The Fresh Exchange Blog

A Simple Evening – Nashville

6

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

Over the years I have learned to never underestimate a relationship in life. Whether you meet for 40 minutes on a plane or you spend years together, you never know when a relationship will reveal a beautiful and amazing side to life you never expected.

When I first met Stephen Rose, owner of The Peach Truck, we were freshmen entering a whole new chapter in life.  We had a class or two together, but we honestly never really got to know each other. Fast forward years later to our Senior Seminar.  He was there sitting next to Mike. I naturally chose a front row seat.  Throughout the semester, Stephen watched as Mike and I quickly fell in love.  During our years in college, I never thought that I would road trip from my home in Raleigh to Stephen’s home in Nashville to collaborate as entrepreneurs. I never expected that we all would be planning a dinner to celebrate life, community, and great food. When life comes together in that way, you see why it’s so amazing and beautiful.

We honestly couldn’t be more thankful to call Stephen and his wife, Jess, our friends.  Last summer at our best friends’ wedding we joked about doing a Nashville Simple Evening.  Eventually we realized it was not a silly idea to bring together The Peach Truck and The Fresh Exchange to create a beautiful evening in Nashville.

Months later, we found ourselves together in the heat of an early Southern summer.  We strung lights in the backyard and watched as all the pieces fell perfectly in to place for an evening that would live in our memories as one special night.

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

Before we jump in to sharing about the dinner, let’s chat about The Peach Truck for a minute. The story behind The Peach Truck is a story we plan to share more in our Wild Measures series, but I have to at least give you some insight into this amazing story and company. Jess and Stephen both left their jobs to risk it all to build a life they had always dreamed of.  Stephen grew up eating his family’s Georgia peaches and knew them as the best peaches around. He and Jess decided to bring these special peaches to their community in Nashville so they could share them with the people they loved. As a result they built an amazing business providing a top-notch product to the Nashville community, the surrounding area, and even across the U.S. If you are a peach fan, do yourself a favor and order a box to really treat yourself. It is a story of hard work, passion, and love.

Jess and Stephen are hard working entrepreneurs that are embracing the community they live in. They work countless hours to make their dreams come true. So, like I said before, we feel pretty honored to call such people our good friends. Thus, we knew when we told Stephen to begin inviting those he loved to the dinner, that they would be people we would love as well. Sure enough that afternoon when faces started coming through the door around 6:30 p.m., each came in with a smile.  Hugs were shared, and new friendships began within minutes.

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

It worked out perfectly that the first day of The Peach Truck season was the same day as the dinner. Jess and Stephen had sold out that morning at the Farmer’s Markets in Nashville and so it felt pretty special that we would be celebrating together. It felt like the perfect celebration to kick off a new season full of hard work, new adventures, sweet peaches, and of course summer.

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

Everyone was asked to bring a favorite dish to pass. The amazing KLD Farms provided us with local beef and sausage for the grill. There is nothing like food straight from the farm and nothing like sharing it with those that work everyday to keep the quality top-notch throughout the process.

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

Though it had been extremely humid and warm throughout the day, the sun had begun to fall low enough to touch the top of the Nashville skyline.  We were thankful for the glorious break from the day’s heat. It made sitting on the porch and patio the perfect thing to kick off the evening. As the sun began to slowly fade, everyone began to grab drinks and come out to enjoy the beginning of our Simple Evening.

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

A few brought some awesome homemade cocktails. Chris of Made South shared his Blueberry Mojito mix, and Jesse of Food Sheriff brought a lime and mint infused Gin. There is nothing like a well-crafted cocktail to begin a good evening with great people.

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

We were lucky enough that evening to have had AusDen Inc share their amazing foldable farmhouse table and their benches. These tables were gorgeous and were perfect for the place settings.  As someone who does a lot of dinners, I found that the best part about the tables was that they were easy to move (I mean foldable legs and very light weight). For the decor we had gathered items from our home, Jess and Stephen’s home, and thrift shops. We spent about $20 on flowers…the rest were gathered from the yard. I try to make a small fuss about the decor at these dinners because to me it is not necessarily about the way the table looks as much as it is about who gathers around it. Sure it is fun to set a pretty table, but the memories and stories shared amongst those present lasts far longer than flowers and decor.

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

It was so cool to have The Peach Truck herself at the dinner. Though it wasn’t our first time having a vintage vehicle at A Simple Evening, it may have been one of my favorites. Stephen brought her in the back after her last pick up for the day and let her enjoy the gorgeous summer night with all of us.

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

For me this dinner may have been a favorite because it’s not often that I get to enjoy the night with Mike.  Since we had Parker Young there to capture the evening, Mike was able to be a little less on duty even though he still shot some video (don’t miss it at the end of the post). We rarely get photos together because Mike often is behind the camera especially when shooting for the blog, so we were glad that Parker could snap a couple of us. Seriously, it was really special to have this evening captured by Parker.

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

Once the sun had fallen behind the top of the fence, we had everyone grab a plate from the table and head on over to stack their plates high with all the amazing food that everyone had brought to share.  There was everything from roasted veggies to Tennessee beef to salad packed full of Peach Truck peaches…of course!

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

For the evening we felt it would be fun to break away from the normal burger and brat condiments.  We wanted to create something more fun by providing unique items to layer on top such as grilled peaches, smoked gouda, whole seed mustards, and more. As each person went through, they each put their burger together differently than the other.

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

It is so easy to pull together fun condiments (or even have your guests bring their favorites), and since everyone has different tastes, there is always a new burger that can be built from a handful of really good ingredients.

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

After everyone grabbed their plates and found their seat around the table, Matt stood up to offer a wonderful toast to Stephen and Jess in honor of kicking off their peach season with a bang. As we sat and enjoyed some of the first Georgia peaches of the season, we felt the toast was only appropriate to really give thanks for such an amazing evening.

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

As the dinner plates were emptied and ushered into the kitchen for washing, a few more drinks were poured and conversation was shared.  As the dessert was being prepared for us, Matt Wertz offered to play some oldies but goodies in the waining light of the evening. He struck up a perfectly appropriate version of I Just Realized.  As Matt sang, Thad Cockrell sat beside him and peppered in a beautiful harmony. It was one of those really special moments that truly makes an evening feel extra amazing.

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

Like everyone at that table, I felt extremely special to experience the talents of Thad and Matt as they sang nearly 4 or 5 songs between each other. I really wish I could have bottled up that moment to save for later. It was beautiful to hear them simply share what they love with all of us.

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

The Simple Evening in Nashville couldn’t have been more perfect. This night will forever go down as one night I would very quickly relive. It was so special to share it alongside so many amazing people who are chasing dreams, doing what they love, and enjoying it in an amazing city like Nashville. There is a vibe in this town that is contagious and inspiring that I will not forget. Stephen and Jess were incredible hosts and made it easy to dream about living in this community. We feel lucky now to have so many great friendly faces to know in this talented city. Evenings like this always feel like a celebration of life, and this one was the epitome of everything that life is meant to be.

A Simple Evening  - Nashville  |  The Fresh Exchange

Once again thank you to everyone, and I hope you don’t miss the video that captured just a small bit of the night we all felt honored to enjoy. Till the next time we all find ourselves around the same table again.

Peaches, Location, and Hospitality: The Peach Truck
Photos: Parker Young Photography
Music and Guitar Strums: Matt Wertz and Thad Cockrell
Tables: Ausden Inc
Farm Raised Meat: KLD Farms
Grilling Skills and Cocktail: The Food Sheriff
Blueberry Mojitos: Made South
Video: Mike Gilger
Styling: Megan Gilger

46 Comments

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  1. It looks lovely! What a great way to end the day. So glad to see you guys had a blast!

  2. Megan, this is SUCH an incredible post! You truly captured the beauty in simplicity, in relationships, and in sharing time in community. Plus the video + Matt Wertz’s voice … I die.

  3. We moved from Nashville a little less than a year ago, after living there for almost 7 years, and I miss it every day. So glad you were able to enjoy and capture the beauty and spirit of that special city. Also, so crazy jealous of the Peach Truck peaches. We used to get a bag every week in season.
    I had the BIGGEST crush on Matt back in the day. Oh Nashville.

  4. Gorgeous! Those night photos, wow.

  5. So lovely! We got to hang out with Thad last time we were in Nashville, which was years ago now, but it was great to see an old NC pal!

  6. it looks like it was a simple and beautiful evening. your photos are making me want some peaches!!

  7. So beautiful!

  8. Sounds like a beautiful evening. The photos are amazing!

    http://www.livinginsteil.com

  9. gorgeous photos! looks like an amazing evening with good friends, good food, and good music. these are the kind of images i envision for the perfect dinner party: simple, elegant, memorable!

  10. I’ve always been a fan of the Simple Evening concept & series, but something about this one feels so different – so very magical and moving. As an event stylist, a lot of the time I get wrapped up in the “pretty” – but have been thinking more and more about it lately, and how superficial it can sometimes feel. This post just further got my brain working, and really, if you’ve got good food, great people, and an intimate setting that feels special in even the simplest of ways, that’s all you need to create an absolutely magical experience. Thanks so much for sharing this, and what an amazing experience to have! (And also, I’m so jealous that Matt Wertz was a guest – I’ve been a huge fan of him for years! And had never heard of Thad Cockrell until now, he’s so great too!) Thanks for being such a wonderful inspiration, Megan! And if you ever feel like coming to Cleveland for A Simple Evening, we’d love to have you 🙂

  11. Everything looked heavenly! That light, is just perfection. the yard, the table everything amazing! And the picture of you and apple, girl swoon!!!

  12. The food looks amazing. Would you consider sharing some recipes?

  13. Stunning!

  14. Very nice

  15. Casal Garcia wine from my beautiful and amazing country: Portugal!!! Good choice!

  16. Love this post so much!! Beautiful!

  17. Love everything about this post! These are the best kind of evenings and I can’t wait to see more from your simple evenings.

  18. such a lovely evening and so happy to see these evenings go back to simpler roots! i’m a sewanne grad so tennessee…and peaches…and southern nights with good friends have a special place in my heart…what a wonderful night.

  19. Such a magnificent evening! And we love well-written and beautifully put together blog. Bravo. We really enjoying meeting you guys and being a part of the memorable occasion. Glad you and everyone love the photos. Happy to shoot for you guys again any time I’m able, even if it entails a lil road trip. 🙂

  20. Thanks so much Parker!! I may totally take you up on that cause we loved working with you and hanging with your lady!

  21. We made a few things and I should share those recipes. We are moving right now but once we get settled for the Summer I will post some of them for sure 🙂

  22. Such a magnificent evening! And we love your well-written and beautifully put together blog. Bravo. We really enjoying meeting you guys and being a part of the memorable occasion. Glad you and everyone love the photos. Happy to shoot for you guys again any time I’m able, even if it entails a lil road trip.

  23. Looks like such fun folks! And that video, love it!
    Mike, can I ask what camera you shot it with and what programme you used to edit it? I want to make a film one for my friend”s upcoming birthday and want to educate myself a little beforehand. Thanks so much!

  24. Hey Maja, you can read about what gear we use on our FAQ page and we used Final Cut ProX to edit it in but we also have used iMovie in the past as well. Thanks so much and hope you have a fun time making the video!

  25. Everything about this was really lovely! Would have loved being there and making new friends. 😉

  26. […] I want my summer to look like this. […]

  27. As Jessica’s parents, Mom and Dad Nienaber, family and friends are a gift from God. Wish we could have been there!

  28. I want my summer to look like this. Gorgeous!

  29. What a beautiful evening. And that feast – SWOON.

  30. So beautiful. I totally pinned a few (read:all) pics to my Summer Breeze Pinterest board. You captured the essence of summertime so perfectly.

  31. abi

    These are unbelievably gorgeous photographs!

  32. This really makes me want to throw a dinner party! Its so beautiful!

    http://www.thelittleliongirl.com

  33. Yeah!! Thank you!!

  34. So true!! Wish you could have been too! We have loved getting to know Jessica and so glad her and Stephen are together. They mean the world to us.

  35. This looks just lovely ! The food looks amazing and I love love the styling. What a fab night !

  36. […] FOUR // A beautiful dinner in Nashville FIVE // I love this idea of a fresh flower wall SIX // I’ve been following along with Sarah’s renovation progress for a while now and it’s coming along just beautifully. I would love to spend some time in this cosy patio […]

  37. When I heard that Parker Young was photographing for you guys — I was delighted! My favorite photographer, the Fresh Exchange Blog in the capitol of my home state — what isn’t there for me to love?

    And I did — love this! I am all about small and intimate gatherings and it makes me so happy when people make the time to do just that. Love this series, so much. 🙂

  38. Wow! Stunning photos!!! So happy I stumbled across your blog 🙂

    xOx,
    Jordanna
    http://www.brunettesonbroad.com

  39. […] a summer dinner party should look […]

  40. […] credits 1  |  2  |  3  | […]

  41. […] Dinner parties, a la Kinfolk. I wish I could have one right now, and then I remember that my backyard is overgrown, I don’t have pretty landscaping to think of, and half my friends are allergic to cats. And I don’t have a gigantic table. And the next door neighbors are in the midst of hideous, clay-everywhere construction. BUT I do have adorable plates and cups and vases and linens and vintage cars and cooking knowledge. So it’s a start. […]

  42. […] Source: http://thefreshexchangeblog.com/2014/06/simple-evening-nashville/ […]

  43. […] Ideal Home] [6/Pinterest] [7/The Fresh Exchange] […]

  44. […] Images via 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 […]

  45. Natalie Aubonnet

    This is such a beautiful post.thanks for sharing. So inspiring.

  46. […] Makan semeja via thefreshexchangeblog.com […]

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