The Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce is the premier advocate of the Greater Nashville Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender business community, representing over 150 businesses in Nashville and the surrounding area. The Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce advances common business interests, economic growth, and equality in the workplace and society for its LGBT members, businesses, and allies by providing educational, networking, and community building opportunities.
Brian Riggenbach and Mikey Corona, co-creators and husbands, have an established history of combining international flavors with different American cuisines for their very successful pop-up concept Yo Soy Underground Supper Club in Chicago for the last twelve years. Riggenbach received national attention when he was named “Chopped Champion” on The Food Network’s popular show “Chopped” two years ago. And now they have moved from Chicago to Nashville to build their first brick-and-mortar restaurant, The Mockingbird Nashville.
The journey to Music City began when long-time friend and “Chopped” judge Maneet Chauhan suggested they partner on a venture together. Chauhan is an established local restaurateur, with the Chauhan Ale & Masala House in Nashville and Mantra Artisan Ales brewery in Franklin. Last summer Chauhan took them on a culinary tour of Nashville, and they explored all the best restaurants the city has to offer. On the last day, she brought them back to the spot adjacent to Chauhan Ale & Masala House (which was just a construction zone at the time) and they discussed building their first restaurant there.
“We were wary at first about moving to the South as a gay couple,” says Corona. “Nashville’s culture is very different from Chicago. But we have surrounded ourselves with people that are supportive of us.” They made a lot of friends here, and soon after, felt that ‘big hug’ from the Nashville community at large, and our LGBT community in particular.
"We think it's important, especially here in the South, to support other LGBT-friendly businesses that support our community, and us," says Corona. They joined the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce soon after moving here, and found some great partners among our members.
Of course the quality of their ingredients has to come first, and they appreciate that they have been able source from several quality, local vendors. They source their fresh produce from Green Door Gourmet and Nashville Grown - a collective of 50-60 small local farms – and their goat’s milk from Noble Springs Dairy. Provence Breads & Café provides breads and rolls to accompany their meals, Pied Piper Creamery provides ice-cream for their desserts and milkshakes, and Frothy Monkey is their coffee roaster.
Riggenbach says that The Mockingbird Nashville will continue their theme of playing with international flavors, combining them with southern comfort foods and providing their own creative twist on American diner standards. They will have a set menu, but will rotate dishes seasonally. He notes, "One great thing about Tennessee is that we have all four seasons, and our cuisine can reflect that seasonality." And yes, they've experimented with their own version of Nashville's iconic hot chicken dish, which they’ll likely feature weekly as one of their Blue Plate Specials. Riggenbach resisted the urge to describe the dish in detail. “It will be a surprise,” he said. To which Corona replied, “But trust me, it’s amazing!”
The Mockingbird Nashville opens August 14th. For a detailed menu, and to make reservations, please visit their http://www.mockingbirdnashville.com/.