The man in the big hat is trying to lure the Food Network to Nashville. Jack Cawthon, the good guy in the black hat behind Jack's Bar-B-Que, says he has been going to the Apple store to learn to use iMovie, and he's gotten "good enough" to launch a few clips on YouTube. This winter he posted an 8-minute travelogue (complete with bloopers), of himself cruising Lower Broad, the Times Square of Music City. In the intro, Cawthon makes a hospitable shout-out to the Food Network, inviting them to Nashville.
"What you got cookin', Food Network? How 'bout cooking something up with me down here in Nashville, TN, on Lower Broad at Jack's Bar-B-Que," Cawthon drawls in the opening lines of the video.
A longtime downtown tourism booster who recently headed up the downtown holiday decoration contest, Cawthon says he just threw the video out there for the heck of it. Ideally, he says, Food Network will pick up the challenge and send someone to check out his 15-year-old landmark restaurant with neon pigs flying over Lower Broad--maybe Bobby Flay or "that real cool guy with the punked-out hair." So far he hasn't received an R.S.V.P.
"If they ever do come," Cawthon says, "I've got an ideal kitchen upstairs in my store that backs up to the Ryman. I've always envisioned if they come we could cook around the pit. It would make a real good scene."
In the current spirit of petitioning, if you want to second Jack's invitation to the Food Network, chime in below. Better yet, if you have a direct line to Bob Tuschman, senior vice president of programming at the Food Network--where employee email addresses follow the formula of first initial plus last name at foodnetwork dot com--you might put a bug in his ear.