Forks in the Road and Spoons in the Thanksgiving PIES!!!

I had big plans, you guys. I had plans to ship pies to the corners of the world this year. But things change. Life happens.


There are many changes on the horizon for me. The biggest and most dramatic change for me is that on November 21st, I will be moving on from my post as Pastry Chef of Husk Nashville. When Sean called and offered me the job, my admiration for him and my desire to learn from him in a kitchen trumped my knowledge that the restaurant industry was not necessarily the easiest industry to sustain a family life, a writing career or a healthy physical state of being within. I did it anyway and it has been such a rewarding ride. I feel proud to have built the menus I built and so honored to have worked along side Sean – what I have learned from him as a chef and as a friend in this industry (and life at large) has been something that is invaluable to me. I’ll carry these last nearly two years with me in a really special way. But, finding a more sustainable way to both work and be with my family while I build my career is paramount to me in this phase of life. The graciousness with which Husk is sending me out into the world is so loving, kind and understanding. I’ll definitely miss my little corner of that kitchen.

In an effort to not jump from one intense work cycle to another, sending pies to London and Portland is not going to happen (Sorry Dylan and Rebecca and Lisa and all!). I’d really love to spend that Thanksgiving week simply and easily being with my family. But! So many folks are asking and, honestly, for me, knocking out twenty or thirty pies is nuthin’. Truly. SO, to my Nashville family at large, I’m taking a few pie orders to be picked up Wednesday, November 26th,  at a set time a location TBD amongst the orderers and myself. I’m keeping the options reaaaaaally simple. Each pie will be 10″, semi-deep dish and $35 each. If you prefer to have it delivered versus meeting us at the pickup time, I can deliver for an additional $10 to your home, within city limits. I’ll only take 30 orders max this time.


Your options are:

My traditional Buttermilk Chess Pie (as served at Husk)

Sweet Potato Buttermilk Pie

Bourbon Molasses Georgia Pecan Pie


Please NOTE: Simply purchase the total amount and in the “Special Instuctions” field, make a note of which pies you’d like. You will receive notification and a personal receipt from me within 24hours. I’ll take the link down once I’ve maxed out.

And happy holidays guys!!!



To Remember a Friend


The first time I ever heard Etta James was in his restaurant. At the end of a shift, after serving pizzas and pasta and some of the best New York style Italian food that you could ever imagine (in Niceville, Florida of all places), we would put all the chairs on the tables to sweep. Most nights, before I got too far into sweeping, Tom would have Etta James’ song “In the Basement” playing loud on the speakers. He would come, take the broom out of my hands and we would dance like wild, mad, feverish teenagers. Every time he played that song, it was like it was the first time either one of us had ever heard it. I don’t think that floor was ever properly swept.

I waited tables at Tom’s restaurant Tradewinds for so many years, I can’t even remember. I came and went and he took me in every single time I needed some cash. Sometimes I’d hang out for a year. Sometimes just a few months. He always had a place for me, even when he didn’t. He was maybe one of the strongest forces in my life from the time I was 19 until I was 25. Art school, first loves, bad relationships, unplanned pregnancy, college drop out, college graduation, young adult turmoil – he saw me through it all under his bespectacled and “well, of course” gaze. If I think really hard about how the hell I ever learned how to roll with the punches, it was because Tom watched me go through some of my toughest punches and taught me how to take each hit with grace, style, a bottle of wine and a good bowl of pasta. He never pretended to know the answers to anything. But he would listen. And he would fill my wine glass. And he would tell me that life was all about the “obstacles” and that getting back up was the best part of getting knocked down. He was a tough Italian from New York with an unrivaled temper, a great loud laugh, a sloppy kiss on the cheek every time I saw him and I just adored him. I adored his utter flaws and I adored the complete perfections that he maintained. I adored how the principle of the matter was, in fact, all that mattered. I adored how he banned smoking in the restaurant when I was pregnant and literally dragged a man out by his collar for lighting up a cigar in front of me and told him to not come back, ever. I adored how he was impassioned and full of light and fire. I adored him. Just him.

We never actually cooked together. I was a waitress. He taught me about wine and he would let me occasionally poke around in the kitchen. I made bread once or twice at the restaurant because I was teaching myself how at home and he was curious about what I was doing and learning. Had I wanted, he said, I could bake for him. I never did. He knew me only as Lisa Rierson, writer, painter, art student, single mom, wild idea chaser, a “bright eyed dreamer” he would call me. After I moved to Nashville, when I would come down to see my family, I would do my best to go see him and his wife Terry (a life force of a woman) at Tradewinds. We would hug. He would give me the best wet cheek kiss ever invented. He’d show me what was different or new at the restaurant. He would tell me how proud he was of me, every time. We would talk about food in a way that we never had or could before when I was just a kid who had not yet learned I was actually a cook. We were the same in so many ways and there was a connection there that was bigger than I think we even really understood. We honored each other and the impact that we had each had on one another. Above that, we silently acknowledged, just with a gaze, that we were simply just better off for having met each other.

And, tonight, even after having never cooked together in the seventeen years of knowing that man, I prepared his Chicken Principessa and Linguine con Vongole, simply by taste memory. I don’t know if I got it right, it was my fist time making either dish. But, I sat with my son, whom I learned I was pregnant with on the phone in Tom’s restaurant and cried in his office with my head in his chest fourteen and a half years ago, my daughter whom he hugged each and every time as if he were her long lost friend and my husband, who admitted to me tonight that he felt as much like he needed Tom’s approval as my father’s when asking me to marry him, and served them all his food. My son asked, “Why haven’t you ever made this before, Mom?” and I said that I guess I never knew I could. But really, it was because I only wanted it when it was in Tom’s restaurant. It was a homecoming food for a time long passed and when I would go to his place, he would bring me my favorite glass of Sangiovese and my favorite pizza and my favorite Linguine. And that was the only way I wanted it. I told my family over our dinner tonight, albeit through a teary choke, about our stories. I told them about the dancing, the Otis Redding and Etta James albums he would play, the food, the wine, the laughing, the many tears and the sadness I feel for having lost someone who was so much a part of who I am today. Despite the many years and distance, I knew that Tom was always rooting for me. And I was always up here, adoring him for all that he was and remembering all the advice and lessons he would nonchalantly pass on in his take-it-or-leave-it way, like a cigar or a glass of wine he wanted you to try but wasn’t going to force on you.

This is the part where I’m supposed to say that now he is just “up there” rooting for me, but nah. I can’t right now. I’m just sad. I miss my friend. I’m sad that I didn’t get to hug him one last time. I’m sad that there were too many years between our visits and, most especially, since the last time I saw him. I’m sad that my cheek isn’t wet with a sloppy Italian kiss but, instead, with hot tears. I’m just sad.

But damn we ate well tonight. So much of my body feels comforted and healed by that. I suppose my heart will catch up soon enough.


High Demand Classes: An August Southern Baking Class and Another Layer Cake Class!

Southern Baking Basic in Nashville, The Stables at Husk

Southern Baking Basic in Nashville, The Stables at Husk

Due to an incredible demand for two classes (the Southern Baking Basics Class and the Layer Cake Class), I have scheduled two more dates in August for any of you on the waiting list or for any of you that might have otherwise missed the boat!

This month has truly been some kind of damn fun. Sean and my pals at Husk have been allowing us to use the separate private dining house, The Stables at Husk, for our classes. It’s been a beautiful space to work out of. This weekend, one of our more intimate classes will take place at Sarah Gavigan’s POP! here in East Nashville so that we can have more access to oven space and fire and freezers and the like. All in all, I’d say that our location has been a really great tone setter for our classes and people have really enjoyed checking out these places outside of having classes in them. So, thanks to Sean and team at Husk and another thanks to Sarah for providing such great classrooms for us!

Please see below for the opportunity to sign up for our August classes!




Come learn the secrets of a Southern Baker. Biscuits, pie dough, hand pies and her well loved Husk Buttermilk Pie will be covered. Supplies will be provided and you get to take home everything you make! Seats will be limited to 10 students. $75/per student, all materials included. NOTE: This class is partially booked again. There is limited seating available. Thank you!


Southern Baking Basics in New York City

Southern Baking Basics in New York City


We’re going to continue the layer cake badassery right on through to August. We’ll make coconut cake. And caramel cake. And holy hell it’s going to be awesome. That is all. Seats limited to 8 students, all materials provided. $95/per student.


My contribution: The Alabama Lane Cake.

The Alabama Lane Cake.

AND! APRIL and MAY DATES! (all sold out!)

Photo by Andrea Behrends

Chelsea Market, NYC. Photo by Andrea Behrends

There are so many really incredible opportunities being offered to me right now, at this very moment in life. I’m happy. I’m damn happy. Work has beget more good, true work amidst good, true people and, really, I’m not sure what else a person can ask for out of their life. I find myself, more often than not, in a dizzying and delightful spin, bouncing from one incredible person who loves what they do as much as I do, to another. The conversations are about ideas, about love, about passion, about dreams, about failures, about journeys, about right turns and wrong roads. I feel lucky and constantly inspired by all that life has brought my way. I’m enjoying the moment. And the growing and building doesn’t stop. I’m working harder than ever at a different kind of “building” – it’s the kind of growth that beckons for design and creativity rather the jolting and exhausting foundational structure that I’ve been trying to establish these many years. I can finally put away the heavy jackhammer and pick up my lathe.

This however, has left me with a lot less time to do public Buttermilk Road events. And, quite frankly, I really miss it and y’all and being elbow deep in the pure, odd, raw joy that getting a room full of Nashvillians together brings me (and, seemingly, everyone else in the room as well!). SO, in an effort to not let another single moment go by without committing some dates, I’ve decided to announce dates for April and May before life sweeps me off my feet again!

Also, please do know that my calendar has been booking up with private baking classes. Private baking classes typically book up two to three months in advance (in another words, my dance card is pretty full for private classes until June/July. The next reservations I will be taking will be for mid-late Summer). If this is something of interest to you, please contact me at:


As always:

Sunday Suppers will be limited to 30 people.

Baking classes will be limited to 12 people.

All materials for baking classes provided. Just bring an apron and a notebook.

Locations for Sunday Suppers will be shared with confirmed guests. We’ve shared Suppers at Barista Parlor, Mas Tacos, The Catbird Seat, BurgerUp on 12th, Arnold’s Country Kitchen… People are generous and kind and always opening their doors to us.

Sunday Suppers will be a three course family style meal, including wine pairings by the beautifully pregnant Robin Riddell Jones with appetizers and cocktails (with delightful picks from our best pals at Woodland Wine Merchant) as soon as you walk in the door.

Price is per seat for Suppers and per student for baking classes. Seats are non-refundable but transferable if you if find you cannot attend. I usually have a waiting list and am happy to help if you come across a scheduling snafu.

Don’t hog the night. I kindly suggest that you purchase a maximum of four seats for Sunday Suppers, please. The idea is to put yourself out there and have a different experience with different people.

We usually have live music. It’s usually ridiculously mind blowing.

Come with an open heart and a hungry body and spirit and the night will be yours.

Photo by Andrea Behrends

Photo by Andrea Behrends












You can always, always, always reach me directly at if you have any questions or concerns. Please do allow for 2-3 days for me to respond – email has been tricky for me to find time for lately. But, I promise, I will respond as quickly as possible.

I can’t wait to see you all at the table again!


Seen the Morning Light, And It Ain’t Because I’m an Early Rise..

So. Charleston Wine and Food Festival. 2014. Sean Brock, Drew Robinson, John Currence, Donald Link, Angie Mosier, Rodney Scott and…. Me. We cooked one of the most fun and inspiring dinners together at the Alabama Tent Revival on the Saturday night of the festival to celebrate and support Jim n’ Nick and The Southern Foodway Alliance’s recognition of the Archibald family of Archibald’s BBQ in Northpoint, Alabama.

The food was phenomenal and the company was outstanding. I made Alabama Lane Cakes with Atlanta’s own Angie Mosier – a gal who somehow manages to make you fall in love with her five thousand times more every time you get to spend time with her. Working the pass with this crew, a world class shit-talking fest if I’ve ever seen one, was something dreams are made of. I’d love to say that I have plenty of stories to share, but it was all in the moment. And the moment included a lot, like a lifetime’s worth, of incredible whisky.

The one and only Angie Mosier, setting the tone at Nick's BBQ for our Tent Revival.

The one and only Angie Mosier, setting the tone at Nick’s BBQ for our Tent Revival.

Nick of Jim n' Nicks and Sean.

Nick of Jim n’ Nicks and Sean.

Donald Link of Pesce and Cochon - he was waxing super poetically about his days as a grill cook at this exact moment.

Donald Link of Pesce and Cochon – he was waxing super poetically about his days as a grill cook at this exact moment.

This badass pass. An impressive line up from start to finish.

This badass pass. An impressive line up from start to finish.

My contribution: The Alabama Lane Cake.

My contribution: The Alabama Lane Cake.

I think everyone liked it, especially Edward Lee.

I think everyone liked it, especially Ed Lee.

BMR in New York/Photographer and Friend Andrea Behrends (with some Thanks sprinkled in at the end)


As I plan my 2014 Calendar, which has yet another incredibly exciting Sunday Supper planned for New York, I wanted to take a moment to tell you about this trip – but it’s likely that you’re better off if I just show you. You know how when you’re having an incredibly big moment in your life and you actually, afterward, feel like you were completely stoned and buzzed and dizzy and breathless through the entire thing? That’s pretty much how this trip to New York was. Words actually fail me.


We toured the Chelsea Market, I taught my very first Southern Baking class with a group of some of the most amazing women I’ve ever met (including the dear, dear Charlotte Druckman who became an “instant favorite person ever” person), we cooked for a room full of lovely New Yorkers and, in between, ate the best punjabi, pizza, chinese, thai, italian and snuck into male-only middle eastern eateries in the middle of the night to eat hummus and drink black tea. Best whirlwind trip of my life.

(A big thank you to Sarah Simmons and her crew at CityGrit for gifting us the use of their kitchen and dining room!)


So, it is with much gratitude to Andrea Behrends for capturing all the little and big moments of this trip, the nuances of each day, all of the gestures, all of the friends that showed up to support us, all of the food that we were able to so eagerly prepare and present, all of the guests who came and ate and laughed and had their own very, separate and intimate experiences outside of us. Thank you Andrea for being there and for the really wonderful gift that these pictures are.





























As I write this and share these pictures, I’m feeling a rather spontaneous inclination to to say thank you. I should probably wait for an end of the year wrap up, but screw it. My heart says “now”. Thank you to my friends who have all made this thing work, simply by showing up to wash dishes, by carrying heavy ass boxes of dishes all over god’s green earth, by taking the most beautiful and meaningful pictures of all these important moments, by cleaning corn, by playing a live show for my guests, by setting tables and pouring wine and making playlists and by taking trash bags full of fish carcasses in your brand new car to a dumpster because the one at the restaurant was locked and not hating me when one ripped and made your brand new car smell like fish for months and months. I don’t know how I deserve people like you in my life, but I’m so grateful. Bare with me while I gush, will ya?

BMRSSNYC72-3074The one and only Jessica Cheatham, BMR would likely be a big pile of neglected, sad, twitching broken dreams and, I, an overworked, stressed out pile of twitching brokenness without you and your immense love and kindness and strength of friendship and dedication. You’re the hardest working girl I know. Thank you. Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou and I love you. You’re remarkable.

Photo by A. Behrends

Photo by R. Green

Heidi Ross for being the strongest sounding board I’ve ever had and for putting in so many hours of your time simply because you believe in my ideas. You’ve brought order and style and enthusiastic partnership to my, ahem, romantic and batshit crazy brain.

Photo by A. Behrends

Photo by R. Green

John Donovan for being everyone’s hero, every damn time. But mostly, for being my hero. You make me win at life.

Photo by A. Behrends

Photo by R. Green

Molly Levine for being the best sous I may ever have. I miss you every time I cook a Supper. I can’t wait for the next time we step foot in a kitchen together… In San Francisco.

Photo by A. Behrends

Photo by A. Behrends

Andrea Behrends – you’re always there with a camera, a badass attitude and serious server skills to bus tables and fill water. I love being around you. I love you’re heart. I love you’re joy. I love your ability to make a room full of super badassery come to life.

Photo by H. Ross

Photo by H. Ross

Joy Shaw for saying yes even when you should have said no and for always, always, always being my back up plan, and for always having a cocktail in my hand every time I plated the last plate – you were always a life saver and still are.

Photo by H. Ross

Photo by H. Ross

Robin Riddell Jones for being smart where I am lacking and making sure that everyone always had a lovely glass of wine to sip.

Photo by A. Behrends

Photo by A. Behrends

Alisa Martin, Caitlin Mello, Teresa Mason, Leia Buchanan, Shannon Wright, Sean Brock, Josh Habiger, Courtney Jaye, Mack and Holly Linebaugh, Heather Routh, Libby Callaway, Susan Sherrick, Aaron Clemins, Molly Fitzpatrick, Nicole Wolfe, Kahlil Arnold and the whole Arnold’s family, Mike Wiley, Melissa Shoaf, Kindy Girdley, Ryan Green, Mark Tucker, Laura Wilson…

Photo by M. Tucker

Photo by M. Tucker

I feel like George Bailey at the end of It’s a Wonderful Life when I think of all of you. “No man who has friends is a failure.”

You all make me my most capable self. I love you all.

Here’s to the end of a year, a New Year to follow and many more memories!

WHEW! Let’s Catch Up, Shall We??

These last six months… I can really, barely wrap my mind around where to begin. There are so many photos to share, so many stories to tell, so much that was seen, eaten, sipped, sung, bellowed, guffawed, gulped…. I really feel like maybe a bulleted list of the last six months might be a better summation.

But bullet lists are for jerks. I want to have the time it would take to tell you all the details, show you all the pictures, tell you about all the food. And, I really feel like I CAN. In time. And, maybe if that time isn’t NOW, I can at least hope that I took copious enough notes to remember the better parts to share with you very soon. In the last six months, I’ve been to New York with my team of brilliant hoodlums, the wonderwall that is Jessica Cheatham, the super-multi-talent that is Andrea Behrends and a visitor chef, Aussie globetrotter Trisha Greentree, to teach baking classes and serve a Sunday Supper to a whole new audience. I’ve been to and baked for the remarkable and utterly life-changing event that is the Southern Foodways Alliance Symposium where the topic was Women, Work and Food and where I met the most incredible people I may ever meet on this planet, heard some of the most inspiring words spoken and cooked with incredibly gifted and generous chefs whom I will always feel are my family now. I was asked to host a Supper in the Studio with Emily Leonard to be covered by a talented team for Anthology Magazine that consisted of Anna Watson Carl, Amy Dickerson and Jenn Elliot Blake. I’ve recorded two episodes of Mind of a Chef with Sean Brock. I’ve been invited to host intimate Suppers with the likes of the wonderful folks at Jack Daniels in Lynchburg as well as with Arnold’s Country Kitchen to benefit The Land Trust of Tennessee – not to mention in various, lovely private homes in the South. I’ve worked with the beautifully curated shows that are The Joint Series with Susan Sherrick and Libby Callaway and in leagues with Josh Habiger and musician Joe Fletcher. My biscuits were listed as #5 best biscuit in the country by Food and Wine Magazine (say wha?!!). All the while, I’ve been doing some of the most rewarding and important work of my life with some of the finest cooks I’ve ever met at Husk Nashville, and also helping to oversee the pastry in Charleston at the original Husk with the sensationally brilliant Travis Grimes. I’ve been wonderfully busy. As John T. Edge would say, “Everything is in motion” and I couldn’t be happier. (Notice how I’ve just made a bullet list in paragraph form? That’s SUPER jerky, right there, isn’t it?).

AND, I have pictures! SOMEwhere! And I promise to show them to you. SOON!

For now, I want to tell you all thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Bucket fulls of thanks to so many people.

And, I also want to tell you what’s ahead! I feel a real-deal bullet list coming on…

This year, in lieu of my usual Thanksgiving Pie Extravaganza Sale in which I drive everyone around me crazy for a week in order to obsess over the production of 100+ pies, I will exclusively be selling pies at Peter Nappi to benefit The Magdelene House at their Thanks&Giving Show with several of the loveliest Nashvillians I know: Emily Leonard, Peter Bradley Adams, Heidi Ross, the entire Peter Nappi Team and Thistle Farms. Understanding, of course, that this doesn’t fill your Thanksgiving Day pie needs, but it does get you in the spirit of things all while you get to eat some damn pie. It’s kind of a perfect thing!


On Sunday, November 24th, I will be hosting a Sunday Supper (the first since New York!) at the home of acclaimed artist Buddy Jackson. It will be a Supper billed as a private viewing of many of his most recent works, as well as many of his previous works. Curator and art dealer Susan Sherrick will be on hand, with Buddy himself, to discuss the work with guests as well as to provide information for collectors regarding purchase. I’ll be posting the menu and a link to purchase seats to this Supper later this week! If you’re not familiar with Buddy or his work, please check him out here on my other ridiculously talented pal Mark Tucker’s website.

I’ll be posting December events within the next couple of weeks. But, I’m excited to announce that there is a Holiday Sunday Fete in the works and the date is December 15th. Stay tuned for exciting details!

Thank you for letting me barely catch you all up. I’m still here! And, happily, everything is delightfully and wonderfully “in motion”.

With much love and thanks,