It was a nice mid-week break to attend the cooking class at KaTom, featuring Chef Jeffrey DeAlejandro from Olibea Restaurant. I was delighted to walk into the store to see that we would get to sit at the counter near the stove rather than tables, giving us a bird’s eye view of every technique. It was a delightful couple of hours.
First, here is the menu.
I need to remember that it is important to arrive earlier in order to chat with other attendees. It was fun to see Sarah and Harriet Berrier, from Sevierville. The ladies to my right were from Talbot, near Morristown. The couple at the end of the table live in South Knoxville. I met them at my first class. She worked in an office for the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Jeffrey DeAlejandro has been a chef for about 16 years. Here are some facts that impressed me.
1). He helped start the Crown and Goose gastropub in Knoxville, a popular restaurant located in the Old City. In fact, Chef DeAlejandro started the Crown and Goose nine years ago.
2. His mother is Patricia Nash, a designer with a store on South Gay Street. In fact, a lady attending the cooking demo had one of his mom’s purses and held it up for us to see! I forgot to take a picture of it though.
3. He owns Olibea Restaurant, near the Crown and Goose.
I have heard of it and have wanted to go there some day. The hours are:
Mon-Fri 7am -1pm
Sat-Sun 8am -2pm
He has children so these hours allow for time with family. By the way, the restaurant is named for his children: Oliver and Beatrice. ( Olibea is pronounced ‘Olly’ ‘Bee’.)
There were some Mexican, Spanish, and British influences in the food—and it was all delightful.
First, Chef DeAlejandro showed us how to make homemade mozzarella and shared a story how he first learned to make it. I was watching the demonstration and heard the phrases “first time, made it on a beach… using ocean water…an old woman showing how to make it…use hot water and don’t overwork it…”
It was really, really good!
An overhead view of the heirloom tomatoes.
The heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella, olive oil, and balsamic pearls. Looks like caviar!
Unbelievably, I forgot to take a picture of the main course. It was very nice because it was on a type of “Mexican English Muffin” with chorizo and veggies. Good!
Creme Brûlée is always a crowd pleaser!
I have grilled peaches so this was a new idea to add it to creme brûlée. Wonderful dessert!
Yesterday, our local paper printed an article about a recent honor for KaTom Restaurant Supply, named one of 5,000 fastest growing companies in America by “Inc.” magazine. There were only 14 businesses to make the list in this part of the state. Here is a link.
We are lucky to have a place like KaTom that invites well regarded chefs from East Tennessee to bring their expertise to us in Sevier County. All the attendees have really enjoyed these demonstrations. Watch, learn, dine! You definitely get your money’s worth.
FYI…Get ready for October 4th when John Gatlin from the Oliver Royale on Market Square will present a demonstration that will be sure to please. Currently, it is my favorite restaurant on Market Square. Save me a place at the counter!
Enjoy the weekend and get out and about in Sevierville…