M Street Chef Week: Expanding Palates/Palettes

Art (ärt) n. The conscious use of the imagination in the production of objects intended to be contemplated or appreciated as beautiful, as in the arrangement of forms, sounds, or words.

This past week, artists of all kinds gathered together to debut M Street’s first ever Chef Week. From our Executive Chefs to professional pinstripers and foreign fashion designers, attendees of last week’s event experienced a convergence of art from a variety of avenues. In case you missed out (or simply would like to relive the incredible events), open your mind and cleanse your palate as we take you on a journey through the inaugural M Street Chef Week.

Monday, 10/17: M Street Artist Alliance member, friend and innovative visual artist Nathan Brown painted special-edition, geometric-inspired, growlers to adorn the bar at Tavern Midtown. His penchant for color and sharp lines brightened Tavern’s hearth. Meanwhile, wafting from the kitchen were hearty aromas of Chef Jay’s new fall dishes. A fan favorite quickly became the Gojujang Dusted Duck Wings. In a similar light, Chef Shane Midnight of Whiskey Kitchen proudly unveiled his fall menu enhancements. The Hot Chicken Sandwich blends the perfect mix of spice and savory. The talented Brian Wooden simultaneously began painting a seductive and mysterious mural on the exterior wall of Whiskey Kitchen just around the corner. Brian began with a wheat-pasted portrait of a strong, confident, and visually stunning woman. He then took to completing his largest mural to-date by overlaying the signature grungy flair that has made him a household name in Nashville over the last year.

Tuesday, 10/18: Moto’s Ivy Room transformed into a colorful canvas for an especially decadent banquet where tables stood adorned with savory dishes, flowing wine, and the laughter and cheer of old and new friends sharing an evening of inspiration and sensation. Artist Brandon Donahue painted bottles of wine in shimmering shades of yellow, red, and purple. Meanwhile, local artisan Patrick Hayes (founder of 1767 Designs) decorated the room with his handcrafted woodwork pieces. Chef de Cuisine Luke Senderling featured his new menu items, incorporating authentic Italian cuisine with a modern twist to delight the taste buds of the curated guest-list comprised mostly of fellow artists and Nashville tastemakers.

Wednesday, 10/19: After a week of collaboration between artists Nathan Brown and Derrick Castle, the Saint Anejo faithful were amped to showcase their mural painted on the wall of the newly-extended Tequila Library. Flames, skulls, and a hint of rock n’ roll – this mural truly epitomizes the essence of Saint Anejo. Downstairs, Executive Chef Jason showcased a few of his new menu items, said to be inspired by his coworkers and kitchen family. His fresh Mexican Ramen dish warms the soul while Bar Manager Sarah Jerdon's unique Mexican Bushwacker tantalizes the tongue with a sweet cinnamon tingle.

Thursday, 10/20: Perhaps the most colorful day of Chef Week was day four. Pinstriping master Igor Acord and Virago's Executive Chef Andrew Whitney came together to create an interactive sushi dinner and sake pairing. Hailing from Virginia Beach, this is not the first time Igor has graced M Street with his presence. Igor was also part of both M Street's previous Art Goes Alternative installations. Together, Igor, Andrew, and Sushi Chef Himmi wowed the crowd with their fresh selections, artful sauces and vivid imaginations. Igor presented a fire-breathing dragon made of edible sauces. We might add that this mythical reptile blew real smoke from its nostrils to infuse vivid visual flavor as guests Matthew & Juliette Schultz (Cage the Elephant), Jon & Angelique Pittman (Native Nashville), Vivek Surti (VEA Supper Club), Chris Hyndman (M Street Founder & CEO) and others dined amidst feelings of amazement and delicious delight. Virago’s talented Sous Chefs Chloe and Nicole created a bonsai tree ornamented with cherry blossom macarons acting as a sweet nightcap to put the finishing touches on Virago’s Chef Week punctuation.

Friday and Saturday, 10/21-10/22: Both Friday and Saturday at Kayne Prime can be summed in two simple words: Filet + Fashion. Our servers, bartenders, and managers wore one-of-a-kind blazers and vests custom created and tailored by Swedish fashion designer Denise Roxenstone. Each clothing item possessed its very own unique panache. Stripes, tassels, camouflage and everything in between, these wearable works of art provided Tennessee's top steakhouse a florescent flair that shined bright in the sultry light of the vivid night. Executive Chef Robert Grace's style could not be contained by kitchen walls as his fall dishes made a silent splash on guests' plates and ultimately their palates, too. The Duck Confit Bahn Mi buns popped with an unexpected (Asian) flair and his Venison Rack was as smooth as butter. Pastry Chef Nasera showcased her very own masterpiece, the Autumn Spice Cake. Biting into this sweet treat, we could not help but feel fall flavors as they tickled each and every one of our taste buds.

The very first Chef Week on M Street has now come to a close. The debut class of Artist Alliance talent has put down their brushes, needles, and culinary tools, if only momentarily. In just a few short months, as spring returns amidst a season of fresh flavor, M Street will once again delight its loyal fans and first-time guests alike. We will be ready and waiting, impatiently, for you to join. See you there.