Chef Fleer and Friends Cooking Dinner to Benefit Nashville Food Project


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In July 2010, local real estate agent and hub of the Southern food community Thomas Williams hastily organized a spectacular benefit dinner featuring a who's who of Southern chefs. Cooking for an overflow house at the Cannery Ballroom, they raised money for Nashville charities Mobile Loaves and Fishes and the Community Resource Center, which helped sustain victims and volunteers after the devastating May flood.

In addition to an incredible meal, Thomas also tapped his foodie and chef friends for a silent and a live auction filled with one-of-a-kind dining experiences. The event raised a boatload of money for Nashville at exactly the time when boats and money were needed. The final tally was near $72,000.

Now Mobile Loaves and Fishes has morphed into the Nashville Food Project, an organization that I was lucky enough to spend an afternoon in the kitchen with earlier this spring. Williams is on the board of the Nashville Food Project and has agreed to work his networking magic to put together another fundraising event for the organization, which will be called Nourish.

The dinner will be held at the Nashville Farmers' Market on June 19 starting at 6 p.m. and ending whenever the last biscuit has been buttered. Then you need to seek out the after-party. John Fleer of Canyon Kitchen at Lonesome Valley in Cashiers, N.C. will return to work his magic in the kitchen for Nourish. I still dream about the buttermilk-glazed Sunburst Trout that Chef Fleer served at Thomas' first dinner.

He'll be joined by Ryan Smith of Empire State South in Atlanta, Tandra Watkins of Ashley's at the Capital Hotel in Little Rock, Ark., and Taylor Ricketts of the Delta Grill in Greenwood, Miss. Tickets for the dinner cost $160 and are available here.

I know I tell y'all all the time that you don't want to miss this dinner. But this time, this boy is not crying wolf. You do not want to miss this dinner! I've eaten Chef Smith and Chef Fleer's food, and they are among the best in the region. Every time I've taken Thomas' word on a chef I have been delighted, so I'm personally fired the heck up to try out the wares of chefs Watkins and Ricketts, so trust me and trust Thomas.

Be there!


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