When Aundrea Goodwin was five years old, her grandmother plopped her into a kitchen chair by the stove, put a spatula in her tiny hand, and taught her how to scramble eggs. This was Ms. Goodwin’s first introduction to cooking, and she hasn’t slowed down since. For the inveterate chef, food isn’t merely the high point of every celebration, but often its raison d'être. To that end, Ms. Goodwin meticulously arranges lavish spreads for gatherings that range from elaborate weddings to jousting matches between the groom and father of the bride.
Although Ms. Goodwin’s recipe book is bursting with notes, her kitchen cupboards are bare. Rather than stockpiling ingredients, she buys a slew of fresh ones for each client’s event. “You’re never gonna find us going into the freezer and pulling out something we’ve had for even a week,” says Ms. Goodwin, whose catering company offers no pre-set menus. Instead, she bases meals on in-depth consultations with clients where they discuss their budget, favorite foods, and event themes.
In addition to catering, Ms. Goodwin shares her culinary expertise with aspiring chefs of all ages during cooking classes. Like her catered events, classes are highly personalized: customers can opt to cook in the comfort of their own homes or at Joyful Provisions’ demo kitchen, where small classes gather around a six-burner gas stove or recently fired cannon for private, in-depth lessons.
Delicious Day's talented owners and sandwichsmiths craft a diverse menu of healthy sandwiches inspired by flavors from around the globe. The mediterranean chicken-salad sandwich slathers chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, and peppers in a feta-cheese dressing, and the jalapeño-turkey BLT corals oven-roasted turkey, smoked bacon, and pepper jack cheese between slices of jalapeño bread for a rodeo of flavors that’s spicier than a Tabasco-themed cabaret show. To create the seafood-salad sandwich, chefs toss shrimp and Alaskan crab in an ocean of seasoned mayo before mooring it betwixt bread. Simple sandwiches brim with Angus roast beef, sausage with peppers and onions, or peanut butter and jelly, each boasting bookends of white or wheat bread or a sandwich roll. Guests can also ensconce any simple sandwich in cranberry-pecan bread or jalapeño bread at an additional cost. Wash down bites with an array of drinks and munch on chips to loudly send a message to potato neighbors who refuse to mow their lawn.
The Marble Slab Creamery sensory experience begins by just walking past the storefront, where the buttery scent of fresh-baked waffle cones drifts out into the air. Gourmet ice creams are freshly crafted on site from Marble Slab’s original recipe, enticing customers’ eyes with a rainbow of colours. Once clients have made a flavour selection, they choose from a smorgasbord of mix-ins, from fresh fruit to nuts to candy and crumbled cookies, which an ice cream chef then hand-folds in atop a frosty marble slab before packing the finished custom-designed flavour masterpiece into a house-made waffle cone.
In addition to procuring handheld treats, Marble Slab Creamery can send creations home in a variety of other formats, such as ice cream cakes, cupcakes, and hand-packed half-litres, or in the capable hands of a catering team for sprucing up special events such as corporate get-togethers or school functions with portable marble slabs or sundae bars in tow.
Tucked into a historic home replete with an art center and retail space filled with organic and locally produced products, Center of Symmetry’s trained wellness workers provide holistic health services. The center’s certified hydrotherapists purge clogged passageways with FDA-approved colon-hydrotherapy sessions, and licensed massage therapists work to assuage tension with a variety of massage techniques, including Swedish and reflexology—pressure applied to the hands and feet to help stimulate organs and improve health. Doctor of Chiropractic Jermaine Ware, the center’s onsite chiropractor, straightens out spines and provides life coaching and nutritional counseling.
Live music fills the air every night in Sambuca 360's futuristic lounge space, urging hips to sway with strains of everything from acoustic rock to high-energy dance music. The food is equally energetic—chefs craft globally influenced entrees and small plates such as lobster enchiladas in a poblano cream sauce and tempura-fried buca beignets stuffed with mozzarella and prosciutto. Mixologists craft more than 30 creative cocktails—many of which are designed with low-calorie diets in mind—at a glowing, saffron-colored bar that touches the stage, allowing revelers to sip an agave-nectar margarita or mango-peach martini between cheered requests for the band to play a favorite tune or play in a favorite guitar tuning.
In many people's minds, wine is the rich, monocle-wearing snob of the food world who occasionally wanders in to yell at the Three Stooges. Today's deal calls wine down from its lofty aerie to perch gently on your extended pinkie. For $25, you'll get a fun, educational evening of wine tasting with the Saucy Sisters at the Professional Bartending School of Nashville for $25 (a $45 value). This seminar takes place once a month, and the next one is scheduled for Thursday, January 14, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. (more will be added based on demand). You have to be 21 or older to attend, or 147 if you're a dog with impeccable taste. Call ahead to reserve your spot.