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The Mad Earl coming to Madison will prepare food ‘sous-vide’

Thursday’s cover story, “Maximizing Madison,” explored the newly formed Madison Avenue Alliance and The Mad Earl companion piece to The Brass Door.

The English-themed sports bar/pub will be geared toward a “funkier and younger crowd” and serve inexpensive sandwiches and salads. It will share The Brass Door’s prep kitchen, but won’t have a full-blown kitchen with a traditional Vent-A-Hood. This is where manager Clay Shelton had to get creative.

Shelton will be cooking most of the food “sous-vide,” which is French for “under vacuum.” This process involves seasoning the protein, sealing it in a bag without air, and submerging it in a vat of water at the temperature at which it’s going to be served.

Say it’s a medium rare burger that’s being prepared – this process is performed in 135-degree water and after 30 minutes, the meat is cooked through. The burger is then taken out of its bath and quickly seared on both sides to finish it off.

“It’s simple and it’s delicious,” Shelton said.

The Mad Earl plans to open on St. Patrick’s Day, The Brass Door’s busiest day of the year.

March Madness, Memphis Heritage Style

Preservationist advocacy group Memphis Heritage Inc. will host its annual Preservation Series on Mondays in March to explore the “back story” of successful adaptive reuse projects.

The 2013 series will kick off March 4 with presentations about recent preservation wins that have occurred Downtown. Here’s the entire line-up:

  • March 4: Story of the re-purposed Lowenstein Brothers Building/Lincoln American Tower into retail and apartments at Court Square Center – William Chandler and panel
  • March 11: Behind the scenes on the restoration of the Francis Gassner-designed C&I Bank building at 200 Madison Ave. into the Visible Music College – Todd Walker and Barry Yoakum of archamania
  • March 18: Green space preservation in Memphis Overton Park Conservancy, the Greenway project and the Harahan Bridge plan – Mike Carpenter and panel
  • March 25: Round table to discuss the Memphis’ endangered historic properties and what can be done to save them

Behind the Scenes Look at Interview with Grizzlies’ Jason Potter

This week’s “Standout” profile was on Jason Potter, director of promotions and event presentation for the Memphis Grizzlies.

The piece elaborated on how Potter loves Memphis’ access points and how his team strives to put their own creative spin on in-arena entertainment. Here’s some more from our conversation that didn’t make it into print:

On what inspires him everyday from a creative standpoint:

First off, I’m just a fan to begin with. Of course, I’m at every home game, but I watch every second of every road game. We all as a team here in the office kind of hang on this stuff as much as our most passionate fans. I think that’s what’s helping us experience some success with the promotions. But outside, I like to look at across industries, not just in sports, how people are breaking from the mold and how people are getting attention in new ways, often with old things. I think the best ideas and the best we do kind of innovating is when we look outside of sports at successful promotions and marketing. You can’t limit yourself to sports. And then staying current with pop culture and music and movies and just whatever the national water cooler conversation is helps us in the office have laughs and come up with ideas.”

On game-day superstitions:

I have 1,000 game day superstitions. From the route that I walk from my office to the court, to a particular time in the afternoon that I will call my wife to check in, to a certain phrase I tell our video crew at the end of every one of our production meetings – ‘break a leg’ – the game can’t happen if I don’t do that; I’m just beside myself. It’s fun because athletes you hear in sports of a lot of their superstitions. I think fans have their own superstitions too and it’s no different from the working staff. Everyone has their game-day routines and I think that everyone believes that their routine impacts the outcome of the event no matter how silly that might seem. It’s fun and I think it helps us focus as a staff our own personal superstitions focused on being prepared and kind of keeping each other accountable and ready. I think it’s natural and healthy and it’s a fun part of the experience.”

On the correlation between loud and excited fans and the Grizzlies winning:

I think it’s a strong correlation. It’s hard to quantify, but I think that anyone can appreciate that energy kind of begets energy. The players are the primary people that get the audience excited. I think that’s the first and most important thing to establish is that our crowd really responds well to exciting basketball. But what we do, I think what our team is responsible for and has gotten to be very good at is enhancing those moments. So if an excitement happens and a time-out is called, we feel that it’s our job to maintain and build that energy during the stop and play so that when play resumes, the players can still feed off the energy that they created. And hopefully it’s even louder. That’s the most fun aspect of our job is stoking the fire in the fans and really when a good moment happens, making it a great moment. I think that’s kind of where we come in. It’s our job to kind of enhance what the team is doing and build.”

On his favorite Grizzlies player:

I enjoy different guys for different reasons. I think as a Memphian, I love seeing ZBo do his thing. I love Tony Allen and his spirit and energy. I love seeing Marc Gasol and Mike Conley and all of the guys work. I think what’s fun about what we do is we get to see some of the things that they do off the court that are behind the scenes and that they don’t try to take credit for. It helps you see the guys as individuals and really the time they do with things at St. Jude and stuff like that. We had a patient out this week that Marc Gasol went out of his way to go visit at the hospital. Things like that that don’t get reported that it’s really fun to see. I think all of the guys on our team have a good appreciation of the impact they can have in the community and are cognizant of using that well. I love them all.”

Imagine Vegan Café Forced to Relocate

A Friday afternoon Facebook post by Imagine Vegan Café said the restaurant is moving and is soliciting ideas for vacant buildings:

Well its official: Imagine is moving. Our landlord decided to not renew our lease so we are now intensely looking for a new spot. We ask that everyone please bear with us as things might be a little scattered over the next month or so. Our last day here in this spot is March 31st. We would like to stay in the Midtown area or maybe move over to Crosstown. Overton Square and out East are just out of our budget. If you have any specific ideas as to vacant buildings, please let us know. Thank you for your help, understanding and support!!

Chef Kristie Jeffrey and her husband Adam opened the family-friendly, 100-percent vegan cafe in April 2011 in the old Casablanca space in Cooper-Young at 2156 Young Ave. Imagine was one of the four restaurant pit stops in last week’s Dishcrawl event.

Design Challenge to Unveil Ideas for South Main

Thirty-five teams have signed up to compete in the South Main Design Challenge, a competition to generate ideas and solutions for seven vacant and underused spaces in South Main.

Competing teams have been assigned a location to create short-term and long-term concepts for the following spaces:

  1. Parking Lot on Main Street at Huling
  2. The former Ambassador Hotel
  3. Vacant space on Main Street at Talbot
  4. Russell Hardware Building
  5. Army and Navy Parks on GE Patterson
  6. The Buffalo Mural Lot on Main Street near Memphis College of Art
  7. Lyric Panel Lot on Main Street near The Arcade

The public is invited to observe as teams unveil their ideas for the spaces during the next three upcoming Trolley Tour Nights in South Main. Judges will attend each event and will award $1,000 to the overall winning concept.

Concepts for the Huling Lot and Ambassador Hotel site will be unveiled at the next Trolley Night on Feb. 22 at the American Institute of Architects, 515 S. Main St., from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m.

Concepts for Talbot Lot and Russell Hardware will be shown on March 29 and concepts for Buffalo Mural Lot, Army/Navy Parks and the Lyric Panel Lot will be unveiled on April 26.

The South Main Design Challenge is presented and produced by the Downtown Memphis Commission and AIA Memphis.

Dansette

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