Kay West | Nashville Scene
Some chefs make food so pretty, you feel you should photograph it. Some chefs make food so complicated, you feel you need a pocket copy of Larousse Gastronomique to understand it. Some chefs make foods so pretentious, you feel you are not worthy.
And then there is Ed Arace, who, when describing the food he is making at Mojo Grill, says with a self-deprecating laugh, “Well, this isn’t the kind of place people are going to get dressed up and go to for their anniversary. This is pretty much regular-guy food.” Which pretty well describes Arace, a transplanted New Yorker, pepperhead, and die-hard Jets fan. He’s big and burly and in the kitchen, he opts for jeans, a T-shirt, and a ball cap over chef pants, a white jacket, and a toque.
Most recently, he was cooking at Laurell’s Central Market on 12th Avenue South. Before that, he was at Jamaica, which has since closed. Mojo Grill, which shares a building and ownership with Broadway Brewhouse, brings Arace back to the Jamaica neighborhood, which is to say a little bit Vandy, a little bit Music Row, and a little bit midtown business. Then there are fellow Jets fans, fellow pepperheads, and people who just know Ed—of which there seem to be a pretty sizable number. On a mid-week night, customers streamed in steadily, and many of them poked their heads over the counter to shout a greeting while he manned the stove.
Anyone who ever bought a keg at Major Brew won’t recognize the place, which has been transformed by the Brewhouse’s Kelly Jones into a funky, casual eatery where you place your food order at the counter, Read more