Mayme Gretsch is the brains, the brawn, and the buttery fingers whisking the batter of Utterly Nashville, her fine pastry project she founded in 2014. Before crashing the local confectioner's party with her classic treats (cannelé! pies!), Mayme worked in kitchens across the Midwest (and Spain!), and helped open The Catbird Seat as pastry chef. Utterly Nashville's doughnuts, macarons, and cannelé live at CREMA Friday through Sunday, while Mayme's pies and other dazzling delectables set up shop at Dino's all week long.
Mayme is the best. Her doughnuts leave behind sugary glitter in our beards, while her macarons deliver sweet, impossibly tender contentment in our hearts. We asked her a few questions via email this week.
You seem to be creating new arenas for bomb pastries (Hey Rooster, Dino's, backstage at freaking Monday Night Raw [!], even just the fact that you're only doing one "traditional" coffee shop). We suppose this is intentional. Can you tell us about the decision to go outside the box with places you provide pastries for?
It's slightly intentional, but mostly I just try to have fun and work with people that want to carry and support my work. I wish I had more time or more hands so I could expand to more places.
You've had a pretty wide range of food and pastry experience in your life. What has been the hardest one, the one you grew or learned the most from?
This is a hard one. I feel like every job that I've ever had has been the hardest job. I have grown so much as a professional and a person in each position and can't really say one was more or less impactful than the other.
What's your secret, non-pastry dream gig?
As long as we're speaking unrealistically...I would be an astronaut for NASA.
Okay, so the whole doughnut thing. Certainly it's IN right now. Yours are, like, life-changingly incredible. Where do you see the doughnut game going from here?
I'm guessing that fried dough will always be "in!" I think pastry and savory dishes take turns -- as super foods do -- in regards to what's "in" at the moment: avocado took kale's place, and I think coconut will be next. I feel like fancy pies will be the next "it" item as far as pastries go. Food can have just as much impact as fashion or music. As with any of these things, so much of it has been done before -- someone just has to come along with a new or different take and bring it back to life.
You recommend eating said doughnuts, like, with your fingers and mouth? Or with a...(gasp!)...fork?
I don't eat pizza, burgers or tacos with cutlery...some things are meant to be a little messy. I don't wear socks with sandals either!
All photos by the always effervescent Andrea Behrends.