In 2005, Joy Bateman, who works as an account executive for Flyer sister publication Memphis magazine, published The Art of Dining in Memphis. The cookbook includes recipes from the city's best restaurants and illustrations by Bateman. The book sold well, and Bateman followed it up with The Art of Dining in New Orleans in 2007.
The city Bateman turned her attention to next came as a surprise ... at least to her.
Bateman says she was driving through Nashville on her way home from Knoxville. She stopped for a bite to eat at the Belle Meade Plantation.
"I thought, This is so good. I wonder what else is here," Bateman remembers.
Bateman got her answer by doing research and asking around. Her list of potential sites grew. "It started multiplying," she says. "It was a big surprise."
Bateman narrowed her list down to 39 restaurants for The Art of Dining in Nashville, which she'll be signing at Davis-Kidd Booksellers on Tuesday, November 17th at 6 p.m. The signing will also include a tasting of some of the dishes mentioned in the book.
Among the restaurants included in The Art of Dining in Nashville: The Acorn (recipes: lemon pound cake and "Momma's Seven Layer Salad"); and Park Cafe ("Shrimp Porcupines with Chipotle Aioli"); and Firefly Grille ("Aromatic Asian Salad with Marinated Grilled Beef Skewer").
So does Nashville have a signature dish like Memphis' barbecue?
"There's a lot of diversity," Bateman says. "They have great hot dogs."