We co-opted their hot chicken, is it any wonder Nashvillians are after our top chef? That’s the word in the Nashville Scene today wherein some of that city’s leading gourmands reveal that they’d love it if Mike Lata opened a restaurant there.

In its “20 Questions: What the City’s Food Pros Really Think” feature, the alt weekly’s editorial team polled Nashville chefs, GMs, and restaurant owners on 20 questions regarding the culinary scene. Lo and behold, when asked “What out-of-town chef would you most like to see open a restaurant in Nashville?” guess whose name was on the list? That’s right, Mike Lata. Our — yes, OUR — James Beard Awarding-winning chef.

Back off, Music City!

Is Sean Brock not enough for you people? First you had to go and win over our heirloom-seed loving, trucker hat-wearing, cherry-cheeked genius Brock, wooing him with your honky-tonks and Tennessee whiskey. Now you want to steal our vegetable visionary, our sustainable seafood savior, our one and only Mike Lata?! God damn. Is nothing sacred?

I mean, come on, Nashville, not only did Brock open Husk there, he packed his bags and moved to your city. Then you have the audacity to go and look a gift horse in the mouth naming him one of Nasvhille’s most over-rated chefs? That’s cold, y’all.

Even if Brock is busy and overworked, he’s actually a super nice and genuine guy who has been a big asset to both cities. Lest we forget, Brock sang the praises of both Charleston and NashVegas on Parts Unknown, and near single-handedly vindicated Bourdain after his crummy first visit to Charleston on No Reservations. All that and he did it while battling blindness.

Now we admit, we Charlestonians cling to Brock’s name like children to a melting chocolate bar. The more comfortable he gets in Nashville, the further he seems to slip through our fingers. His ties to Charleston may run deep, but the fear that they might be only as strong as the mortar between the bricks of McCrady’s is ever present — and if you hadn’t noticed, mortar on 200-plus year old buildings in Charleston ain’t holding up so well this week.

So how ’bout a truce? We’ll admit that Nashville’s culinary prowess is gaining on the Holy City if you promise to creep off our man Mike.

Oh, and you can keep your damn hot chicken.

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