It’s Not All Hot Chicken

Hey ya’ll, my name is Joe. Welcome to my little East Nashville kitchen.

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First, before we start cooking, a little about myself. I was born, bred and buttered right here in Nashville, Tennessee. My dad was born here, so was my dear sweet Granny, and her dad, too. Last I counted, my Nashville roots dig at least 7 generations into Nashville soil. My wife is a whip-smart, world-traveling Jersey girl and new Nashvillian, and our two cats are from San Fransisco.

I’ve cooked my whole life. As a kid, my mother taught me how to cook the way they do in Alabama. Sweet tea, sweet cornbread, and butter on everything. Some of my fondest and most vivid memories from my Southern childhood are Sunday dinners at my Granny’s house eating pork tenderloin, black eyed peas, turnip greens, beaten biscuits and whatever else she thought to cook up. (It should be noted, though, that in typical Southern Belle fashion Granny wouldn’t ever eat with us. She’d sit at the head of her table with a glass of bourbon on ice, legs crossed, and watch like a hawk to make sure everyone ate at least a little of everything.)

At 14, my first job was flipping burgers at a local fast casual place, then at 16 I started working in the barbecue business. I stayed working in barbecue and southern cuisine (prepping, smoking, grilling, and of course EATING) at various places all the way through college. Nowadays I spend my time mostly writing and playing music, but when my stomach starts to rumble, I get in the kitchen and fix me up somethin’ good.

In this blog, I will share recipes I’ve inherited, recipes I’ve created, recipes I’ve found in my family’s old cookbooks, written on notecards or clipped out of the newspaper, and recipes I’ve found elsewhere and improvised on a little. I’ll share a few tips and tricks that I’ve learned along the way. I’ll share my thoughts on cooking, eating, and sharing food with others. And, most importantly, I’ll share with you the secrets to cooking and eating like a native Nashvillian. It’s not all hot chicken. It’s not all trendy, high-dollar restaurants. It’s not even all barbecue. But it is all delicious.

And there will be, of course, a lot of butter.

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