by Ryan Rattliff
Respect The Plate (RTP) owners Chef Tiffany Anderson and Chef Elon Washington are bringing yummy vegan fare with a twist to Nashville. They refer to themselves as a dynamic duo….and what a duo they are! With a decade of professional cooking experience each, these two black and queer women are making Nashville foodies reconsider the vegan food experience.
RTP is known for its fresh and inventive take on food favorites. From Creole and Asian inspired dishes to Memorial Day cookout cuisine, the pair takes traditional dishes from different cultures and creates plant-based and vegan-friendly versions. Chef Elon and Chef Tiffany host Pop-Up dinners at Graze Nashville, the Plant-Based Bistro & Bar in East Nashville. The dinners are served family-style in an inclusive and laid-back space where guests are encouraged to mingle and meet new people while enjoying locally-grown produce.
When Chef Tiffany was asked about her favorite pop-up dinner out of the 10 they have hosted so far, she mused that it was the first dinner, which sold no tickets. Although the Spanish-Caribbean Fusion Pop-Up dinner relied on seat fillers, it told a story unique to the RTP Chefs. “It was me bringing my culture, Elon bringing hers —-and us fusing it together”
Since the first dinner last year, RTP has sold out of tickets to more than a couple of their events, including their popular Vegan Soul Food Series. “People were really excited about that one,” Chef Tiffany explained. They extended the number of seats available in order to accommodate the demand.
“We were really excited, and we knew that we had to come with it!” RTP will celebrate its 1-year business anniversary in November and it’s safe to say seat fillers are no longer needed.
RTP doesn’t just serve delicious food to their guests, they provide an opportunity to give back to the local community. They have donated to numerous causes including The Rutherford County Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center, The Second Harvest Food Bank, and The Salvation Army Angel Tree through their Vegan for a Reason dinners.
In addition to giving some of their proceeds to charity, RTP is a part of the Human Rights Commission and donates food to their events. Last year, the two chefs participated in the LGBT Chamber of Commerce’s Taste Nashville, an event that benefits the mission of the chamber, which is to educate and inspire LGBT+ professionals.
RTP doesn’t just host pop-up dinners. The team of chefs also cater private events throughout the year and are hoping to bring cooking classes to the area. Talks of a small establishment are in the air but in the meantime, the two women would like to continue to grow their business and give back to the community.
RTP will be hosting a Thanksgiving dinner this year. Keep your eyes on their social media channels @respecttheplate and their web site www.respecttheplate.com for more information about where and when they will pop-up next!