Spirits of Summer
Spirits of Summer with the Nashville Symphony’s Crescendo Club The Nashville Symphony’s young professionals group, Crescendo Club, is hosting its second
Jesse Goldstein grew up in the mountains of North Carolina, blissfully unaware of the things he lived without. “I was the happiest kid, living off the land in the middle of the woods,” he says. His favorite memories took place around the table with family, which is where he earned the moniker Food Sheriff. “With two older brothers, mealtime could get a little competitive,” he says. “I was pretty protective of my equal share, and it didn’t take long before my brothers gave me the nickname.” Today, Goldstein works under that name as a successful brand consultant for what he calls “digital, consumable marketing.”
Lately, though, he’s boasting another title: cohost of the innovative cocktail series 3st of the Month. Held on the third day of every month, each themed event, which Goldstein puts on with Jacob Jones of Mountain Creative Agency, features a different kind of booze at a different venue across town.
“The idea came from a supper club I did with Neil McCormick of Yazoo,” he says. “Every month we’d throw a dart at the map to choose the location, and quickly it became about the booze of that location. That sparked the idea to start a cocktail club.”
They threw the first 3st last summer with the intention of gathering like-minded people, introducing them to new drinks, and initiating a direct conversation between consumers and brands. And, after expenses are paid, each 3st’s proceeds are given to a nonprofit organization.
Goldstein has always had an interest in starting dialogue around food and drink. After attending Johnson & Wales Culinary Institute in Charleston, he earned a scholarship for a teaching assistant position (interestingly, Husk chef Sean Brock was a student of his). “That experience […] is what sparked that thing for me, of being a ‘food pusher,’” he says. “It’s that passion you get when you turn people onto things, when their eyes light up because they tried something they thought they didn’t like.”
By age 20, Goldstein had become an executive chef, and in 1998, he landed a gig in Nashville. “I was interviewing for all these suit-and-tie, buttoned-up positions, but then I walked into one interview where this guy was slouched back in his chair, in Birkenstocks and corduroys,” he recalls. “I was like, ‘Now this is more my style.’” The laid-back interviewer turned out to be restaurateur Tom Morales of TomKats Catering; the position was within the company’s movie division. That job led Goldstein to become the food and beverage manager for the Country Music Hall of Fame (run by TomKats) and later, the Loveless Café, where he spent a decade perfecting the restaurant’s now-iconic branding, increasing web traffic tenfold, and creating valuable content in the form of recipes—Loveless’s sweet tea sangria has been pinned more than 25,000 times on Pinterest.
In 2014, Goldstein went solo and launched Food Sheriff Consumable Branding in order to offer companies a sort of à la carte menu of marketing needs, from visual branding and content to retail development and web design. “It’s how you create a digital presence for your brand that people will want to engage with,” he says. Between his independent consulting and 3st’s gaining momentum, when it comes to the conversation of booze and food in Nashville, you can bet that Food Sheriff is on patrol.
The next 3st of the Month takes place March 3 at SPEAKeasy Spirits Distillery; proceeds will benefit Tennessee Distillers Guild. For tickets and more information, go to 3stofthemonth.com.