Chef Deb Paquette, chef-owner of Etch and etc. restaurants in Nashville, has received the highest honor bestowed by Georgia-based poultry producer Springer Mountain Farms, the Celebrate the Chef Award. The award is presented to a select handful of chefs that demonstrate culinary excellence, consistency in the dining experience and a commitment to the use of fresh and local ingredients.

“Chef Deb is really a cornerstone of the expansive culinary scene you see in Nashville today. From her early restaurants, Cakewalk and the legendary Zola, to her newest ventures Etch and etc., Chef Deb continues to bring a global inspiration to her dishes,” says Dale Faunce, marketing director for Springer Mountain Farms. “Chef Deb left for a couple of years to travel, and we are happy she returned to make an even greater mark on the restaurant scene. Still today, she’s known for her locally sourced ingredients, bold spices and infusion of flavors from around the world. We are honored to salute her.”

Paquette, known for her humor and creativity, has been part of the Nashville culinary scene for more than 30 years. She is a trailblazer in the industry, becoming the first female executive chef in Tennessee after attending the Culinary Institute of America.  

After closing Zola, Paquette and her husband left Nashville in 2010 to travel the world, but were drawn back to start Etch in downtown Music City in 2012 with her 4-Top Hospitality partners. The group opened etc. in the Green Hills area of the city during 2016. Etch has been ranked the top restaurant in Nashville by Zagat and continues to be tapped to numerous “best of” lists.

“I decided to become more active with Springer after I realized I was growing feathers from eating so much of their awesome chicken,” Paquette says. “I like their work ethic. These people so believe and care about their product, that they make it easy for us to carry their beliefs to our customers.”

“I’m honored to be chosen. They believe in me, and that builds a fantastic relationship. Relationships are what make your product worthwhile. I’m proud to be chosen to represent this great group, and look forward to continue having them as my good friends.”

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