LOCAL SPOTLIGHT: Nancy Vienneau
Author: Third Thursday Community Potluck Cookbook
Is your kitchen shelf in need of a new, locally grown cookbook to inspire new recipes for friends and family? Meet Nancy Vienneau, a self-trained chef with over twenty-five years of experience in the culinary arts. A true connoisseur in the art of food preparation, Nancy ran her own full-service catering company, A Matter of Taste, for over sixteen years, with a clientele that ranged from individuals, non-profits, corporations, universities, and the entertainment industry. She sold the company in 2005, and now she is one of Nashville’s most prominent food educators, writers, and activists.
In June of this year, Thomas Nelson/Harper Collins published her first cookbook, The Third Thursday Community Potluck Cookbook. Five years ago, Nancy partnered with Gigi Gaskins, founder of Wedgewood Urban Garden, to create a community potluck that would celebrate both the city of Nashville and seasonal cooking. Having transformed the farm into a magnificent garden, where a variety of seeds ripened, Nancy began to experiment with the different kinds of meals they could craft from its fruits, and created an informal potluck with an emphasis on sharing. The third Thursday potluck has become a staple gathering, and elucidates the true nature of sharing a meal with the community. “Many guests consider it the best meal they eat all month,” Nancy says. “We’re always amazed by the variety, beauty and flavor of all the dishes that show up at the table.”
Not your typical cookbook, The Third Thursday Community Potluck is structured to reflect both the changing seasons of food, and the stories of the community that accompany each dinner. Each chapter denotes one month, and within each month Nancy shares a story, a menu, and an assortment of corresponding recipes with notes attached. The recipes yield between eight and twelve servings, and serve as a perfect and approachable guide for anyone who wants to create their own potluck, or who simply loves the art of cooking. The book is now available at local stores such as BookManBookWoman and Parnassus Books, as well as online retailers including Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.
On Sunday, October 12th, Nancy will be speaking at The 26th Annual Southern Festival of Books, held at the war memorial plaza. A celebration of the written word, the festival incorporates writers and authors from all over the southern regions, each representing a different genre of writing. Besides her first cookbook, Nancy writes articles for Relish Magazine, reviews restaurants for The Tennessean and contributes to Alimentum, the Literature of Food.
Be sure to visit her website at the link below for more information and the latest updates.