Nicki Pendleton


Back when I was a rookie reporter at The Tennessean in Nashville, I was assigned to the food beat—meaning, I was in charge of doing restaurant profiles, new-eats reviews, profiles of various chefs, recipe takes, etc. It was utterly ludicrous, considering I cook worse than I dress (and I’m a terrible dresser).

In absence of any, ahem, skill, I turned to the one thing I learned in college: Talking trash. The Tennessean’s rival newspaper was the (now defunct) Nashville Banner. They happened to employ a truly dazzling food writer by the name of Nicki Pendleton. I saw Nicki as a threat, so I occasionally e-mailed her trash talk letters. It was sooooo ridiculously stupid, akin to the Tulsa Drillers threatening the New York Yankees. I mean, a real joke. The only time Nicki ever responded was when, in some way, shape or form, I used the word “redneck.” It was probably the only time I’ve ever uttered the word as an actual adjective—and she rightly smacked me back to Mahopac. “That’s a very offensive term down here,” she wrote me. “Please don’t use it.”

I’m not even sure whether Nicki and I actually met face to face. But I learned a lot from her—both from that response, as well as by reading her amazing work.

Anyhow, this is a long way of saying that today I came across her blog, Tupperware Avalanche, which I love. If you’re into food at all, it’s a very worthy stop.