Thank you so much for chatting with Battered and Brewed! Your instagram definitely reveals your love for food as well as your passion for music and dance!
When and how did your passion for food and dance start?
Music was a massive part of my upbringing—my dad was always singing, and I was raised in a very musical household. Dance and theatre were a natural transition from that. I started in ballet because I, as a classic younger sibling, wanted to be just like my older sister—dance didn’t stick with her but it stuck with me, and I classically trained until I moved here to Nashville. I grew up in a small town in Connecticut and was incredibly lucky to live about a 45-minute train ride from New York, which is such an epicenter for the arts, food, and culture.
Who first taught you to cook?
While no one taught me to cook, per se, my mother certainly inspired me to learn!
Do you have a signature dish you love to make for friends and family?
There are a few go-to recipes I keep around for sure, both of which I took from my mother. The first is the easiest pasta in the world (spinach and leeks sautéed in cream with parmesan) that I got especially hooked on in college since it’s only about three ingredients. I’m also a pescatarian (I eat seafood and fish, but not meat), so it’s a perfect crowd-pleaser.
My other staple recipe is for chocolate chip scones. My mother made them for every birthday and every event and they 100% taste like home.
If you could get on a plane tomorrow and travel to any destination just for its food, where would it be?
I’m tempted to say Paris, which is where I ate the best food I’ve ever had in my entire life, but I would want to try somewhere new…Italy, if I’m being honest with myself. There is nothing better than a good pasta and a good wine.
Which is your favorite Nashville restaurant? What is the one dish you always order when you go there?
Speaking of pasta! Coco’s Italian Market is not only the best Italian in Nashville (a hot take I would defend to my last breath), but it’s also one of the best restaurants in the city, period. I don’t even look at the menu anymore. My order is their AMAZING bruschetta to start (their homemade balsamic glaze is iconic), the Tortellini Elliston, the house white wine, and the molten chocolate cake.
Being a Southerner now, where are some of your favorite “southern classics?”
I’m actually from New England and am definitely still learning about southern cuisine. I was pleasantly perplexed the first time sweet potatoes with marshmallows were offered to me. I miss classic New England diners and bagels terribly, so I was stoked when Proper Bagel opened up on Belmont Boulevard. Those folks are Brooklyn transplants so they really understood how to make a proper bagel. The clue is in the name.
If you designed your own walking food tour of your favorite city, which restaurants/food sellers would be on your list of places to visit?
This past year, I’ve been lucky enough to travel to Colorado a couple of times and have absolutely fallen in love with it. I’m far from an expert, but on my recent trip I visited Boulder and drove the Peak-to-peak highway and was infatuated with all the little spots along the way. From the most charming vegan café in Boulder (Zeal) to a coffee shop that operates out of OLD TRAIN CARS (!!) in Nederland, you seriously can’t go wrong.
If you could pick one food to eat every day for the rest of your life, what would that be?
I can’t live without ice cream.
What is the craziest thing you have ever eaten?
I ate frog’s legs in Paris and they were legitimately wonderful!
Do you have a favorite brew/wine?
New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc over everything! I love sustainable farming and try to seek out bottles from folks that have mastered the craft and environmentally friendly processes.
You were a dancer in Eric Paslay, “High Class.” It’s a great song and video! What was that experience like?
Yes! Filming that was an absolute blast. Eric and his wife were incredibly sweet and the atmosphere on set the whole day was positive and upbeat. It was a really fantastic crew and everyone involved had fun. It made it worth the 4:30am wake-up call! A fun fact about that video is that it was filmed across a few different restaurants on M Street here in Nashville that were completely transformed for the dance space and long takes down the hallways.
Which song or album are you listening to the most right now?
I haven’t stopped listening to the Dear Evan Hansen cast album since the day it was released. For anyone that loves theatre, if you haven’t listed to it yet…DO IT.
Who inspires you as a dancer/actress?
I’ll try not to list too many because I could talk about it for hours! Audrey Hepburn was so incredibly graceful on screen, and I think her ballet training really contributed to that. My favorite movie of all time is “The Wizard of Oz,” and I used to make my elementary school teachers laugh by confidently proclaiming that Judy Garland was my favorite singer.
I think Amy Adams is one of the best actresses out there right now (run and go watch Arrival if you haven’t seen it yet), and she actually comes from a ballet background as well. A few years ago, Misty Copeland became the first black female principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre, and she is absolutely stunning to watch. Dancers like her show you the best that is achievable when it comes to human movement.
Finally for Battered and Brewed, If you could eat or have a drink with one person dead or alive, who would it be and what would you have?
My impulse says Lin-Manuel Miranda, my heart says Walt Disney, my sense of humor says Emma Stone. What’s a girl to do.
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