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1833 Welcome Ln
Nashville, TN, 37216
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(615) 389-1826

Nashville Petite Sweets, Desserts, and Cakes

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Nashville Petite Sweets, Desserts, and Cakes

{8} Steps to Better Home Cake Baking

Debbie Sutton

8 Steps to Better Home Cake Baking

Written by Debbie Sutton, Owner and Executive Chef at 8 Lavender Lane Catering & Events

 

1.  Pick and Plan

Choose your recipe, read through it, and collect all ingredients needed; aka "Mise en place", a French phrase used in the culinary world meaning, "Put in place".

2.  Tools

Make sure you have the proper bakeware required for your recipe.  Ex:  Correct pan size/type

Photo:  The Food Network

3.  Ingredients

I can't stress this one enough!  Good quality ingredients equal better products - plain and simple.

4.  Measuring

Think of baking as a science, because it is.  Measuring or "scaling" as it's coined in a bake shop is key to a perfect end product.  A cup of flour isn't always the same weight.  Finding or converting a recipe to a weight measurement is always best.  You can purchase a small digital scale online or at just about any retail store that sells kitchen equipment.

Photo:  Bob's Red Mill

5.  Mixing

Some recipes call for alternating dry and liquid, some for low speed, and others high speed mixing.  The recipe steps should be precisely followed when baking.  Missing a key mixing step can blow your whole recipe.

6.  Panning

Be sure to follow your recipe's pan prep procedure prior to filling the pan with batter.  Again, scaling is best here if you're dividing your recipe between two or more cake pans.  Weighing the amount of batter and splitting it evenly will give you consistent finished size.  

7.  Oven Temperature

Your recipe probably had you preheat the oven.  Be sure the oven is up to the correct temperature prior to baking.  Too high or too low can lead to poor finished product.

8.  Cool

Be sure to allow your cakes to cool five to ten minutes prior to removing from the pans.  Once removed, allow the cakes to cool completely before trying to ice them.  There's nothing worse than trying to ice a hot cake!

 

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  DEBBIE SUTTON

Debbie started her culinary career in the fast food circuit, quickly moving into a variety of management positions. In 1999 wanting to offer more, she and her father chose to open their own café’ and catering business in White House, TN.  Since then she has obtained a B.S. in Culinary Arts Management, is a Certified Executive Chef through The American Culinary Federation, and holds a Professional Training SAS Certificate through Provincia di Terni, Regione dell’Umbria.

She spent over three months studying under and working with Chef Lorenzo Polegri in Orvieto, Italy. Chef Polegri, being the most celebrated European chef at the James Beard House, was integral in insuring that the knowledge Chef Sutton brought back to the states would be relevant and could be easily incorporated into her own catering business.

Catering has allowed Debbie to live her dream, with her love for people and food, with creativity leading the way. Her unwavering dedication to each client is something to be noticed.

Street Art Meets Food | Banksy at Tinney Contemporary

Debbie Sutton

In April, we had the opportunity to cater the grand exhibit opening at Tinney Contemporary.  Take a look at the hors d'oeuvre menu we created that showcased our artistic passion and culinary creativity.    

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Flavors of Nashville 2016

Debbie Sutton

Flavors of Nashville is a culinary experience that goes beyond the traditional gala providing guests with the unique experience of having a top local chef prepare a multi-course dinner tableside.

Read More

A Tuscany-Inspired Wedding

Debbie Sutton

Last October, we had the opportunity to cater Eric and Jillian's beautiful Tuscan-themed outdoor wedding at Nashville's Arrington Vineyards.  From the menu and the cake to the bar and display, we can customize all weddings or events to compliment any theme. 

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Cooking for a Cause | 8LL Participates in Upcoming Charity Events

Debbie Sutton

Bringing together over 75 of Nashville's top restaurants and food and beverage artisans, Tennessee Flavors is an annual tasting event that supports the Nashville State Community College Foundation.  Its focus is on Tennessee-sourced products and the culinary skills and local flavors that help make the growing Nashville community so special.

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Choosing Your Wedding Caterer

Debbie Sutton

Whether you're planning a corporate event, a birthday celebration, or your wedding day, if you're looking for a caterer, it's very likely you have a specific vision of what you want.  Most people don't realize caterers wear a variety of hats; they aren't just chefs.  Many times they are plumbers, electricians, psychologists, babysitters, dog walkers, counselors, florists, hairstylists, and the list goes on.  From the food quality/quantity to the superior service, It's important to choose a caterer that doesn't leave any details behind.

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CITY WINERY WIN

Casey Todd

Last Thursday afternoon, we had the opportunity to have a wine tasting with City Winery Nashville here in our home at Riverwood Mansion. A combination of a passion for wine, live music, fine dining, tours, and private events, City Winery pairs the culinary and cultural experiences together.

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Chef Debbie Sutton on Lightning 100

Casey Todd

You Have Reservations with Lightning 100. Today, Adam sat down with Chef Debbie Sutton from 8 Lavender Lane Catering and Events. Chef Sutton shared tips for making HUGE quantities of food, and how to cook even when conditions aren't ideal. We also chatted about why salad tastes better when served in a mason jar.

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Have your bridal brunch with 8 Lavender Lane!

Casey Todd

Bachelorette parties are a huge hit in Nashville. Bridal parties come from all over the country to celebrate an entire weekend in Music City. Other than hitting up the honky tonk's, consider hosting a classy bachelorette brunch to kick off the weekend. We loved collaborating with Social Bliss events on this fun yet classy afternoon bachelorette celebration at Riverwood Mansion.

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Plan the Perfect Outdoor Soirée!

Casey Todd

As we cruise into summer's end, outdoor temps are once again bearable as we enjoy breezy nights and sunshiny days. Winter will be here before you know it, so get outside while you still can!  There's nothing better than the company of friends over food in the open air of Summer and Fall.

You shouldn't feel limited to indoor space when it comes to throwing your next dinner party.  Consider turning your celebration into an outdoor southern soiree. From a lovely bridal brunch complete with a mimosa bar, to an outdoor rehearsal dinner under Italian string lights, the options are endless. Impress your guests by keeping the details elegant, and taking the party outdoors.

Creative ideas & tips for your next outdoor event:

  • Throw an afternoon tea party in the garden.
  • Host a romantic candlelit dinner under the stars of summer.
  • Consider a theme for your party: Midsummer Night's Dream, Backyard BBQ, Great Gatsby, Alice in Wonderland, Havana Nights, Enchanted Forest, etc.
  • Use fresh floral centerpieces to bring your outdoor surroundings straight to the table.
  • Keep foods simple and light during daylight hours and don't forget a refreshing beverage.
  • Set up a fire pit for evening affairs to keep guests cozy - for an added bonus make smore's.
  • Encourage mingling by setting up an outdoor lounge area.
  • Don't over complicate it! The three key elements to a successful dinner party are good friends, good food, and a great setting to enjoy them.

8 Lavender Lane Catering & Events has worked with numerous outdoor venues around Nashville. Contact us about reserving and planning your next outdoor event. (615) 389-1826

Photos by: Gregory Byerline

EVENT SPOTLIGHT: 2015 Summer Harvest Dinner

Casey Todd

What better way to celebrate summer's bounty than by teaming up with fellow Nashville chef's and serving up a tasty menu. Fun was had by all at last week's 2015 Summer Harvest dinner at Riverwood Mansion on the east side.  Fresh ingredients came from our garden at Riverwood shared with Chef Trey Cioccia of The Farmhouse.

The best part is that a portion of the proceeds benefited nonprofit organizations in need ( OnTarget4Vets & The  American Liver Foundation ) allowing us to give back to those in need.

 

Here's a peak inside the tasty menu served:

1st Course - Chef Todd Martin, The Treehouse 

Marinated heirloom tomatoes, farm greens, benne, fresh goat cheese, herbs

2nd Course - Chef Hal Holden-bach, Lockeland Table

Grilled GA, Quail, white squirrel farms greens & beets, bentons, hoisin bbq

 

3rd Course - Chef Trey Cioccia, The Farm House

SOUTH CAROLINA AMBERJACK WITH HOPPIN JOHNS, PICKLE 

 

4th Course - Chef Debbie Sutton, Riverwood Mansion

STRAWBERRY RHUBARB, NUTELLA CRUMB CRUST, SWEET MAIZE ICE CREAM 

*Photo's courtesy of Kim Vetter photography.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Lunch Menu Available!

Casey Todd

Many times we hear from customers and clients how much they wish we could deliver various lunch options daily to their office, business meeting or offsite event. Well, we listened!....and are now offering a NEW drop off lunch menu featuring special mason jar meals which can be ordered online, and delivered by Doorstep Delivery. This is an excellent option for business lunches during the week for 10 or more people (please note that orders must be placed 24 hours in advance).    Our broad menu selection offers a nice variety of items: our famous chicken salad croissant, turkey club,  shrimp & grits, field greens salad, and gluten free cookies are just a few of our favorites.

Check here for full menu details: http://www.8lavenderlane.com/order/

Also, see delivery options here:   www.doorstepdelivery.com

*minimum of 24 hrs notice / 10 person minimum/ drop off by Doorstep Delivery

*minimum of 24 hrs notice / 10 person minimum/ drop off by Doorstep Delivery

15 Year Anniversary

Casey Todd

June 1st marks our 15 year anniversary so we want to take a moment for Chef Debbie to reminisce on how far she has come over the years in Nashville. From her brick & mortar restaurant, catering shop and early focus on cakes, Chef Debbie has done it all and has landed exactly where she intended:

I decided to open my own shop when I became tired of the industry standard "corporate" way of doing business focusing only on numbers and not people. People are the most important aspect of what we do and I was a firm believer that if I took care of people the numbers would happen naturally.

My intense passion for food set me in motion to go out on my own and share this passion with others.  With my family behind me, the journey started and we opened our restaurant in White House, TN on June 1st, 1999.

Growing up in NY with a father who always loved cooking, I was always trying out new dishes in our household. With my sweet parents behind me, we decided to create what we felt was the perfect offering for the restaurant: catering, NY style sandwich shop with a small bakery. 

Our pickup only lunch menu took off and our customers begged for a dining room.  So after only two weeks, we renovated and put in an 80 seat dining room.  Soon after we had a full staff comprised of family + 6 full time employees.

Once word got out, the catering and cake business really started to catch on and to say we were busy would be an understatement.  By our third year the catering business began to really take over and we had to make a tough decision to close the restaurant so we could focus solely on catering and cakes.


 

We have had the pleasure of working with many wonderful people over the years. We've worked with musicians, celebrities, shelters, many brides and venues around Nashville and Middle Tennessee. We are extremely proud of our work and remain humble in our experiences and new relationships.

Throughout this experience we keep our passion for pleasing people at the forefront of our work. We continue to happily work with many around Nashville and love every minute!

A PARTNERSHIP IS PLANTED

Casey Todd

Our very own Chef Debbie Sutton recently took over the ownership and management team leader of Riverwood Mansion. With these changes, Chef Sutton has introduced Riverwood to more community events and partnerships, specifically involving the local culinary scene. With the first ever Local Fest @ the Mansion and Pop Up Dinner back in November to a recent Chef's forum bringing together local chef's at the mansion we are excited to announce a new endeavor......

Chef Debbie Sutton has partnered up with Chef Trey Cioccia of The Farm House on a "farm to fork" concept to bring the freshest ingredients to their guests. Riverwood will be home to a new garden where fresh produce will be grown, harvested and then served at Cioccia's restaurant and incorporated into 8 Lavender Lane's catering menu. We're excited to participate in this important initiative  bringing the community fresher food.

We have officially broke ground where the garden will be planted and the plans to build a greenhouse alongside are also in effect. A new railroad tie compost will be installed to compliment the outdoor garden and greenhouse. 

Stay tuned for more updates and photo's as the garden progresses!

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FOOD AS YOUR FAVOR

Casey Todd

Why choose food as your favor? Many times brides pick out favors that seemed like the perfect idea only to have an abundance leftover to take home after the wedding. Guests just don't take them!

Sure candy is something that people will eat while sitting at the table, but all the work that goes into putting favors together in those cute little expensive bags makes you wonder if it's really worth it.

How many time do you hear people say they had to stop and get a bite to eat on the way home from a wedding?.... about 90% of the time. Most of the time it's not that the caterer didn't have enough food, it's that the guests ate 4 hours ago and have been dancing and drinking. They have worked up an appetite!

Offering petite brown bags to guests as they depart the wedding is a valuable idea we have given our brides to please her guests and her budget which has really proven worthwhile. The bags are filled with all sorts of fun items ranging from Chicken Biscuits and Donut Holes, to Sliders and Fries. 

Keeping your guests happy from beginning to end is so important and this is just one more way we have found to insure this happens. 

Don't spend your money on favors only to have them left behind. 

Breakfast for Dinner

Casey Todd

We love the creativity that many brides bring when planning out the menu for their guests.  A simple idea like serving  "breakfast for dinner" can turn into a unique display that will leave wedding guests thrilled and feeling like they received a fun and special treat.  

Some of the things we have done in the past in the breakfast food realm have included: 

- Pancake & Waffle Station featuring Hot Chicken along with assorted toppings such as: house churned butter, fresh fruits, simmered berries, flavored syrups, & whipped cream.

- Omelet Station with many spices, proteins and chopped veggies.

- Bacon Station featuring Benton’s Bacon and House Smoked Bacon in a variety of flavors.

- Sausage Station in a variety of links and patties in assorted flavors.

- Pastries and breakfast breads served with local jams, jellies, and honey.

- Butcher Shoppe Station including meats, county smoked ham, bacon and sausage.

- Biscuit Bar featuring Springer Mountain Farms chicken tender biscuits alongside local jam, jellies, honey, and good ple southern white peppered gravy.

- Grit Station: our grits are the creamiest around! We can do an assortment of sweet and savory toppings ex: Bacon Jam, Spicy Shrimp, White Cheddar, Raw or Brown Sugar.

- Cocktails served: Bloody Mary Bars and Bellini / Mimosa Stations.

- Donut Bars are especially popular and bring a colorful sweet assortment to the display.

- Fresh fruits and cheeses are always a nice addition to breakfast foods as well.


Corporate Event Trends

Casey Todd

Spring and summer are great times to host offsite corporate events.  Add a little something extra to your company’s event by checking out a few of the latest corporate event trends.

Location-  Cultural aspects of meeting locations is becoming more important to guests who are used to having each event in a standard office or hotel banquet room.  Hosting an offsite event or outing can be a refreshing change!

Flexible meeting spaces- Flexibility during onsite events is important for meeting planners. The best venues offer conveniences such as valet parking, moveable furniture, and various equipment that make the spaces more useful and attractive.

Unique Food and Beverage Choices- Boxed lunches are out and guests are looking for more options for meal and snack breaks. It’s not just a variety of meal options that keep attendees happy but rather an assortment of fresh and healthy choices for those with dietary restrictions (such as allergies, gluten free, and vegan).

For happy hour events, creating a personalized touch is a nice way to delight guests.  Offer up local brews by teaming up with a local brewery (Yazoo) or distillery (Whisper Creek Tennessee Sipping Cream or Pennington’s Strawberry Rye) to add a regional touch to beverages for guests to enjoy.  Another great twist for guests would be to provide a signature corporate cocktail specific to the company or event, making it one of a kind.

Making your event unique and comfortable is important so attendees enjoy themselves and want to come back.

Check out a few corporate events we have catered at Riverwood Mansion in East Nashville and give us a call to start planning your next offsite event!