Nashville Lifestyles Magazine

The Boundary Pushers

Mailea Weger

Executive Chef/Owner, lou

Weger ditched her career in fashion for food, after traveling in Europe and taking a line cook position at Café A in Paris. From there, to New Orleans to New York to Los Angeles and back to Paris, she developed her personal cooking style while garnering raves from diners. Fueled by the desire to be close to family, and enchanted by Nashville’s spirit, she came here to open her own restaurant.

What sparked your love of cooking?

Being able to use both the right and left sides of my brain, being able to create in a tactical kind of way, and being able to curate a memory for someone.

Would you speak a little about the dovetailing of your food and natural wines?

Natural wine pairs perfectly with my style of cuisine because both allow the other to be the star when needed. Natural wine profiles are wide, so some of the more murky and surprising wines pair so well with sweet brunch items or even-keeled dinner dishes. The more conventional profiles go great with some of the dishes that pack a ton of spices or complexity.

What dish at lou was the most challenging to create?

One of our most popular dinner dishes, the crispy rice, is so simple in flavor but was really hard to figure out technically! The rice is inspired by the traditional Persian dish called tahdig, and we wanted to make sure we could prepare it correctly but within a restaurant kitchen. It took several hours and three chefs to brainstorm how to set up the dish for a fast execution. But all the work

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