So You Want To Be A Waiter

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Famed Nashville institution Zola shuts down

Sadly, this was the last week of serving Nashville some of the most adventurous food on the planet from husband and wife team Ernie and Deb Paquette. Deb, the pioneering chef and Ernie, the grease of front-of-the-house and an outdoors dude who has a career in the outdoor industry as a guide and advisor, have called it quits and have decided to go island. Both have felt the call of the ocean for a while now, as both grew up in seaside communities.

While the economy might have been a little of a factor, it was more the fact that the kids are grown and they wanted to move to warmer and more tropical climes. It’s nice when a restauranteur can quit on their own terms and the Paquettes are taking full advantage.

Nashville is going to miss the absolute fierceness of Deb’s culinary vision. Often combining disparate ingredients and culinary cultures, she has influenced countless chefs and has trained and worked alongside many of them.

Here’s an article that will give you a sense of the Paquettes’ importance in Nashville dining culture:

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20100117/FEATURES02/1170302/Zola+is+gone++but+its+impact+on+Nashville+food+scene+endures

Here’s another:

http://blogs.nashvillescene.com/bites/2010/01/adieu_–or_perhaps_au_revoir_-.php

I’m really happy for them. I actually interviewed for a job there once and Deb told me that they had someone leaving and that I might be someone who could fill the shoes. Unfortunately, that person ended up staying. When you have a small restaurant and a small staff, you can’t just shoehorn someone into the schedule the way you can in larger restaurants. I was disappointed but also assured that she thought that I might have the stuff to represent her on the dining floor.

Thank you Ernie and Deb. Nashville is going to miss you so much.

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