Sunday, April 15, 2012

Via Rebellion

It's no secret that Eatocracy loves to put some South in its mouth. We dig the panoply of dishes, the sense of living history it brings, the close ties between chefs and farmers and the fact that it plain old tastes like heaven on earth. This also tends to be food for thought - whether it's Hugh Acheson and Paula Deen's philosophical differences, ruminations on the future of Southern food, or meditations on the Southern mindset.

While Josh Habiger and Erik Anderson have done their tours of duty through prestigious kitchens such as Fat Duck, Alinea, Noma and French Laundry, they've found a new home to Nashville. There as co-chefs at The Catbird Seat, the duo's ever-changing seven-course tasting menu takes inspiration from influences as diverse as a Moroccan cookbook, a Pixies song or the memory of a grey day in Copenhagen and takes root in the fresh, abundant produce and ingredients of their adopted South.

Five ways the South is different from the rest of the country

1. Southern Hospitality
"It sounds clich├ęd, but I truly believe that there is a strong sense of pride in hospitality in the South. Being a host here is really viewed as an honor and is taken quite seriously in fact. The lengths people go to, to make sure their guests feel welcome, whether it’s in their home or their restaurant or in their store, is really above and beyond anywhere I have ever been. It’s a part of what makes experiences here so special, and one reason why The Catbird Seat works here."

"One specific thing that we’ve noticed in Nashville is people genuinely want to know you. They want to know about your family, what you do on your off time, what football team you root for. People just want to feel connected to one another in the South more so than in any other part of the country. Overall, Southerners want you to feel comfortable and welcomed in every setting – it’s as simple as that."

2. Local Foods

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