April 16th, 2008 · 61 Comments


hey nashville?  we need to talk, ok?  because here at ‘ceF‘, i’ve got something both exciting and wonderous to tell you – AND to give you.  well not all of you.  but 5 of you.  yep, 5 of you and your one very special friend.  so that’s 10 whole people whose lives i get to enrich, expand and perhaps even alter – forever.  dear readers, can’t you see the absolute ENORMITY of this?  i just knew you could.

and suddenly, i’m feeling very oprah’esqe…

so here’s how it works… ‘the nashville scene‘ has generously given ‘ceF5 pair of tickets to this totally awesome event.  so if you’re going to be in nashville on april 30th, and would like to attend ‘IRON FORK‘,   the culinary event of the year (details listed below), please just leave a comment telling me why you’d like to go – and be sure to get your point across, ok?  i will pick the 5 best comments.  because it is my blog and quite frankly – i’ve got all the power here – within the unlimited confines of my cyber walls.

all entries must be in by monday april 21st at midnight
winners will be announced tuesday april 22nd at noon

        Don’t miss the culinary event of the year!

On Wednesday, April 30th, Whole Foods Market Presents Nashville Scene’s Iron Fork, benefiting St. Luke’s Community House, at LP Field’s West Club Level Riverside. The fun lasts from 6:00-10:00 p.m. with samples of award-winning cuisine from Menu of Menus 2008, the Scene’s guide to Nashville city dining, two complimentary drink tickets, and live entertainment. Watch 5 of the best chefs in Nashville battle it out in a head-to-head chef’s competition better than anything you’ll ever see on TV!  Or enjoy a refreshing glass of delicious Blue Moon ale in the Blue Moon Beer Garden hosted by 107.5’s Woody and Jim.

The 2008 competing chefs are:

Bobby Benjamin – Flyte World Dining
Clay Greenberg – Lime/Virago
Deb Paquette – Zola Restaurant
Sean Norton – Watermark
Will Ulhorn – F. Scott’s

Sampling restaurants include Agave Tequila Lounge, Alleycat Lounge & Tex-Mex Grill, Drew’s Brews Coffee, Fire-N-Ice Bar & Grill, Flyte World Dining & Wine, Green Hills Grille, Mad Platter, Mere Bulles Restaurant, Nero’s Grill, PM, Qdoba Mexican Grill , Ru San’s Sushi and Seafood Japanese Restaurant, Saffire Restaurant & Bar, Sitar Indian Cuisine, Star Bagel, Watermark, Whole Foods Market, Wildhorse Saloon, and Wildwood Oak Fired Kitchen.

And it’s all for a great cause!  Bring your family and friends and help raise money for St. Luke’s Community House, since food is the very foundation of St. Luke’s services. Volunteers deliver around 100 hot meals to area seniors every week day through their mobile meals program. Through a partnership with Second Harvest, St. Luke’s distributes emergency food boxes to hundreds of our neighbors each year. With major support from the Bank of America Foundation, St. Luke’s began offering culinary classes as part of their job skills training program that serves men and women trying to find a better job.

$25 advance tickets can be purchased through the or you can buy your ticket at the door for $30 the day of the event. Presented by Whole Foods Market, and sponsored by Blue Moon, 107.5 The River, and Jive! A Digital Print Factory. You must be 21+ with a valid I.D.  Parking is free. For more information, log onto or call the Iron Fork Hotline at 244.4989 x341.



Tags: contest · local

61 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Robert // Apr 16, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    Suddenly living in Nashville sounds cool…….

  • 2 Lynn // Apr 16, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    How fabulous! Just look at the culinary talent!

    That’ll be right after my silversmithing class! I could make myself a silver spork for the event!

    At least if I don’t win, I have your chocolate mole recipe to keep me busy.

  • 3 dan // Apr 16, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    so, if i’m coming to town at the end of may, an extra quick trip at the end of april would just be a preview, right? wish i could, that sounds like a lot of fun.

  • 4 Kate // Apr 16, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    I am new to Nashville but very excited at the idea – I bought my tickets as soon as I heard about it.

  • 5 Nicole // Apr 16, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    I am a newbie in the Nashville food bloggin’ world and would love an opportunity to meet up with everyone who’s blogs I’ve been lurking on for the past year or so.

  • 6 Klinde // Apr 16, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Hmm, where do I begin?

    Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start… (now that I have channeled my inner-Julie Andrews “Sound of Music” I will continue)…

    Why should I win? Simply put, I am a master at eating. Particular if the cuisine reigns supreme… Being a foodie at heart (and of taste buds) I relish the opportunity to savor the culinary expertise of others and revel in the delights of the palate. Alas, being a woman of meager means does not allow me the opportunity to delight in such opportunities as often as I would like and I have to make do with what I can afford. Which, incidentally, is not of the standards I would like it to be.

    Why do I love food? I take pleasure in the aroma, the flavor, the bouquet of it. I see food not only as sustenance but as sensual, creative, ethereal… Also as a way to bring people together communally as we all must eat to survive. Food unites us and bonds us and if it is well prepared by professionals, then all the better.

    Why else should I win? Because I have wanted to meet you for quite some time and all my fun issues of the black eye and mono have kept me out of the loop and quite anti-social. I am back in the swing of things and would welcome the opportunity to have a nice evening, meet some people, relax and converse. Guess I could also turn it into a reason of it has been a helluva last six months for me and I could use a treat…

    You know how to find me to tell me I’ve won a “golden ticket”….


  • 7 cookiecrumb // Apr 16, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    Aw, damn, you know?
    Damn, damn, damn, and I mean this in a most stuck-in-Northern-California way.
    Have fun.

  • 8 Peter // Apr 16, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    Ditto, but in more of a New York kind of way.

  • 9 Mary Coleman // Apr 16, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    Beach..Iron Fork…Beach….Iron Fork…Beach…Iron Fork…Beach.
    Boo hoo,I know this is going to be fabulous!!

  • 10 Anne Clayton // Apr 16, 2008 at 9:48 pm

    well, Mary, you didn`t invite me to the beach so I guess I need to be there so I can represent you and then wait until very late after much vino and call you to na na na boo boo…you missed an awsome event just to be at the beach with “groom” since I am home alone slightly drunk and full of great need to wake up an listen to me describe every grain of salt….wake up Mary I`m talking to you!

  • 11 tim johnson // Apr 17, 2008 at 1:21 am




  • 12 Justin // Apr 17, 2008 at 7:44 am

    Bless the Iron Fork! A friend bought me a couple of tickets for my 21st birthday last week. And by that I mean that I bought them and informed him of the cost, which he would be taking care of. I really hope this runs smoothly and draws a crowd because god do we need more things like this around the city. So I will see you there, and am assuming that I may just be the youngest attendee. Are you a judge of the actual competition?

  • 13 Laura (bibbitybobbitybacon) // Apr 17, 2008 at 8:08 am

    Oh oh!! We have a Sitar Indian place — the dude who owns it has like 4 or 5 in KY and TN. Good buffet.

    Food food food food food. We have stuff like this in the ‘Ville constantly this time of year (only two weeks until Derby), but ma pauvre student budget forbids it. Sigh… someday.

  • 14 Emily Walters // Apr 17, 2008 at 8:28 am

    Dear Claudia,

    I would just love, love, LOVE to be the proud recipient of a pair of those tickets. (It sounds like a lot of fun and I am not sure why, but I knew nothing about it until your post here.)

    First, I would love to meet you and some of the community of food lovers you have cultivated here at your wonderful piece of real estate in the blog world. I am a Nashville transplant, and I have yet to meet my food “people.” I am a regular reader and, if I wasn’t so humbled by your exhaustive exploits in the kitchen, I would post and participate more. You have turned a smug once-considered-accomplished home cook into a mere lurker. I am trying to move on and grow from this experience.

    Second, this sounds like a really GREAT CAUSE and a great organization. If I am one of the lucky chosen it would be my extreme pleasure to also donate the face value of these tickets and then some to St. Lukes Community House.

    Emily Walters

  • 15 Allison // Apr 17, 2008 at 9:12 am

    St. Luke’s is a fabulous organization! They do great works for an under-represented population here in Nashville. Food, drink and a wonderful beneficiary make for a great time, anytime!

    I would be so very grateful to be the recepient of the tickets and in turn (following Emily’s lead) would donate the face value and then some to the families of St. Luke’s.

    In any event, it promises to be a special evening and I am looking forward to it.

    Be good!

  • 16 Belinda // Apr 17, 2008 at 9:25 am

    I think I should win tickets because at that point will have been eating small portions of frozen and/or vacuum sealed pre-packaged foods for two weeks. THROW A GIRL A BONE!!!

  • 17 ElZorro // Apr 17, 2008 at 9:29 am

    because if I am not there,
    and our eyes do not met…
    will time stay still?
    will someone else praise the sunshine of your hair,
    the song of your laughter,
    the kindness of your soul?

    or will they go about,
    blind, pretending that
    a greek goddess could not
    exist in real life…

  • 18 Ethel // Apr 17, 2008 at 9:47 am

    Pick me ! Pick me !
    What fun and for a good cause and I will get to meet you,
    Nashville needs you in their food world— badly.

  • 19 Jodi // Apr 17, 2008 at 10:22 am

    I soooo deserve it since I have been good and got out of bed to work out this morning…..At least I can allow myself to enjoy all the yummy treats (well that is if I can continue dragging my sorry butt out of bed. Maybe if I am lucky the food will be half as good as what you make! Bet they won’t have bone marrow though….. Maybe the competition will inspire me to start cooking for my husband (I better start before he learns that there are women out there that can cook!) Claudia, stop tipping him off to that:)

  • 20 Nicole // Apr 17, 2008 at 10:24 am

    Wow! There is a lot of pressure to make a great comment.

    Hmm… why should you pick me? Because I’m freakin fabulous! Just kidding.

    Seriously, I love food. I love to eat. I love people.

    Since I’m new to Nashville I don’t know anyone nor do I know where to eat. Therefore, if you pick me I would owe you for helping me learn my way around the Nashville food scene, and introducing me to other great Southerns!

    What would I give you? A meal? Cupcakes? A bottle of wine? Name something reasonable and its yours.

    Otherwise, I suppose I could always buy my own tickets. Either way if you are going to have a meet up I would love to totally join everyone.

    Best of luck in the picking!

  • 21 Sarah Crow // Apr 17, 2008 at 10:37 am

    I want to go because Wildwood is gonna be there …. I wanna give them the stinkeye.

  • 22 Morgan // Apr 17, 2008 at 11:10 am

    I would love to be the recipient of a pair of tickets, and here is a short list showcasing why.

    1. First and foremost, I want to take my best friend Marion. She is a food fanatic and I think attending an event like this would help to sway her in her decision NOT to move away from Nashville!

    2. I have been eating food out of dumpsters this week.

    The end!

  • 23 aforkfulofspaghetti // Apr 17, 2008 at 11:25 am

    Would that I could participate… But I think a trip over from the UK just for this might be a little ask too far!

  • 24 Robert // Apr 17, 2008 at 1:04 pm


    Now you guys are getting somewhere…..Nicole you almost made it, try this. Claudia, Anything, just name it. I will do ANYTHING. Please, Please, Please. ANYTHING. TWICE. That will get you somewhere……..

  • 25 jimmy // Apr 17, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    I would love to win a pair of tickets and take my wife. She is so into that kind of thing. We have gone to the taste of nashville before and she was in heaven.
    Tickets to Iron Fork for me and my wife, O What a night!!!

  • 26 nm // Apr 17, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    I would like to go because I love, love, love Deb Paquette’s cooking and would love to be able to be there to cheer her on.

    Upon reflection, I recognize that this is a reason far more compelling to me than to you. But, if selected, I will go on mike with you and you can ask, “who got you those tickets?” and I will say, “the incredible Claudia at cook eat FRET, the incredible Nashville cooking blog!” Oh, wait, that won’t work either, since you’re not a radio station. I am lame.

  • 27 Natalie // Apr 17, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    If I win your tickets, I promise to wear satin PJs akin to the REAL FujiTV Iron Chefs. My husband has offered to act like a female Japanese film star while tasting all samples. I can’t wait. Allez Cuisine!

  • 28 CeeElCee // Apr 17, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    cook eat BEG

    An ode to the fabulous Claudia

    she’s rollin’ she’s rockin’
    obsessed with Moroccan;

    a piquant slice of yankee nestled in the southland
    Nova on a biscuit.

    She’s not a slave to capitalization, yet oft provides my culinary salvation
    As long as I don’t first OD on grapish libation.

    I’m honored to occasionally be her social director and on-call GPS
    Or to serve as her sous chef and dining room guest.

    We’ve shared bottarga, injera and Bites so Phat,
    the last were quite tasty, the first fit for the cat.

    But the finest dish of all has been the platter of platitudes I’ve served for her amusement.
    She always laughed at my jokes or at least expressed bemusement.

    So maybe on the 30th, together we’ll sup.
    Cuz’ though I dig El Zorro, I won’t stand you up.

    Fork ME!

  • 29 Collin // Apr 17, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    I love cupcakes!

  • 30 Mary // Apr 17, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    Claudia, let me introduce myself….
    “People predestined to gourmandism…have…bright eyes, small foreheads,short noses, full lips, and rounded chins and people to whom Nature has denied the capacity for such enjoyment, above all lack healthy weight; it is undoubtedly they who invented trousers, to hide their thin shanks.” The Physiology of Taste

    That is me, a foodie, a woman with a heart for food and all things of beauty and of course “bright eyes.”

    The Iron Fork would be a crowd of “my people” those people that instinctively “get” you, those who share the same wide eyed excitement when we see “Blood Orange Martini” “Kobe Beef” “Flyte of Wine” “Aged-Cheese” Tapa’s” etc. I can tell you that no-one could be a more satisfied participant in the Iron Fork than me. And as Viginia Woolf says, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” And what a great opportunity to dine well.

    I envision myself there, on the best natural high a foodie can have, wide-eyed, glowing, palate prepared, swooning at the very sight of so many talented chefs in one place, food for days, food that I get to sample and taste and experience. Like a child about to embark on an easter egg hunt, this will be me, ready to take in all the sights and tastes this event has to offer.

    Food opens all our senses, food can be nostalgic, it can be painful and hot, it can be sexy, it can be sweet, it can be soothing, it can be maternal, food can be male, good food is passionate. I know that all these sense and more will be present at the Iron Fork and I would love to win those tickets!

  • 31 ElZorro // Apr 17, 2008 at 5:10 pm


    FORK you I will, twice.

    Once for stealing my idea that praising Claudia was the way to win.

    But mostly, for rhyming amusement with bemusement.

    You have a future on Music Row!

  • 32 Delaney // Apr 17, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    Claudia. I have read every note about this event with a heart filled with both hope and dread. So much deliciousness! So many of my local heroes! Such a good cause, and fun for all! But my new job has yet to catch up with my meager budget, and I can’t afford live like the lavish and generous celebrity that I pretend to be. Pick me, pick me! My dad will bake you some cookies, I swear it!

  • 33 Ari (Baking and Books) // Apr 17, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    What a cool idea! Alas, I will not be in Nashville but for the first time ever I REALLY want to be in TN!

  • 34 ceeelcee // Apr 17, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    El Z, that’s only because I haven’t figured out the definition of “cemusement” yet.

    Self-deprecation and sycophancy have been my primary form of trying to get what I want for forty years.

    Some chicks have always wanted to know what it’s like to be with the funny guy. They just don’t ever tell their girlfriends about it.

    In this case, I just want free tickets. No sense having two of Claudia’s guy pals out to kick my ass…

  • 35 Cary // Apr 17, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    Hello, my name is Cary and I should win the tickets because I am a FOOD PORN ADDICT and need to get my fix!

  • 36 Lesley // Apr 17, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    I am torn. My desire to win–win anything–is competing with the practical part of my nature that is whispering in my ear that the secret ingredient will be something highly objectionable like koala paws or human infant toes. And all the omnivorous foodies will rejoice in the consumption of flesh and I will be appalled. And hungry. I’ll be pushed aside and forced to eat side dishes of rice like a peasant. Don’t try to tell me it won’t happen. I know that vegetarians are the Untouchables of the foodie caste system! My name is Lesley; I am a vegetarian and I am touchable!

  • 37 Lauren // Apr 18, 2008 at 7:32 am

    if this is one of those contests where you have to try and say why you should win, my only reason is we NEVER EVER EVER get to go out anywhere. our last two dates have been staying at home, and rescuing a cat. and they were a good month apart. oh, and i love food.
    thank you.

  • 38 Elzorro // Apr 18, 2008 at 8:01 am


    Cemusement is “being amused by horrid concrete creations, like the BMI building on Music Row”

    Lesley, you’re close; it’s gonna be baby panda. Which I heard goes well with bamboo shoots.

  • 39 claudia // Apr 18, 2008 at 9:03 am

    i would just like to take a station identification break and say that the above cary (comment 35) is altogether a very different cary than my cary. and although i am sure that he/she is a well adjusted and lovely person, my guy is not addicted to any kind of porn.

    thank you.

  • 40 nm // Apr 18, 2008 at 10:34 am

    OMG, you are a radio station? Maybe I have a chance after all….

  • 41 Cary (not Claudia's) // Apr 18, 2008 at 10:44 am

    Just hooked on food porn, and food porn only…….

  • 42 Sarah // Apr 18, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    I am married to the Cary (not Claudia’s) that is addicted to food porn… and I would just like to vouch that he is a well adjusted and lovely person… however our “dirty little secret” is that sometimes we look at food porn together….

  • 43 Holiday Grinch // Apr 18, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    I already have my ticket and hope to see you there!
    I hope you get forked.
    Beer is food, you’ll be fine.

  • 44 Kim // Apr 18, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    So, sorry I won’t be anywhere near Nashville as it sounds fun.
    I have been there once for work at the Jewish Temple for my former boss. They have a nice group of Jewish people there and from what I understand a big Jewish community. It will balance out the whole bible-belt thing for you.

  • 45 amybakes // Apr 18, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    all my friends, enjoy this event for me…I’ll be in NJ eating my fill of home cooking from mom…

  • 46 sparkplug // Apr 19, 2008 at 9:06 am

    Wednesday nights – 4 intelligent, extremely attractive single females cooking fabulous meals and drinking amazing wines before settling down to watch the week’s episode of Top Chef.

    Many would also say they would love to find a hot eligible bachelor that loves food just as much as they do…..and isn’t this event the perfect pickup grounds?
    Top Chef can wait- that’s why God created DVR.

  • 47 BIG Eater // Apr 19, 2008 at 10:15 am

    This sounds like a blast man! Totally great event! I would really like to be able to attend as i have never been to anything like this before and it would be interesting to see this kind of food prepared and have the game going on. My friend Joe would kill to go with me!

  • 48 Stephanie // Apr 19, 2008 at 10:26 am

    If only I were going to be in Nashville that weekend! This sounds like a great event! Good luck choosing the winner (I agree that such an event is a great place to pick up eligible male foodie hotties…hence the reason I am now scoping the DC area for such an event).

  • 49 Brad // Apr 19, 2008 at 10:59 am

    Claudia is a goddess, ceF is the coolest blog in the world, and i am sooooo not beyond groveling and sucking up when it comes to celestial food experiences.

  • 50 joycooks // Apr 19, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    Cara Claudia,

    Siccome non posso immaginare una sera come questa senza di te e tutti i tuoi amici appassionati per la cucina, mi devi assolutamente scegliere come vicitrice di questi biglietti. So che ho anche vinto la prima sfida -quella del ‘mole’ – ma in verità le cose più buone del mondo vengono in due, in coppia, a pari.

    Grazie e in bocca al lupo!
    (translations available upon request and for a fee)

  • 51 Robert // Apr 19, 2008 at 6:04 pm


    You are getting so very close. (see comment # 24)

    Insider tip, offer to clean up her whole kitchen on friday night……

  • 52 Leslie Cabrera // Apr 19, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    Dear Claudia
    I would like to win the tickets so , I can take my husband. My husband and I have been married 12 years and my passion is food. I have recipes of my own,and cook every chance I get, the sad thing is it seems my husband is never interested n what i do, this is my chance to rekindle our 12 year marriage. Besides meeting you would be a big plus. I finally can meet someone with the same passion and interest that I have THANKS!!!

  • 53 Elzorro // Apr 19, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    Italian to English:
    Since I cannot conceive of an evening like this without you and all your of your “friends who are passionate about the kitchen” friend, you should without a doubt pick me as the winner of these tickets. I know that also I won the first challenge -the one about the ‘mole – but in truth the best things in life come in twos, as do couples.

    Thanks and good luck!

  • 54 Patricia Martin // Apr 20, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    I would love to win tickets. My daughter and her boyfriend will be here for the weekend from Sarasota. Naturally I would LOVE them to move here and as he has never been to Nashvegas I want to spoil them, wine them dine them and have them fall in love with the city-what a fun time we will have!!!!!!!!!!
    So, pick me and I will run a story with your photo and St.Lukes information in the next Health & Wellness Magazine-how perfect is that?
    Happy eating! And Whole Foods will love me even more!

  • 55 Richard // Apr 21, 2008 at 8:53 am

    Yes I admit it, I am a native New Yorker. Lived in Chicago for five years prior to calling Nashville my home in 1975. There was one Chinese restaurant and no other ethnic food here. What a food/culture shock! We have come a long way in 33 years. And its been an interesting journey. I love good food of all kinds, and I am always amazed when folks here, even those with “credentials”, open a restaurant with food that is not even mediocre. Folks DON’T want sub standard food when they eat out. What part of this is hard to understand? I am ready to be delighted and amazed if I should win this contest.

  • 56 Andrea Hutchinson // Apr 21, 2008 at 8:55 am

    I would love to be selected to win the tickets to Iron Fork. It sounds like an awesome event. I send the weekly e-newsletter Downtown Details which will be promoting Iron Fork and I would love to check out this first-time event. Plus, I can just walk across the river to attend.

    P.S. My fiance who would join me is an architect (who would rather be a chef) and I have a cat … just thought I would include a few things you liked into my submission.

  • 57 Anne Clayton // Apr 21, 2008 at 9:21 am

    I need to be there to be able to write about it in my NFocus food and drink column!!

  • 58 Robert // Apr 21, 2008 at 12:36 pm


    Lets see, a covershot on Health and Wellness, an inteview in Downtown Details, and a NFocus column about ceF. Still 10 more hours to go. You cant buy this kind of publicity……. oh, nevermind.

  • 59 Dana // Apr 21, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    I came to visit after reading about this give-away, and your fabulous blog, over at Lynn’s place (

    Unfortunately, I won’t be in Nashville area April 30th (I’ve been condemned to the hell that is Chicago), but I wanted to put in a good word for Lynn. She’s got to be one of the most giving, caring people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and if anyone deserves a pair of those tickets, it’s her! Besides, who else would be able to attend with a silver spork??

    Now, let me go make those apple muffins – YUMMMM!

  • 60 Walden East // Apr 21, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    As a penurious epicure, I jumped at the chance to taste great food for free. Just like other blogs I subscribe to allow me to travel, delve into political crossfire, or cruise Rodeo Drive with Paris vicariously, yours allows me to explore cooking various dishes while I wait for the Ramen to boil in my East Nashville apartment. Ain’t the interweb great?

  • 61 Pages tagged "qdoba mexican grill" // Jul 2, 2008 at 12:03 pm

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