Between a monumental symphony, an "unplayable" piano concerto, and a portrait of an American town, there was a lot in the Nashville Symphony's season-opening concert to inspire a menu from classical music lover, foodie, and Nashville Ballet company member Gerald Watson.
Watson found a great deal of inspiration in the form of each piece, with the unraveling of the foods themselves following the shape of the music. He also put the courses in concert order so that the meal itself can actually follow along with the broadcast.
To start, paired with Adolphus Hailstork's An American Port of Call:
- Gougères with a Caramelized Onion
- Smoked Salmon Mousse
According to Watson: "It’s explosive on the first bite. The sweetness of the caramelized onion balances the salty fish in a battle of solid ground and the sea which can bring and take away the idea of freedom."
You can find a recipe for Gougères on Epicurious.
Entree, paired with Samuel Barber's Piano Concerto:
- Stuffed Pork Roulade
- Root Vegetable Stuffing (apple, mushroom, onion, garlic)
- Compound Butter
"It unravels with intensifying complexity, to finish with a sweet, earthy stuffing that flavors and themes of the opening taste/movement. After the majority of the dish is consumed, you find your self picking up the pieces, marrying bites that weren’t available until the form was dismantled."
Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond gives several options for making compound butter. While garlic is a common addition, her rosemary sage would make an excellent pairing.
Dessert, paired with Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5:
"The pavlova is perfect until it’s cut. It’s balanced, poised and positioned. Once the form breaks, the exterior crumbles. It leaves a texturally complex, layered and disintegrated melding of the sky-high structure that was a pedestal for the airy and sensitive technique and ingredients."
You can put a fall twist on your pavlova with this spiced blackberry and pear version from the BBC.
91Classical will host a live broadcast of the Nashville Symphony's season-opening performance of Tchaikovsky's 5th on Saturday, Sept. 14 at 8 p.m.
Gerald Watson can be seen in Nashville Ballet's upcoming production of Romeo and Juliet Sept. 20-22.