This week’s Weekly Dish features Butcher & Bee‘s Bryan Lee Weaver. We already knew all about his fresh, delicious, produce-driven dishes, but wanted to find out more about his culinary past, his ties to Nashville, and more…
What’s the first thing you ever cooked?
I perfected the art of the grilled cheese sandwich when I was in middle school. At the time, it was mayo on both sides of the bread, 2 slices of American Cheese, garlic salt and five drops of tabasco. Cooked on as low heat as possible to get it nice and crunchy.
Why did you choose Nashville to work and live in? What’s your favorite part of the Nashville culinary scene?
I moved to Nashville to be closer to my family. They’ve moved to Kentucky, and I had been on the West Coast for 10 years. I was drawn to the music and the food here. I am learning every day….new purveyors and products that are helping me grow. Learning to live by the season instead of the bounty of Southern California has been a welcome challenge. I love how welcoming the community of chefs has been here in Nashville. Everyone has been incredibly nice.
Are there any chefs that have had a big influence on you?
Sarah Schafer was my chef at Irving Street Kitchen in Portland, Oregon. She taught me how to work clean and fast, leave my problems at the door, and how to not take any excuses from anyone when it comes to sacrificing standards. Jason Neroni, now at the Rose Cafe in Venice, really helped me look at creating dishes in a unique way and to respect the seasons/farmers.
What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
Depends on the day….The best fancy meal I’ve ever had was two birthdays ago at N/Naka in Los Angeles. The care she took in thinking of each course was amazing and there wasn’t a bad bite. Other days my favorite is Waffle House: a pecan waffle with hash browns smothered, covered and chunked and a sunny egg on top.