For the last two years, The Callaway - aka the communications agency I run in Nashville - has been working on a big project. In October, it finally came to fruition.
That month, half of my team 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 I co-hosted with my longtime friend, Kerry Diamond, the co-founder of Cherry Bombe.
Through their bi-annual magazine and series of nation-wide educational events, Cherry Bombe celebrates women everywhere doing important work in the world of food. With that in mind, The Callaway invited four female leaders of the Nashville food scene – Chef Julia Sullivan and Allie Poindexter of Henrietta Red, Chef Julia Jaksic of Café Roze, and Chef Lokelani Alabanza of Hattie Jane’s Creamery - to come to Brooklyn to collaborate with Chef Christina Lecki, the executive chef of Reynard, the Wythe’s amazing in-house restaurant. For the menu, the visiting chefs served signature dishes from their Nashville repertoire. Their menu is reprinted below.
The guest list was a mix of creative women in food, design, art and journalism from both New York and Nashville, including textile designer Andra Eggleston (yet another TCR alum!), who made gorgeous gift bags to hold a suite of products from Erno Laszlo, our event partner, and fashion designer Sophie Simmons, who delighted guests with the gift of a romper from her soon-to-launch company’s collection of lovely underpinnings. The table was all kinds of gorgeous, featuring bright floral arrangements displayed in vessels by GFN vendors Salt Ceramics and Blevins Ceramics.
The hometown mix also included celebrated author and poet Caroline Randall Williams, who read from Lucy Negro Redux - and brought the house down. The book, which is a reimagining of the love life of William Shakespeare and the “Dark Lady” who inspired some of his writing, has struck such a chord that it’s taken on a second life. This winter, Williams is taking it to the stage, with a spoken word performance supported by music and dance written and performed by Rhiannon Giddens of the Carolina Chocolate Drops and the Nashville Ballet, respectively. You can find out more and get tickets to the February performances here.
It was a fabulous evening – and Emily Dorio’s photos do a wonderful job of capturing the physical beauty of the space and table and the psychic camaraderie that was felt by everyone around the table. For more coverage of the party, check out Issue 12 of Cherry Bombe, which includes a story about our dinner.
Big, big thanks to everyone involved!
Greetings From Nashville Dinner
Date: Tuesday, October 8
Setting: The private patio and dining room at Reynard, in the Wythe Hotel
Hosts: Libby Callaway & Kerry Diamond
In the kitchen: Chef Christina Lecki of Reynard; Chef Lokelani Alabanza of Hattie Jane’s Creamery; Chef Julia Jaksic of Cafe Roze; and Chef Julia Sullivan of Henrietta Red. The signature passed cocktail and wine pairings were coordinated by Allie Poindexter of Henrietta Red.
At the table: Sophie Simmons, Andra Eggleston, Laura Ferrara, Romily Newman, Caroline Randall Williams, Julia Sherman, Lela Ilyinsky, Christene Muhlke, Athena Calderone, Jennifer V. Cole, Julia Joern, Danica Lo, Honora Dunham, Kate Atkinson, Jessica Dunham and Jourdan Stone