Know your Neighbor:
"I’m a freelance food and travel journalist, and podcaster, but I’m real connected to agriculture as well. I grew up on a farm in Clarksville, went to school at Belmont, and the first part of my adult life I was a social worker. I along with Adrian Newman opened the senior citizen center at Madison back in the ’90s. I worked with the homebound elderly for a while. I was also an adoption counselor, worked with several families in the East Nashville area. This was prior to my even living in East Nashville. I moved to Inglewood in 1998. I ended up in the marketing and sales world — I went to HealthSpring working as their events manager, so still kind of working in that realm of social work but teetering the line of marketing and sales. And I ended up, when they went public my little department got dissolved and I went to work for Graffiti. And that’s where I started getting my feet wet with the restaurant business. I mean I waited tables before — who hasn’t? — and I believe that if it was mandatory for everyone to have some sort of experience in the service industry, whether it was in hospitality or in the restaurant industry, I believe there would be far less assholes in this world.” — Melissa Corbin
Indeed. A horse’s patoot is one thing that Melissa Corbin is not. Convivial, bespectacled, free to chat and with a ready laugh and smile, she runs Corbin in the Dell, a website somewhere in what was the dearly departed Anthony Bourdain’s wheelhouse. She eats, she drinks, she writes, she digs music, and she’s hungry for more.
Her coverage of fun stuff is far from constrained to Nashville either. The current top stories at corbininthedell.com are the Legends & Lanterns Halloween festival in St. Charles, Missouri, and Texas-based master brewer Peter McFarlane going for the gold at the Denver Great American Beer Festival. But to show she also cleaves close to home, there’s a piece on the Music City Food + Wine Festival, featuring Preston Van Winkle rhapsodizing over the family bourbon, Pappy Van Winkle. Scroll down a little further and you’ll see an article on East Nashville musician Bonnie Whitmore at the Miles of Music festival in Appleton, Wisconsin.
The gal gets around, in other words. But wherever she is and whatever she writes about, music worms its way into the subject matter. She does live in Nashville, after all. “I write for publications such as AAA Traveler, Craft Beer magazine, I just finished my first story with Lonely Planet, you know, just a variety of publications.” She says, “I also podcast.”
Inside of an October week, Corbin starts out going to Lexington, Kentucky, to write about a restaurant, and winds up in El Salvador, which is not exactly a milk run, but it shows her enthusiasm to go where the story takes her. And if you’re a travel writer, hey, you travel.
And if you’re a food lover…
“I love to cook — cooking helps me unwind — and especially for someone,” Corbin says. “I think there’s nothing more loving than to prepare a meal for someone you care about, then watch them enjoy that meal.” It may not be the Life of Reilly, but it’s the life of one of his cousins, at least.