Crushing on Chef McCormick of Margot Cafe & Bar, Marchè
Chef Margot McCormick, reposted from Instagram
Every Sunday we crush on Nashville, usually something in the culinary scene. Today I want to tell you about one of my favorite chefs and her two successful restaurants that have helped changed the face of Nashville and recently afforded some important recognition.
Chef Margot McCormack, of Margo Cafe and Bar and Marché, has been a trailblazer in the East Nashville restaurant revival, consistently serving high quality French and Italian-inspired food since 2001. She is often compared to Alice Waters, of the famed Chez Panisse, for her fresh ingredients and culinary view—neither whimsical nor mysteriously achieved.
Although I consider her a bigger than life person, she’s not likely to brag on herself, but if she did, she’d have a lot to say. She was just named a James Beard semi-finalist as best chef in the southeast.
Chef Margot McCormick, Mentor and Culinary Mother
Chef Margot McCormick is one of the culinary mothers of local chef- driven establishments, having mentored and collaborated with chefs who are now restaurant owners in their own right.
A few years ago, I sat down with Margot. I came away with three things I remember about her view on food and her restaurant.
- Make the food taste good. Make it fresh, seasonal, local.
- Use white table cloths, because it creates a special atmosphere.
- Treat the staff like family.
She is proud to have mentored chefs who sparked success out on their own and , speaks highly of the talented Tandy Wilson, who worked for two years as her sous-chef, before moving on to open City House in Germantown and winning the James Beard award she is currently nominated for. She has been instrumental in building community through good food and I am cheering her on.
House Made Potato Chips with Aoili
Cafe Margot and Bar, Marchè
Cafe Margot and it’s little sister, Marche, achieve success consistently year after year. No one else makes such a strong nod to French and Italian food in the approachable way she does it. When I eat at Cafe Margot, I feel transported to a bistro in the the wine country of Northern California. The food is elegant, rustic, approachable, seasonal and tastes good!
I remember having a dish I had never heard of, chicken agr0dolce, which is an authentic Italian dish with a unique sweet and sour sauce. I went home and had to make my own version.
On that same night, we celebrated with out of town friends, each one ordering something different yet so approachable.
Forks were flying everywhere, as we wanted to taste everything which also included homemade pappardelle and cobbler with ice cream.
Marchè, (cafe and bakery) described as a European style eatery, serves breakfast and lunch Monday through Thursday, and brunch Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
I wish Chef Margo the best as a semi-finalist, but she’s already a winner and legend in East Nashville, as people return again and again to enjoy her delicious food at both Margot Cafe and it’s little sister, Marchè.
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