Each year, the wine scene in Nashville continues to expand and flourish, and a big part of that is due to the efforts of those behind The Nashville Wine Auction. With a mission to raise funds to prevent and treat cancer through wine-centric events, they’ve truly been able to bring people together through their shared interests in food and wine as well as a philanthropic spirit.
One of the most special gatherings in their roster are the Vintner dinners held in private homes throughout the city. Patrons enjoy a perfectly curated evening of wine and food pairings along with incredible conversation with individuals who have a true passion for learning and sharing.
Our team was recently invited to attend such an evening, where Brett and Natalie deLeuze of Napa Valley’s ZD Wines brought a few of their best bottles for a dinner at the Green Hills home of Rahel Klapheke Sloan and Jim Sloan. It was a night of casual elegance, where fine china displayed comfort food favorites from Chef Matt Bolus of 404 Kitchen. The evening was kicked off with a Champagne sabering on the Sloan’s back patio followed by mingling during cocktail hour before the main event. The dinner was filled with sparkling crystal goblets, gorgeous flowers and lively conversation.
Along with special wine selections, dinner guests enjoyed an array of traditional southern dishes generously prepared by event volunteer, Matt and 404 Kitchen’s Harrison Hilley. Matt reports that he’s proud to be involved in such a creative project for such a cause as he’s preparing the feast in the open kitchen while guests mingle around asking all kinds of “foodie” questions until being seated for dinner. Overall, it is an evening of celebrating and giving back, two things that always pair well in Music City.
“I love working with the Nashville Wine Auction! Love it! To be able to pursue and express my passion for people who are as generous as the Wine Auction members are, is just an absolute blessing! I am able to simultaneously cook for those who love food and help to raise money for a cause we are all afflicted by. I don’t know a single person who isn’t directly involved with someone who is fighting cancer, who has lost someone to cancer or who is celebrating the beating of this horrific disease. We hear something about it almost every single day, and I hate that. To know that I can use my given talent to help raise money for research to find a cure is one of the most fulfilling emotions, and I will never say no to helping this amazing cause.”
– Chef Matt Bolus
Matt’s Fried Chicken
- Chicken – 1 whole bird
- Salt – 3/4 cup
- Sugar – 2/3 cup
- Water – 1 gallon
- Buttermilk – 2 cups
- Flour – 2 cups
- Salt – 2 Tbsp
- Black Pepper – 2 Tbsp
Method of Production:
- Remove the backbone of the chicken and cut it in half directly through the breast bone.
- Dissolve the 3/4 cup of salt and 2/3 cup of sugar in 1 gallon of water. Put the two halves of the chicken in the brine and weigh it down with a plate to keep the chicken completely submerged. Refrigerate overnight.
- Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry. Ideally cook it on a Big Green Egg with red or white oak at 205 degrees F until the leg reads 168 degrees. Alternatively cook the chicken in the oven a 205 F until the thigh reads 168 F.
- Remove the chicken from the Egg or the oven. Allow to cool slightly and then soak the chicken in the buttermilk.
- Dredge the chicken in the flour/salt/black pepper mixture and fry it at 350 F until crispy.
- I like to enjoy this dish with a number of dipping sauces that include honey mustard, ranch dressing, and Franks Hot Sauce…