If you aren’t familiar with the Music City Food & Wine Festival, you might want to put it on your calendar for next year. Who doesn’t enjoy a day of food, wine and music! Lockeland Table was there. And even though it was all about preparing “just a bite” for guests, what went into that process may just surprise you.
In thinking through what we would serve to our guests, we decided on a Bear Creek Farm grilled skirt steak with our famous Chimichurri (which I have now been making for over 22 years!) as a side dish. When you only have one bite to capture someone’s attention, this recipe is definitely a good choice. Oh, and we also pickled some fresh garden tomatoes.
The day before the event we went over to our friend Kevin’s house. Kevin Baggett is a local East Nashville farmer. Cara, Kat and I picked about 550 cherry tomatoes. We immediately came back here to the restaurant, cut them all in half and pickled them.
The dish was a slice of the skirt steak, along with a little Chimichurri, and a half of a pickled tomato. We were thrilled to see that it was a big hit. Not only was the dish pleasing to the eye, it was also pleasing to the taste buds.
We were delighted by the many compliments people gave Lockeland Table when they came to our area at the festival. From great experiences at the restaurant, to past wine dinners, and even the Dinner Lab I did months ago. People were saying how they enjoyed that one more than others over the past year. That was very humbling and exciting to hear.
When you get out into the community, and put yourself out there like that, you do get a chance to smell the roses a little bit and graciously receive some accolades that you don’t necessarily need, but do appreciate. It’s nice to hear people tell you personally that they like your restaurant.
We had some newbies come through, too! One girl specifically sticks out in my mind.
She was so enthusiastic when she said, “Oh, my goodness, what did I just eat?” So I stopped and explained what was going on. “That’s my first Chimichurri,” she said.
I responded, “Well, I’ve got some bad news for you, you’ve just had the best Chimichurri as your first experience.” To which she replied,
“You mean I’ve already peaked?” I warned her that every other Chimichurri from here on out will be worse.
People at the media tent were also saying that Lockeland was their favorite, which brought even more people our way. We served 1,300 bites of food that day. I went with 1,200 serving vessels and had to borrow another 100 from Kayne Prime. So we were busy, but it was a fun day.
Afterwards, I got to go to the Harvest Dinner with my wife where 15 guest chefs were doing a bite of food for us to taste. Morimoto, Frank Stitt, Aarón Sánchez, our great friends from Memphis, Andrew and Michael, Sean Brock, Tim Love and more.
The music started around 9pm, opening with the Kings of Leon covering one of my favorite Alabama Songs, Dixieland Delight. The whole concert wound up being talented musicians mostly doing classic country covers. Such a nice night!
At the end of the day, we were feeling great! We’d accomplished what we set out to do. Now, our goal is to continue to do our best to stay in the category of esteemed restaurants.
Come by and see us. If you haven’t made your reservation yet for this weekend, Wednesday is the day to do it. Hope to see all of you soon!
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