Lining the streets with local flavor
By Kerri Bartlett, Assistant Editor
Area sweet and savory food shops will combine their unique flavors with wine offerings at the Wine Down Main Street event next week to raise money for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee.
Gary and Chad Collier of Papa C Pies will bake about 700-800 samples of their signature pies. Photo by Kerri Bartlett
Other local restaurants such as Jason McConnell’s three creations—Cork & Cow, 55 South and Red Pony—will be participating in the food fare at Wine Down Main.
McConnell, a renowned Franklin chef, will provide “Shrimp, Scallops, French Gnocchi” with Parmesan, cream and mushrooms for the Cork & Cow station and hand-made guacamole for the Red Pony and 55 South station.
Pollo Tropical, the national chain Caribbean-inspired restaurant known for their chicken entrees, is also participating.
The restaurant serves their specialty dishes such plantains, black beans and rice relying on tropical flavors such as Jerk seasoning to create one-of-a-kind flavor new to the area.
In the days leading up the Nov. 2 event, Amber Thomas, chef and manager of Wholy Crepe in Franklin, “will be making crepe chips like crazy.”
Paul Burnash, owner of Paul’s Chocolate Gallery, will infuse dark chocolate with raspberry wine then shape the intense flavored mixture to form edible wine corks for a sweet treat for guests.
And Chad and Gary Collier (Papa C), of Papa C Pies, will be slaving away in their “underground kitchen” in the First Tennessee Bank building on the Public Square baking homemade signature chocolate and mixed-berry pies for the event.
The Colliers, father/son duo owners of Papa C Pies, will ultimately be serving about 700-800 samples of their pies with full pies for sale on site. The clandestine pie shop tucked away in the basement of the bank building has built quite a homemade pie loving following since 2008.
Loyal customers ride the elevator to the bottom floor and are greeted with wafts of fresh-baked apple, mixed-berry and Ghirardelli chocolate pies as the elevator doors open.
Gary’s mother’s family apple pie recipe served as the slice of inspiration for his pie business venture after retirement in the healthcare industry.
As the oldest of five children, Gary became his mother’s right hand man in the kitchen.
“I learned a lot in the kitchen. My mom would say, ‘Watch this, and stir that,’” he said, “while she checked on the other kids in the other room.”
The Colliers will spend hours in the kitchen baking pies for the event they said, and will go through the cycle again for Pumpkinfest and Franklin Tomorrow’s Chili Cook-Off.
Meanwhile, Thomas is focused on making the thin and crispy crepe chips that will be served with sweet and savory dips for Wine Down Main. The shop also participated in the Franklin Wine Festival recently.
The meticulous art of making crepes by hand starts with fresh ingredients before the thin dough is baked and transformed into a scrumptious chip. Thomas uses local dairy products to make the crepes.
Along with wine-infused chocolate- shaped corks, Burnash, who previously served as the executive pastry chef at the Renaissance Hotel, will provide 72 percent pure chocolate wafers to appeal to chocolate enthusiasts.
Burnash says that people are curious about the chocolate “gallery” as passersby gaze into his shop on Frazier Drive where a grand piano and chandelier creates a unique ambience.
“We don’t want to intimidate people about chocolate,” he said. We are very affordable while providing unique flavors. The chocolates are pretty to look at, the shop is gorgeous and the flavors are intense [balsamic-infused chocolate].”
“We embrace the philosophy of supporting local organizations like the Boys and Girls Clubs who are trying to help the community. We are looking forward to our first year of participation in the event,” Burnash said.
Posted on: 10/27/2013