I have some pretty awesome friends in Nashville doing bad ass things, and at the head of that pack are Jesse Goldstein and Vivek Surti, two food-loving Southern gents who invited a handful of friends into their world last week for an Indian brunch with a little sabering action.
That’s right. They handed me a sword. And let me use it. And I didn’t even have to sign a waiver!
I met both of these guys roughly three years ago, shortly after I moved back to Nashville, and it’s been fun to see them both carve their own niches in the food world.
He works for the Nashville Wine Auction by day—hence why you rarely see him without his nose in a glass of vino—and the good news for all of us locals is that he’s really ramping up his VEA offerings with multiple dinners on the docket this fall, starting with a feast at Fifty First Kitchen & Bar on October 11 and another two yet-to-be-announced events in November.
Even better news for those of us in his inner circle: He has to test out his recipes on someone!
Which is how we all came to gather around Jesse’s kitchen last Sunday for a feast of Indian-style hot chicken, paired with fresh-out-of-the-oven biscuits courtesy of Lockeland Table pastry chef Jaime Miller—and, of course, a couple dozen bottles of champagne. And since Vivek is also the founder of Sabrage Society, we opened every last bottle with a sword. Because, why not?
But let’s go back to the venue for a second. Because it. is. stunning.
Jesse left his job at the Loveless Cafe nearly two years ago to start his own company that focuses on consumable branding. He was already killing it with Food Sheriff, but recently took it one step further by opening his own test kitchen, photography studio and co-working space for fellow entrepreneurs of all walks.
He also is the founder of 3st of the Month, which you may have heard me mention a time or two or seven in the past. This monthly, invite-only cocktail club is one of my favorite regular gatherings and the epitome of what I love about this city so much: It’s a town full of creative innovators who aren’t afraid to take risks.
People outside of Nashville have already caught on to Jesse’s genius and influence, as evidenced by KitchenAid jumping on board as appliance sponsor. Would you check out the beauty that ensued?
Hey, KitchenAid, my kitchen could use some updating, too (*wink, wink, nudge, nudge*)!
For my fellow Nashvillians who work from home, do yourself a service and contact Jesse if you’re looking for a co-working option or even a test kitchen for a shoot. Because why wouldn’t you want to be surrounded by awesome people like this?
As for the saber itself, I’ve long wanted to be inducted into Nashville’s own Sabrage Society, and I’m glad I can tick that box now, too.
It’s much easier than I thought, just a simple frontward swiping motion along the neck of the bottle, then pop! Off the cork comes. I’m thinking I might need to purchase a saber to add to my own repertoire of barware, though SVV generally does not let me near sharp objects of any kind.
Even the sole canine contingency—who was there to support his mama Jennifer (not pictured below), whose book Nashville Eats debuts this week—gave the day two paws up.
All in all, there are worse ways to spend a Sunday, and I’m hoping for my invite back for round two. But either way, I’ll be at Vivek’s Nov. 1 pop-up dinner in Nashville next month. Who wants to meet me there?