Meet Martha

IMG_0531“My philosophy behind food is that it not only nourishes the body, it nourishes the soul. Eating organic, buying local, connecting directly to farmers via CSAs and co-ops help us to connect to the land and soil beneath our feet.”

 

I have lived in Nashville forever, with brief stints in Charlottesville, Va, New York, and St. John USVI. No matter where paradise lay, home has always been the woods and valleys of Middle Tennessee. 

Cooking began in my grandmother’s kitchen on Cedar Lane, standing on stool with my arms wrapped tight around the broad shoulders of my beloved Catherine Couch. Biscuits were for every meal. I moved with her as she rolled out the dough, feeling muscles used to working, and breathing in her soft low hum. The rhythm of our slow dance,  heartbeat of the kitchen lay claim to my soul and has guided me ever sense.

Today I am a chef and writer, owner of Martha Stamps Catering and Bergamot Market. A lot of real work – not the kind that makes you money – focuses on families and communities forged around tables across the globe. Throughout my career I promoted local and traditional foods, uniting food with history, the arts, culture, spirituality and health. All of the food I prepare is whole foods based, and my menus are produce-driven. I’ve written a few books: The New Southern Basics is still my favorite. Then I loved having my food column in The Tennessean.

My first restaurant, Martha’s at the plantation, had a terrific run. I made such good friends there. Feeding the preschoolers and preparing the community dinners at West End UMC truly fed my.

Today I have my dream job, owning the small and highly personal Bergamot Market. (Bergamot is a citrus fruit that flavors my favorite tea – Early Grey.) I’ve so missed greeting you, feeding you food that I love, and making you feel at home. Some of you have told that Bergamot feels like an oasis in the midst of the craziness of all is Nashville. That makes Martha very happy, indeed.