The 3rd Hour of ‘The Today Show’ broadcast live from Nashville this morning — and hot chicken, biscuits, and overall dining in Music City were a big part of the lineup. The crew set up the news desk smack dab in the middle of Strategic Hospitality’s popular gathering place Pinewood Social. During the show, hosts and visiting guests chatted about hot chicken, local beer, and more — before tasting some signature bites from six Music City chefs.
Before the show, Eater caught up with the show’s co-hosts Al Roker, Craig Melvin and Sheinelle Jones — plus guest and new Nashville resident Kathie Lee Gifford — to discuss everything from Dolly and Reba to meat-and-threes and where they love dining in Nashville.
The three visiting hosts all agreed they’re team hot chicken versus traditionally fried chicken, when in Nashville, and Jones said she’s previously waited at least 30 minutes in a line for Hattie B’s. While in town, they dined and drank at 404 Kitchen, Jackalope Brewing Company, Martin’s Bar-b-que, Frothy Monkey, plus Five Daughters, Biscuit Love, and the Grilled Cheeserie. One crew member said he particularly enjoyed hitting up Brown’s Diner for a classic cheeseburger.
Later, during the show’s Taste of Nashville dining segment, six well-known Nashville chefs offered tastes of some of their signature dishes. Matt Bolus of 404 Kitchen provided skillet-fulls of his cast-iron cornbread featuring Grana Padano and Anson Mills cornmeal, with plenty of sorghum butter for spreading. Maneet Chauhan showcased Chauhan’s hot chicken pakoras, while Etch’s Deb Paquette gave a taste of her iconic roasted cauliflower with truffled pea pesto and feta crema. Pat Martin of eponymous Martin’s Bar-b-que showed off his whole hog barbecue sandwiches and broccoli salad. Julia Sullivan of Henrietta Red taught them about a new iconic Nashville dish is her Poppy’s caviar with Tennessee paddlefish caviar, sour cream, and spring onion vinaigrette. And finally, Butcher & Bee’s Bryan Lee Weaver let them in on one of the city’s favorite starters — that whipped feta with fermented honey and black pepper.
Click here to watch the full Nashville chef segment.