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.

3 thoughts on “Nicki Pendleton”

  1. Jeff–

    I had forgotten all about the trash talk, but Nicki hadn’t. Since I can’t get her to join FaceBook, she was reading it over my shoulder when I discovered this entry. We both enjoyed it immensely.

    She sends thanks for the love re Tupperware Avalanche. She has not been able to update it so often since the Scene started paying her (very modestly) to post on its food blog:

    My all-time fave of her TA posts is here:

    Hope you and yours are well. I heard high praise for the doc based on your boxing story, though it sounds like it will be hard to watch.

    All best,

  2. I remember the guilty pleasure of editing your Tennessean stories, and trying to decide how much I dared let pass. We were on a new push to develop writers’ voices, and yours was surely one to heft that boundary into the stratosphere. But in a good way. Check out my book, released last week, “Hidden History of Nashville.” Or not. Best to you!

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