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Why Lily Aldridge Wanted to Host a Farm-to-Table Party in Nashville

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Our love of Nashville is well-documented. And when Lily Aldridge agreed to host a dinner with us, we were thrilled—not just because she’s Lily Aldridge—but because we got to plan a party in the city she’s made her home.

Nashville, in case you hadn’t heard, has completely outdone itself in the past couple years. It’s always been a key player in the music scene, drawing in some of the most creative people anywhere. But recently, the Tennessee capital has gone a few steps further, reinventing itself as a formidable food destination in its own right—and it’s a trajectory that shows no sign of slowing down. Combine an unparalleled history of music, an emerging art scene, and some of the best restaurants you can find anywhere in the world, and you land in Nashville—a city with beauty, with soul, with more than a little grit.

To celebrate the exploding Nashville culinary scene, we also wanted to honor the people behind it. When we first set foot on Lauren Palmer’s farm, land that’s been passed down from generations of farmers in her family, we knew this was where we wanted to be. Everywhere on the pastoral 400 acres of Bloomsbury Farm, about half an hour outside Nashville, you can feel her father’s motto: “Bloom where you were planted.” The farm is organic-certified, with a great CSA program—an ethos we can all get behind—and pure pastoral beauty.

The entire day was magic: It was a study in sustainable harvesting, sage-bundle making, and see-how-spicy-this-pepper-is courage. As dusk settled, the party migrated from garden to farmhouse, where chef Greg Baxtrom (of NYC’s Olmsted fame) used the day’s bounty to prepare an alfresco lantern-lit dinner of course upon course of creative, seasonal dishes, like ricotta and heirloom tomato schnitzel and roasted duck confit with radicchio, sunchokes, and pecans. As evening turned to night and the temperature dropped to chilly, it was finally time to go home. It’s never easy to leave a dinner party, but there was incentive: warm mugs of hot chocolate on the way out.

  • Woman in field

    Hannah Crowell finding the perfect collection of herbs.

  • Woman in dress cutting herbs

    Lily Aldridge picks a pepper. (Say that five times fast.)

  • sneakers

    We were all Sperry prepared.

  • baskets

    Exactly what you need for custom sage bundles.

  • gloves

    Shear brilliance.

  • green drinks

    SP2 Life spirulina smoothies, courtesy of our food editors.

  • ladies sitting

    Guests Savannah Yarborough, Shelly Colvin, and Johanna Followill.

  • garden sink

    Possibly the world’s chicest farmhouse sink.

  • gathering outside

  • drinks on a platter

  • place setting

    The perfect place settings for the perfect place.

  • flowers
  • chef preparing meal

    Chef Greg Baxtrom in his element.

  • musicians

    Hush Kids serenade the crowd.

  • woman with a drink

    Cassie Kelley convinces us to get our second Ketel One Botanical cocktail of the night.

  • woman laughing

    Our editor in chief, Danielle Pergament, welcomes guests to dinner (and what she pretends is her house).

  • giving toasts

    Aldridge holds court.

  • appetizers

  • drinks in candle light

  • dining

    Shelly Colvin (and her amazing hat) listen in.

  • BMW

    Lyft rides at the ready.

  • goop farm

Much appreciation to:

The whole team at WORKSHOP, Hush Kids, Olive & Sinclair, Krewe, and Burke Decor, Olmsted NYC, and chef Greg Baxtrom

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