront in North Nashville. I spoke to her about her then-work back in 2016; Heidi Ross took amazing photos.

Read More

John Donovan, Artist & Owner of Tenure Ceramics

John Donovan, Artist & Owner of Tenure Ceramics

The special sauce that makes Nashville such an interesting place to live and work is the willingness of our creative class to cooperate to make great things happen. Indeed, few of those who find big success in our city’s creative sphere get there alone. It’s all about collaboration. Ceramic artist John Donovan, now a professor at Belmont University, spoke to me about how he came to work with Nashville’s top chefs as the proprietor of Tenure Ceramics. Yve Assad took the awesome process photos.

Read More

My Space: Savannah Yarborough's Studio Apartment

My Space: Savannah Yarborough's Studio Apartment

Savannah Yarborough’s reputation precedes her. I knew her as a cool, talented character long before we ever met. An Alabama native and graduate of London’s Central Saint Martins, she now makes super-luxurious bespoke and made-to-measure leather jackets in her industrial studio in downtown Nashville, Atelier Savas. Until late 2018, she lived in an apartment above her office. I got a tour, while Caroline Allison took photos.

Read More

Gina Binkley & David McClister, Photographers & Artists

Gina Binkley & David McClister, Photographers & Artists

My dear friends Gina Binkley and David McClister are two of the most respected and prolific visual artists I know, in Nashville or anywhere. Married since 1999, both are longtime fixtures on our city’s creative scene. While they are still based in Tennessee, a few years ago they relocated part-time to a former mechanics garage in teeny-tiny El Rito, New Mexico. They talked to me about their decision to head West, and contributed photos to document their new environs.

Read More

Alex Lockwood, Artist & Owner of Elephant Gallery

Alex Lockwood, Artist & Owner of Elephant Gallery

Is it possible to have a crush on a building? Because that’s the way I feel about 1411 Buchanan Street, a cinder-block commercial space that might be described as nondescript were it not home to a dynamic group of artists, designers and creative entrepreneurs. The 1411 crew came together under the stewardship of building owner, artist Alex Lockwood. We chatted about his path to Nashville and his not-so-motley crew of tenants; Andrea Behrends is behind the insanely cool photos.

Read More

Andra Eggleston, Textile Designer & Owner of Electra Eggleston

Andra Eggleston, Textile Designer & Owner of Electra Eggleston

If Andra Eggleston’s last name sounds familiar, you can thank your art history teacher. Her dad is William Eggleston, the iconic Memphis-based photographer who is widely considered to be the father of color photography. Electra Eggleston is a project that the father-daughter team shares, with Andra using Eggleston pere’s sketches to make gorgeous textiles. We go deep here, all the way back to her eccentric childhood, which is totally fascinating. Heidi Ross took the dreamy photos of Andra and her son, Louie.

Read More

Jeanne Dudley Smith, Fashion Designer

Jeanne Dudley Smith, Fashion Designer

My introduction to Nashville style came 30 years ago, courtesy of Jeanne Dudley Smith, also known as “The White Dress Lady.” Jeanne is well known across the South for making custom wedding gowns and dresses for special events like graduations, confirmations, debutante balls and other big occasions that require a white dress, as so many traditional southern milestones do. She designed my deb dress in the late ’80s. We talk about that process, as well as the incredible story of how she built her business. Caroline Allison took photos.

Read More