Three years ago this month, the Peter Nappi Studio officially opened its doors, a handmade-in-Italy brand designed in Nashville and housed in a former industrial boiler room on the outskirts of Germantown. The biggest reason we chose the admittedly unlikely location was that we could immediately picture it filled with family, friends, music, food, and conversation. What we loved most about it was its potential as a gathering place.
The last three years have been busier and gone faster than we ever could have predicted. And the busier you are, the easier it is to forget to stop and savor the moment. Enter Anna Watson Carl of The Yellow Table, who took a year away from her career to focus on just that, in the form of a cookbook. She drove in from New York to cook us dinner on our third birthday, a flavorful, beautiful, perfect meal around a table with close friends and family.
…which is something of a challenge in a space with no kitchen or dining table. But good ideas happen when you put good people and good food in the same room. The boots got kicked off the counter and it became a crostini prep station; the printer went under the desk to make way for pesto and what seemed like 50 Whole Foods bags; tables were bused in from off campus. Poppies appeared. And when you’re testing fig and olive tapenade with a glass of prosecco in hand, watching a massive thunderstorm beat on the windows, you’re much better at solving challenges. We are, anyway.
After a few hours of chopping, grilling, and roasting (under umbrellas in the rain), we finally did it. We sat down. Around a table. Together. And we stayed there for a while, long after demolishing Anna’s grilled chicken and shallots, fresh pesto and pasta, and many more crostini. After the roasted carrots and radicchio. After Lisa Donovan’s plum and pine nut upside down cake. It was the best possible reminder of what we love, of what makes it worthwhile. It’s the line we write under our name, the thing we stamp in every shoe and bag we make: TVB. Ti voglio bene. I want you to be well. To sit at a table with people you love, eating food you love…how much more well could you possibly be?
You’ve made our first three years amazing. Here’s to the next three. Grazie, and ti voglio bene.
The Peter Nappi / Yellow Table Third Birthday Dinner: Food from The Yellow Table Cookbook by Anna Watson Carl; Wine Pairings by Robin Riddell Jones; Styling by Ruthie Lindsey; Flowers from Turnbull Creek Farm; Plates by Handmade Studio; Props from The House Nashville; Place Cards by Everleigh Designs.