I was fairly certain that we had put the BMR Sunday Supper to bed. But, admittedly, I had always hoped someone would come around with a good enough reason for me to strike up the band once more. Virginia Willis has done just that. She's ignited a spark and I'm kind of beside myself that we get to have one more pow-wow.
I first met Virginia god knows where but I know for certain food was involved and we were likely knee deep in it. Immediately, I felt a kinship for her. She's easy to love upon first site. She's honest, affable, a great chef and one of the nicest people with good stories (my favorite kind of nice people) you may ever meet. I've put her proper and official bio down below - and, you should read it - but, all I want to say is that I just like her a whole bunch. I enjoy the way she speaks of food. I enjoy the way she cooks it. She speaks of simple southern cookery without 1. deflating it to a big-haired caricature of itself or 2. aggrandizing to a status that makes people feel all of a sudden disconnected from it. She talks about it because it's her food. It's our food. And it's that plain.
When she contacted me to tell me she was coming to Nashville to talk about her book and maybe offer some classes centered around her book signing, we agreed almost immediately that this was one of the finest reasons to reengage in a Buttermilk Road Sunday Supper.
I wouldn't go as far as to say that good people are hard to find - I seem to be pretty phenomenally gifted at bumping into some of the best folks on this planet (they make the nasty ones you meet so much more palatable and forgettable). But, in Ms. Willis, I feel quite lucky to have stumbled upon such a gem of a person and am so glad that I get to share her with some of you fine Nashville folks in the way of a meal together.
In addition to our Sunday Supper, Virginia will be hosting a chef's demo, market lunch and book signing at our very own Nashville Farmer's Market on Saturday, July 11 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.. Details are here!
Courtesy of the ever gracious Matt Bolus, we'll be taking over the 404Kitchen on Sunday, July 12th. We will follow the traditional BMR style with a cocktail hour between 630pm-730pm and we'll sit down to a family style meal together with wine pairings from the incredible Robin Riddell Jones of Raising the Glass (if you missed her series of wine classes, you should do everything in your power to make the next series - truly inspired!). Parnassus will be on hand to offer you a glimpse of and a chance to purchase (and have signed) a copy of Virginia's book after our meal. Also, key words: Belle Meade Bourbon, Peach Truck Peaches, Crema Coffee.. I feel like all I have to do is show up and pretend to stir something since those jokers make it so easy.
The variation of this dinner is that we'll be cooking a whole meal from Virginia's aforementioned new book Lighten Up Y'all. You can find the menu below.
For those of you that may be new to BMR, you can reserve your seats by hitting the RESERVE YOUR SEATS HERE link after the menu. You will be directed to the BMR paypal account. You will, then, receive a confirmation or a refund (our max seat capacity is 40 and we typically fill up within a couple of days, if not immediately) within 24-48hours.
So, without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, a Buttermilk Road Sunday Supper w. Virginia Willis.
BMR and Belle Meade Bourbon Punch
Smokey Eggplant Dip w. Benne Seed Saltines
Lisa's Biscuits w. Benton's Ham and Pickled Summer Peaches
Family Style Service/Main Course
(wines chosen by RRJ/Raising the Glass)
Peach and Tomato Gazpacho
Field Pea and Bean Salad
Bourbon Grilled Heritage Pork Loin w. Peach BBQ Sauce
Sauteed Green Beans w. Summer Corn
Lisa's Yeast Rolls
Crema Coffee Service
Brown Sugar Shortcakes w. Summer Strawberries and Cruze's Buttermilk Cream
TO RESERVE A SEAT: We have to keep reservations tight at 40 people as the 404Kitchen is not suited for many more bodies than that. The prix fixe amount for this evening with multiple cocktail offerings, a wine pairing, heavy appetizers and three courses is $85 per person. Once you donate, you will receive an email from us confirming your seat and filling you in on further information. You will find the reservation button on the bottom of this post below the menu.
Grab yourself a seat and we'll see you at the table!
THIS EVENT IS FULLY BOOKED! THANKS GUYS!
You can find out more about Virginia here and below. She's good to know, y'all. She's good to know.
About Virginia Willis
Georgia-born French-trained Chef Virginia Willis has cooked Lapin Normandie with Julia Child in France, prepared lunch for President Clinton, catered a bowling party for Jane Fonda, and harvested capers in the shadow of a smoldering volcano in Sicily -- but it all started in her grandmother’s country kitchen.
As a popular Southern food authority and writer, Virginia is the author of five cookbooks, including: Bon Appétit, Y’all and Lighten Up, Y'all. She is the blogger for Down-Home Comfort on FoodNetwork.com. Named by the Chicago Tribune as one of "Seven Food Writers You Need to Know,” her fans love her knack for giving classic French dishes a down-home comfort feel and reimagining Southern favorites.
She's a contributing editor for Southern Living and writes for Eating Well, Fine Cooking, and All Recipes. She has been featured in Country Living, House Beautiful, and USA Today. Learn more about Virginia and follow her traveling exploits at www.virginiawillis.com.