Happy 50th birthday Southern Living!
I can remember being a little girl and seeing Southern Living sitting on the coffee table or in the kitchen at both my mom and grandma's house. It truly is a guide on living in the south. Whether it's a new coffee cake recipe or learning how to stretch your green thumb into the fall months, this publication has it all.
You can imagine how delighted I was when I heard they were celebrating their 50th birthday in Nashville. 50- That's a big one to celebrate! The four-day celebration kicked off Friday, September 1st with home and food tours throughout the city and will conclude on Monday, September 4th with a blues brunch at Acme Feed and Seed (tickets are still available- check it out!) There were so many events that caught my eye, but one captured my heart: Hot Chicken and Craft Beer. Both are quintessential Nashville.
The event kicked off with opening remarks from Sid Evans, Editor and Chief of Southern Living as well as Andre Prince Jeffries of Prince's Hot Chicken and Christian Spears of Tennessee Brew Works. Mrs. Jeffries shared the evolution of hot chicken. We've all heard the quote: "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" and this could not be truer. No one is exactly certain of what kept Thorton Prince out into the wee hours of the night but rather than have an argument, his wife decided she would use his love of fried chicken to get revenge. She got in the kitchen and concocted a blend of peppers and spices that would even make the devil cry. She served up some of this fried chicken to Thorton and instead of being brought to tears, he couldn't get enough and asked for seconds! That my friends is how this legendary Nashville staple was born.
Confessions of a Nashville native- I have never had Prince's Hot Chicken. It's almost un-American! It was time to nip that in the bud. I started the tasting by having a little bit of Nashville history. DAMN. Why had I not gone there before? Simple, perfect and HOT. Even though this was the medium... not sure if I got a piece that soaked for a while or what, but tears were rolling down my face. So much so, the editor came over after the panel was over and checked on me. Clearly, I screamed "NOVICE." Didn't stop me though, I went back at least two more times... delicious!
In addition to Prince's, Hattie B's, Party Fowl, Acme Feed and Seed and Scoreboard Bar and Grill served up some of the finest hot chicken Nashville has to offer. From hot chicken tacos to hot chicken and stuffed french toast, there was something there to heat up your taste buds.
So now that I have doted on the hot chicken, it's time to show a little love to the craft beer. Anyone that knows me, knows that I adore craft beer. There isn't a beer festival I wouldn't attend or a beer that I wouldn't try. Samples were overflowing from Jackalope, Tailgate Beer and Fat Bottom Brewing, but there was one that I could not get enough of: Wildwood Flower from Tennessee Brew Works. This blonde Belgian style ale was made especially for Southern Living's 50th birthday celebration and paired perfectly with the hot chicken. The Wildflower and Sourwood honey flavor permeated throughout each sip. For all of you locals, stop by and check out Tennessee Brew Work and meet their new master brewer, Matt Simpson. He is making some ridiculously great beer.
Southern Living, thank you for celebrating your 50th birthday in Nashville, Tennessee. I am officially in a food coma and cannot wait to celebrate 50 more!