Foodie Friday

Foodie Friday: Italian Cooking and New Music from Kayla Calabrese

Foodie Friday: Italian Cooking and New Music from Kayla Calabrese

Good Afternoon Kayla! Thank you so much for talking with Battered and Brewed! Your last name is a definite giveaway foodie wise: Italian! 

haha yes! My name is a dead giveaway!! 

Are you from a family of great Italian cooks? How did you get interested in cooking and food?

My mom and grandma are AMAZING cooks! I always loved helping my mom in the kitchen growing up, so I guess that’s what got me interested in cooking and baking! 

What are some of the family recipes you grew up with?

Homemade sauce (or gravy) haha. My mom always made homemade meatballs and lasagna, which are still my favorites today! Obviously there were the traditional Italian dishes of spaghetti, manicotti, and stuffed shells! We actually had a small table at my grandparents’ house that was deemed “The Spaghetti Table.” 

Was there ever music playing in the kitchen growing up?

Actually no! I wish there had been though! 

If you had to create a cooking playlist what would it be?

Currently, whenever I am cooking, I have the soundtrack to the Broadway musical ‘Waitress’ playing, because it is all about baking and it’s my favorite musical right now! As far as playlists go it would have to include some of my favorite artists: Sara Bareilles, Brandi Carlile, Idina Menzel, Carrie Underwood, and Martina McBride. 

Do you like to cook at home, or prefer to eat out? 

I actually enjoy both equally; it just depends on what the day has in store for me.

@kaylacmusic A little wine and truffles before bed 🙂 #tempur #germantown #nashville

When you are not cooking where do you like go to eat?

I like to try different restaurants, especially finding good Italian food in Nashville, it’s always an adventure. I love Virago and Bella Napoli here in Nashville. 

Is there one food you love so much you just order it again and again?


What’s your favorite ingredient to cook with?

I love garlic! Surprise, surprise! I also love Rosemary. 

What food is your food vice? You know, one you sneak in a little extra of when no one is looking.

Ice Cream! 

What is the weirdest thing you’ve eaten?

I am not a very adventurous eater, but I used to work at a seafood restaurant in New Jersey, so I have tried just about everything, including shark and raw oysters. (I am not a seafood fan, so this was huge for me) haha!

So you’re hosting your own dinner party at home. What knock-out dish are you going to prepare?

Definitely homemade sauce and lasagna, who doesn’t like lasagna?!

You’re stranded on a deserted island for a month. Which three foods would be there (magically!) for you?

Ice Cream, Pineapple, and probably pizza! (They sound gross written out in the same sentence!)

Which four things are always in your home refrigerator?

Water, fruit, milk (for my coffee), and eggs. 

@kaylacmusic Meals prepped for the week!

How does food play a part when touring or being in new places? 

I am not super adventurous, but I always like to ask what restaurants are the local’s favorites! I love trying new places 🙂 

What’s the most memorable meal you have had being on tour?

I forget what city I was in, but it was this killer BBQ place where the servers just kept bringing you sides served on metal trash can lids! 

Do you have a favorite wine?

I love Riesling. I’m more of a sweet wine person! 

@kaylacmusic I watch the bachelor classy or I don’t watch it at all #wine #dontjudge #couldyouliveinarlington

Aside from your passion for food and music, what’s the one thing that really keeps you ticking?

I love working out, it keeps me sane! I literally get in a bad mood if I cannot get to the gym when I am planning on going. 

If you designed your own walking food tour of Jersey or Nashville, which restaurants/food sellers would be on your list of places to visit?

Oh wow!! Hmmm in NJ: Sand Castle Diner (its right around the corner from my house!), Pisces Seafood (the restaurant I used to waitress at), Schiano’s Pizzeria, Xina’s, and Il Giardinello. As far as Nashville goes: Biscuit Love, the Southern, Virago, Holland House, The Pharmacy, and Bella Napoli!

Finally for Battered and Brewed, if you could have a drink with anyone, who would it be and what would you drink?

I would probably have a drink with Idina Menzel and I would literally drink ANYTHING if I could sit and have a conversation with her! haha I would NEED lots of wine. 


Undoubtedly leaving crowds with lasting impressions, Kayla Calabrese’s confident breathy vocals will leave fans empowered and confident to conquer life’s many challenges with her new summer single, Me Time. This song is going for radio adds today (Monday, April 10th) and stations can download the song on PlayMPE. Country fans can go to iTunes and all digital platforms to download their copy.

 This robust tune follows Calabrese’s previous Music Row charting singles — Give (#47) and Happily Never After (#43) — and kicks off a powerful next chapter in her growing story. Written by hit writers Steve Dorff (Dolly Parton, Clay Walker, Kenny Rogers, Tanya Tucker, etc) and Frank Myers (Chris Young, Lonestar, John Michael Montgomery, Crystal Gayle, etc), Me Time was produced by renowned Jimmy Nichols. The official lyric video is already released and can be seen on her website.

 With an imposingly deep and full voice, by nature, this song attracts listeners through its honest and raw lyrics. “It’s an up-beat anthem for anyone who’s ever needed some time away from the grind of daily life,” says Calabrese. “I believe that sometimes as an artist, we tend to put so many unneeded pressures on us to finish a song or a chorus – and in a timeframe. Relaxing and stepping away from it all can clear my head and I can just breathe and think. In doing so, I process my work better and am inspired on a very random and regular care-free day.”

About Kayla Calabrese:

With her Jersey-girl attitude and romantic Italian soul, this sonorous-voiced beauty brings her own edgy flair to the country music scene. This down-to-earth artist has a sassy edge that shines through her lyrics, stage presence, and fresh demeanor. Her bold vocals and effortlessly long-held notes exude confidence and were born for stardom. Naturally drawn to be a musician, Calabrese shyly started out by singing into her hairbrush as a child. Upon moving to Nashville, Calabrese was enrolled into Nursing School at Belmont University, when she decided to simultaneously pursue her lifelong dream of starting a music career. She recorded her first project which produced her debut single Kiss Me with Grammy-nominated music producer Kent Wells, best known for producing Dolly Parton. With experience under her belt after releasing a few singles to country radio, garnering great reviews from media publications and industry critics, she has taken part in CMA Music Festival performing and signing autographs for fans as well as Country Radio Seminar where she did numerous press interviews.

Thanks for checking out this article! To read more great content on food, brews, reviews, and music, please visit our interview section. If you are a artist and/or food blogger and would like to share your culinary knowledge with our audience, feel free to let us know by dropping us a line via

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  1. Beth

    May 19, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    Where’s my invite for your dinner party? Love you❤️

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