Deb Paquette, Chef and Owner of Etch and Etc.
Chef Deb Paquette has been part of the Nashville food scene since 1997 when she and husband Ernie Paquette opened Zola off West End Ave. The food scene was sleepy then, and Zola served some adventurous food for the times. After 13 years of awards, accolades, teenagers, local farmers, obscure food trends, sustainability, confusing food science, lots of humor, and great food, they hung the “gone fishing” sign on the door and closed in 2010. Two years later, Paquette opened Etch restaurant with partners Doug Hogrefe and Paul Shramkowski. Countless awards, national recognition and overwhelmingly positive reviews from guests proved their decision on a downtown location indisputable.
Four years after the conception of Etch, etc. restaurant was born. Settled on a quiet street in Green Hills, this stylish neighborhood restaurant provides lunch, dinner, and brunch to a local crowd, featuring the same bold flavors Paquette is known for.
Her philosophy is to “cook food for people that they can’t cook at home, using the best ingredients, best knowledge and best people”, a culture shared among the management and service team at her restaurants. “Our staff is incredible – they are passionate about providing an exemplary experience for every guest that walks through our doors…I couldn’t do this without them.”
Paquette’s signature cuisine boasts creative global and ethnic flavor presentations with no regards to authenticity. In fact, she laughs as she describes her food as an “American bastardization of global and ethnic cuisine.” Etch and etc. are not ethnic restaurants and need not be labeled as such. Rather, she tweaks flavor combinations from far away lands to provide a unique dining experience – one that is now made easier with our own local bounty. “Tennessee has grown tremendously in helping me design my menus with the increase of local farms and the availability of cool ingredients.”
Paquette didn’t get here on her own; she is quick to acknowledge the fabulous city of Nashville and her past three employers who granted her carte blanche to allow her to follow her dreams. Today, she is dreaming bigger than ever.
Craig Wayne Boyd, American country singer and songwriter and Season 7 Winner of “The Voice”
A native of Mesquite, Texas, Craig Wayne Boyd came to the attention of America as the winner of Season 7 of the hit NBC television program, "The Voice." During his run on the show, Boyd performed his versions of classic country hits such as "I Walk The Line," "You Look So Good In Love," and "Workin' Man Blues." During his rise to fame, Boyd's single "My Baby's Got A Smile On Her Face" debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, becoming the second song in history (following Garth Brooks' "More Than A Memory") to achieve that level of chart success. Boyd's first full-length album (since winning The Voice), Top Shelf, is available now.
Ashford Hughes, Sr., city of Nashville's Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer
Ashford Hughes was recently appointed by Mayor David Briley to serve as the city of Nashville’s Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, where will implement the Mayor’s diversity and inclusion goals across Metro Government and lead the city’s efforts to attract, develop, promote, and retain a diverse government workforce at all levels. He will oversee improvements to the city’s procurement practices and policies to further increase opportunities for minority- and women-owned companies to do business with Metro. He also will ensure collaboration across Metro departments and continue to prioritize community-focused initiatives that promote and improve economic inclusion for all Nashvillians. Ashford was also a founding member of NextUP.