It was the last holiday candy demo of 2018 at KaTom so I was looking forward to the Polar Bear Claws at KaTom with local celebrity chef, Barbara Tenney. I was running a few minutes late, but was lucky to find a seat at the counter with some more Tenney fans. Here is a pictorial tour of the Polar Bear Claws demo.
First of all, you can buy Polar Bear Claws, but they are a little pricey. However, you can follow a recipe and make it yourself more economically.
You can find a bag of caramel bits at Wal-mart or other food stores. I had never seen them before, but noted how much quicker they may melt in a pan. This is a good tip.
Melt white chocolate wafers rather than chocolate itself because you will not need to use paraffin in the recipe.
Melt the caramel and peanuts for the main part of the candy.
Make the candy orbs.
Next, dip into the white chocolate mixture.
We added crushed peanuts on top and it added a salty, savory flavor. I usually do not like white chocolate, but these Polar Bear Claws were very good! Someone said that the taste reminded them of a Zero Bar.
Today’s coffee selection was Capuccino. Very good too!
Hands on helpers are always welcome in the Saturday KaTom kitchen.
We have enjoyed the candy demos and making new friends. These are Barbara Tenney’s new fans. It was sweet fun!
I would like to see more demos in January and February. Maybe breakfast or brunch items? Soups and more! KaTom cooking classes are a fun way to be out and about in Sevierville.
I had always thought that candy truffles were difficult to make—but I was wrong. The cooking demo at KaTom on Saturday proved that they could be one of the more easy holiday candies. Even better, you can make a variety of flavors. Here is how it went…
First, there was some excitement due to an incoming weather system and the possibility of snow, a holiday surprise to come later on Sunday evening.
We looked up truffle prices online and found that this candy can be quite pricey.
Consequently, it can be a good idea to make your own truffles.
The recipe is straightforward and not too difficult.
We approve of this ingredient!
Necessary if you want the best truffles possible.
I arrived at the best part—scraping the chocolate mix to create the individual candies.
Line up the candies on parchment paper before applying the coating.
We also enjoy this ingredient.
Time for a coffee break!
Yes, they were wonderful with such rich flavor.
Some of us volunteered to help with the coatings: powdered sugar, cocoa, or pecans.
I will say that the first bite transported me to another place. Divine!
We were invited to take some samples home from the truffles demonstration so this was my reward for the drive out to KaTom. They will keep in the fridge for weeks.
Barbara had a young fan in attendance who really enjoys cooking. I predict that Lillie may be on the Food Network some day. We enjoyed spending the session with her and her grandmother. These demos are great for children who enjoy cooking and food preparation.
Always get your picture with the cook!
Look out for next week…
The demo will be homemade caramels! Save me a place at the counter!
December Saturdays at KaTom will offer some holiday treats from Barbara Tenney. Tomorrow will be Divinity. Last week, some friends and I went to see the Peanut Butter Fudge demo. Here are the tips that I learned for this treat.
First, you must always get a photo with the featured chef/ celebrity cook while at a KaTom demo. Melinda and Millie enjoyed the event and talking with Barbara. Melinda requested her birthday cake be made by Barbara last August and it was noteworthy. That would have been a great blog story ! For the record, Melinda and I have been ‘Barbara fans’ for years.
First, I will admit to having tried fudge, usually on vacations in Charleston or other places. The fudge is usually thick and grainy and so sweet that it makes your teeth hurt. This was not that kind of fudge.
Tip #1 One secret (that I never knew before) for the best peanut butter fudge is to use ‘pure cane granulated’sugar.
Tip #2 You really must use a candy thermometer.
Barbara prefers Skippy peanut butter for her recipes.
A good hand mixer can make a big difference in the smoothness of the fudge.
If you are lucky, you may get a little sample bag of the product to go. I am going to give mine to Sophia the next time that I see her.
I must say that it was the VERY BEST Fudge that I have EVER HAD IN MY LIFE. Bravo, Barbara!
Coffee fanatics all, Melinda, Millie, and I enjoyed the coffee machine in the back. Pack a couple of dollars to try the coffee, if you like.
Millie waiting for her latte. I wish that I had one of these machines at my workplace.
There are lots of things to browse in the KaTom store. You don’t just have to be a chef to go there.
I was admiring the largest strainer that I have ever seen in my life! For the family who loves french fries.
If you are in the area, come to KaTom tomorrow and see the Divinity and try it—Barbara style. I know that it will be the best.
It is a festive way to be out and about in Sevierville. Save us a seat at the counter!
It is always a pleasure to see Barbara Tenney at a KaTom cooking class, but the flavors of fall are calling as the temps drop now. The menu looked perfect so I made a reservation and had a seat waiting for me last week. The evening did not disappoint. Here is what we enjoyed at the “Perfect Pork and Pumpkins Cooking Demo.”
Here is a screenshot of the menu. It was a collection of the best fall flavors.
Barbara Tenney made a wonderful Butternut Squash and Apple Chowder. It only had a few tablespoons of butter. The soup was rich and thick from the vegetables and apple. It was fabulous and I am ready to make this myself.
My table mates were from Dandridge and Morristown. I was sitting by Faye Andrews, one of my favorite seat mates for these events. She said that it is easy enough to cook an entree, but you really have to know what you are doing to cook a good side dish. I agree and this side dish was excellent.
Our table was front and center so the view was the best. The overhead projection helps as well. I like KaTom’s state of the art demonstration kitchen. You always learn something new and enjoy every moment.
I would never have thought to use a stuffing with these ingredients—but now prefer them.
The main course and side dish were excellent. It was a good idea to bring a ‘to-go’ box because the portions were generous.
Of course, dessert was the piece de resistance!
The question of the evening was this: Does a crack in the top of the cheesecake bother you? Everyone at our table said ” not at all!”
This was the best pumpkin pie that I have ever had anywhere. My advice to you is always to use a ginger snap crust. Heavenly! We were applauding.
One must shop a little before leaving so here are a couple of treasures that I found…
I was looking at these champagne glasses in the sale room. They were only $1 each! Barbara walked by and said that they would also be good for serving a dessert, such as strawberries and cream, etc. I bought them at once. Count the glasses and you may guess who will be invited to have this dessert sometime soon. (A friend will get this embedded mystery.)
The sun had set so I hurried toward the car to be on my way.
KaTom is an excellent place to shop and educate oneself on food and food preparation. If Barbara Tenney is there then it is an event that should not be missed. She is not only a renowned cook in East Tennessee, but she is one of my favorite people. It is one of my favorite things to do when out and about in Sevierville.
Vegetables are in abundance now so it was the perfect time for a vegetable supper cooking demonstration by culinary expert Barbara Tenney at KaTom Chef Supplies. I am a BT groupie and knew that it would be good so I hurried up highway 66 to make it to the 6:00 class. It did not disappoint!
Cucumber and Onion Salad
Sour Cream Cornbread
Southern Green Beans
Fresh Tomato Pie
Blackberry Peach Cobbler
Laura Dickerson introduces Barbara Tenney to class participants. Barbara is an award winning recipe creator, caterer, cook, culinary teacher, and, often, a cooking presenter for WBIR. With all that experience, Barbara has stories to tell and cooking tips for the novice or the expert. I like the stories the best!
The first course was a cucumber and onion salad that was both refreshing and cool. Certainly, this dish would be perfect for picnics and cookouts too.
Charlotte Tatum enjoyed the evening with her mother, Nancy Hayes. I always enjoy seeing them here!
The tomato pie was a crowd pleaser. Not really like pizza, but the pie shares many of the same ingredients.
Sherry and Samantha Moore are also from Sevier County. They, also, have attended other classes at KaTom and look forward to the events. I recognized them from the David Pinckney cooking demo a few months ago. They work at Catlettsburg and Boyd’s Creek schools in our county.
You have had green beans and new potatoes before, but I assure you that these may be the best ever! So tender.
Pam Parker and Jani Chollman are from Strawberry Plains, just a couple of exits up the interstate. They, also, have attended classes before at KaTom and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere while learning something new. They are high school teachers and enjoy learning news things, like cooking delicious dishes.
Barbara prepared the blackberry cobbler and instructed us to be careful about not placing the dough too close together. In the meantime, she also told a funny story about a couple try to make chicken and dumplings…but ended up with a 5 pound dumpling.
Time to bake and a few minutes to shop. We walked around the store and look for good things to bring home. There is always something for sale. Also, you can sign up for email alerts for upcoming cooking classes.
Can you say cornbread with Cruze Farm butter milk? And sour cream? Divine!
Voila! Dinner is served.
Blackberry peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream. Amazing!
Barbara talks with my table mates. Pictured left to right: Nancy Frolio, Milford Blair, Shirley Blair, Barbara Tenney, and Geraldine Jinks. I love to see Shirley and was delighted to find out that I was assigned to her table. Nancy, from Dandridge, spends part of the year in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. That is a summer haunt for my friends and I. How fun to hear that Page’s Okra Grill in Mount Pleasant is a favorite for Nancy, Shirley, and my group of beach friends.
I found my Christmas wish list items!
What a great evening with nice foodie friends and one of my favorite culinary rock stars in East Tennessee, Barbara Tenney. Follow KaTom on Facebook and look at the ‘events’ category to see upcoming cooking demos. They are a favorite way to get out and about in Sevierville.
Barbara Tenney’s ‘Perfect Summertime Salads’ menu was just in time for the hotter temps in mid-July. A crowd of 28 people gathered to see the preparation, try the dishes, and take home the recipes. I was so happy to see an old friend there. Come with me as I take you through our evening at KaTom.
I was so happy to see our friends, Shirley and Milford Blair, pictured right. We worked together for years so it was a great pleasure to see her at the event. Shirley told me that it was her first time at a KaTom demonstration and that she had learned about them from this blog. How happy that made me! Pictured left are Shirley and Milford’s friends, Sue and Harold Ownby. They had the best seats in the house!
I was delighted to sit with my friends pictured from left to right: Harriet Berrier, Sarah Berrier, Debby Smolnyki, Rose Anders, and Cindy Anders. We are becoming regulars.
Ripe Peach and Grilled Corn Salad
Asian Chicken Salad
Burst o’Lemon Muffins
Vanilla Ice Cream
The secret ingredient to the Burst o’Lemon Muffins is a cup of lemon yogurt. They were divine.
Barbara at work in the KaTom kitchen. Catch more of her classes at Butler and Bailey in Knoxville and cooking segments on WBIR TV. I have followed her for over 20 years. What a great lady and talented cook/teacher.
This salad is great for a crowd and requires no cooking. I would NOT have thought about combining peaches and avocado, serano peppers and onion…but why not? It was my favorite dish of the evening. Fabulous!
The Asian salad blended well with the lemon muffin.
Barbara prefers Hellmans mayo to any other.
Shrimp salad is a cool entree for hot summer days.
Homemade vanilla ice cream was made with a special attachment for KitchenAid machines.
See how it attaches to the machine. Let it run for 30 minutes, then freeze for 14 hours. You can find these at KaTom Chef Supplies store.
These ladies came from Knoxville for the event. Mimi and Brenda attended the last session with Chef David Pinckney, Executive Chef from Cherokee Country Club. Teresa, pictured right, said that this was her first cooking demo. They enjoyed it as much as we did.
I always meet some new people from Morristown and they often have a link to my sister Suzanne. Today was no exception. Janet Johnson is pictured left. Dene Masengill-Jones, pictured right, was my sister Suzanne’s riding instructor in high school when she was learning to jump horses. Dene still owns and runs Walnut Grove Riding Stables. What a small world!
Always get your picture with the chef at the end of a good meal. Barbara and I holding a peach, an ingredient in my favorite salad. Some of you may notice that we look like we are on the RHOA. (Wink if you know that reference.)
There are more cooking events to come at KaTom. Follow them on Facebook. Here is a link to their events page.
Babalu Tapas and Tacos Executive Chef Warren Weiss conducted a cooking class at KaTom yesterday afternoon. I have visited the restaurant several times with friends and knew that this demonstration was not to be missed so I booked the class several weeks ago. Here is what I saw…
The KaTom store and complex is already decorated beautifully for the holidays, inside and out. I was happy to enter the store to see my friends Harriet and Sarah Berrier. We had a front table with a great view. I went up to meet Chef Weiss and his restaurant assistants, Teagan and Sara. Babalu Tapas and Tacos is located in Knoxville on Gay St., just a few doors down from the Downtown Brewery. It is a fun, lively place to eat so go there soon! Click this link to go their website. Nice!
They were excited to be there and cook for an audience of ‘foodies’ in a state of the art demo kitchen. I enjoyed talking to them a few minutes before the class began. Chef Weiss trained in a culinary school in Hyde Park, New York.
We were delighted to see 4 courses on the menu. Plus, complete recipes on the following pages.
Great view of kitchen techniques from the KaTom overhead TV. No bad seat in the house.
At the restaurant, they use two avocados to make each tableside guacamole. The most guacamole sold in one day at the restaurant: 300 orders.
Extra Babalu Guacamole served with chips.
Guacamole on grilled country toast points with radish and micro cilantro.
It was fabulous! A secret to their guac is that they use sundries tomatoes rather than salsa, pico de gallo, or chopped tomatoes. It is creamy beyond belief.
I forgot to take a picture of the tuna ceviche. It was excellent—and I don’t usually do ceviche. Above, you can see the chopped salad. We all agreed that the lime vinaigrette was sublime! The Anaheim peppers gave it a little spicy ‘kick’ and complexity. I get tired of my own salads at home, but could eat this one every day.
A nice version of paella!
Mexican Fudge with pepitas. Looks like pistachios, but they are crushed and toasted pumpkin seeds. Delightful!
A crowd pleaser that concluded the class with applause.
I enjoy all the cooking classes at KaTom, of course, but enjoyed this presentation very much due to the relaxed and informative delivery provided by Chef Weiss. He told us interesting things about the Babalu Restaurant. There are several locations: Jackson, MS; Charlotte, N.C.; Overton Square in Memphis, TN.; Atlanta, GA, and Knoxville.
Chef Weiss answered questions from the audience throughout the demonstration. For example, his favorite food is macaroni and cheese. His favorite restaurants in Knoxvegas are the Northshore Brasserie, Stock and Barrel (best hamburgers), and Jig and Reel (fish and chips). He enjoys living and working downtown.
Chef Weiss gave us cooking tips for chopping onions and putting them in the fridge for 30 minutes before cutting them to prevent eye irritation. Put avocados in a paper bag for a few days if you need to ripen them. Trader Joe’s sells frozen cubes of garlic that are great value and taste for cooking.
The next cooking class will be on Tuesday, December 6th with a chef from Blackberry Farm. There were only a few seats left for that class so you need to call and book today if you want to get in on that one. Harriet, Sarah, and I already have our spots reserved. Melinda should be joining us too. There isn’t a better way to spend a couple of hours learning new recipes and dining with friends while you are out and about in Sevierville.
Save me a seat at the table!
For more pictures, click this link to go to the blog Facebook page for photos.
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.
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…