Restaurateur and Nashville fixture Martha Phelps Stamps grew up surrounded by amazing cooks. The kitchen was always the center of her home, and graciousness the order of the day. Her roots are embedded in Nashville, entwined with family, neighborhood, and long time friends.

Stamps began her professional cooking career while she studied English and art history at the University of Virginia. An honors graduate from the Culinary Institute of America, her cooking is influenced by her classical training, as well as Caribbean, Creole and traditional Southern foods. She began a successful catering venture in 1999 and mere months later, she was asked to head the restaurant at historic Belle Meade Plantation where her down-home food is quick becoming a staple of Nashville living.

Stamps’ elegant, down-home style has attracted the media attention of Southern Living, The Best Of  Martha Stewart Living, Victoria, Country Living, and P. Allen Smith.

An advocate for seasonal foods and sustainable agriculture, Stamps is a strong proponent of local food sources, a co-founder of Nashville’s Slow Food convivium, and an active member of Southern Foodways Alliance. Indigenous ingredients are the back bone of Martha’s cuisine, sometimes interpreted in new, and sometimes very old-fashioned ways. Hospitality is always the special of the day.

Recently, that hospitality has expanded to include weekly dinner and music nights dubbed “Music at Martha’s,” which has gathered together some of the best and brightest local musicians to perform intimate acoustic shows to thrill the mind while Martha’s delectable food sates the palette.

For a mere $25 patrons get a delicious dinner and quality entertainment unlike anywhere else in West Nashville. Doors open at 6:45 p.m., Dinner is served at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Call 615-353-2828 for reservations and details. Following is a schedule of performers for the month of May.

  • May 8 – Jazz with Sarah Williams  - www.sarahwilliamsmusic.com
  • May 15 – Quirky, fun, talented Singer-Songwriter Fred Wilhelm  www.myspace.com/fredwilhlem
  • May 22 – Out & About in Belle Meade Night!  With Jen Foster and Cheley Tackett  www.jenfoster.com and  www.cheleytackett.com
  • May 29 – Hit Songwriter-Georgia Middleman – www.georgiamiddleman.com

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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