Travel: It isn't all about country in Nashville as Music City grooves to a foodie beat

It may be best known the world over for its music output but Nashville's food scene is running at an all-time high too. James Callery samples some of the city's finest grub

"IT'S hard to imagine, but when we opened in 2001, there was nothing here. You could sit on the corner and wait quite a while before a car drove by."

Margot McCormack, owner of the Provence-inspired Margot Cafe & Bar, is referring to the increasingly gentrified East Nashville neighbourhood – but she could just as easily be commenting on the city's food scene as a whole.

There are Nashville culinary institutions that have been around much longer than Margot Cafe & Bar – Arnold's Country Kitchen opened in 1982, and Prince's Hot Chicken Shack was set up more than 70 years ago – but it's fair to say that since Margot herself helped pioneer the concept of a chef-driven restaurant in Music City. With the chef as the face of an eatery, the food scene has steadily diversified.