A Special Valentine Dinner by Barbara Tenney at KaTom

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When I saw that the dinner was by Barbara Tenney,  I called and reserved a spot immediately. What better way to experience a gourmet Valentine dinner than with local celebrity chef, Barbara Tenney. It was a fabulous dinner with a surprise at the end. Here is how it went…

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I found my place at a front table with some people from Dandridge and Knoxville. I saw the bag and got rather excited because I had seen Barbara’s Facebook post from the day before and hoped that it would be for our dinner that evening.

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Barbara Tenney, pictured left, is introduced by Laura, a manager at KaTom. Notice the TV projection overhead from which to see the stovetop action.

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Tenderloin is prepared for the oven. It was sear- roasted beef tenderloin with cognac-peppercorn cream sauce. Yes, it was as good as that sounds!

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Table settings are always a delight at KaTom events.

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Prepping the smashed potatoes. A view from above.

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The first course: green salad with roasted pears and blue cheese. Divine!

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Smashed potatoes with horseradish crème fraîche. You can’t overdo horseradish, in my opinion.

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The meal was served with a sign of the holiday. What a nice touch!

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Barbara displays the raspberry chocolate puffs before putting them into the oven at 425°  for 18-20 minutes.

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Warm from the oven and served with raspberry sauce.

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Or, add a drizzle of Ghirardelli chocolate. Bon appetit!

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My wish came true because the gift bags held a home-made chocolate covered marshmallow. A special Valentine to take home from Barbara Tenney’s kitchen. What a great gift!

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For dessert, we got to create a coffee from the best machine in Sevier County. It made the best latte!

KaTom has more cooking demos planned for the spring so go onto their Facebook page and click ‘events’ on the left menu to see upcoming sessions. It is always a pleasure to anything by my favorite celebrity cook, Barbara Tenney.  I wait expectantly for more. It is, as always, a fabulous way to get out and about in Sevierville. 

 

Glassware Makes a Huge Difference: Tasting Experience at KaTom

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A few weeks ago, Sophia and I decided to go to the Glass Expose event at KaTom because we wanted to learn more about the topic—plus, I love glassware. What we learned at that event completely shifted my thinking on the topic. I never realized what a difference better glassware can make in regard to taste and temperature of beverages.

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It was dark when we arrived at KaTom so Christmas lights beckoned us inside. What we didn’t know was that within 20 minutes, we would discover that a top grade serving glass is essential to food service. Here is what we learned.

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KaTom is on Inc. Magazine‘s list of the fastest growing companies in the country so any event there is going to be an exciting learning experience. Sophia and I just thought that it would be an interesting event, but it proved to be much more informative that we would have ever guessed.

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The tasting event was hosted by Libbey Glass presenter, Matthew Rutowski, Sr. V.P. and Brand Director of Spiegelau, USA.

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I had never seen such a large set-up in on the KaTom showroom floor. Each place had  glassware set up and ready for attendees. At this point, Sophia and I knew that the presentation was going to be rather special.

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Multi-media presentation was in place to begin the event.

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The gist of the presentation asserts that it is not just the design of the glass that improves the tasting experience, but the materials that make the glass as well.

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The Spiegelau Company is located in Germany. The factory has a long tradition of manufacturing glass products since the 16th century.   http://www.spiegelau.com/info/

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The presentation showed how they mine the special glass material, which makes it lighter and better suited to specific brews. It also showed how the company has collaborated with some of America’s master brewers to design the best glass for their brews.

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I would have never really believed there was difference—until they led us through an experiment and we decided for ourselves. It was amazing how a regular pint glass could not compare to the Spiegelau glass in keeping the beverage cold and maintaining the taste. After only a few minutes, we tried it again and the IPA in the pint glass was warm and tasteless. The Spiegelau glass was still very cool and flavorful. It was a completely different experience.

There are specific glasses for specific brews.

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At the end of the presentation, Mr. Rutowski always asks attendees to raise a glass if they agreed that the Spiegelau glasses gave a better experience and enjoyment to the tastings. Everyone overwhelmingly agreed.

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Amanda and Adam just opened Barley Waters in downtown Johnson City, Tennessee. They came to the presentation to learn more and to buy glasses for their new business. If you visit Johnson City, their place is next to Freiberg’s restaurant. (Oddly enough, I ate lunch there with family last May.) Barley Waters has been open over a month. It has 32 taps and over 206 beers in all. Their customers will certainly benefit from Spiegelau glasses they bought that evening. Adam attended the Brewing Science program at South College and worked for a few years at Blackberry Farm before starting Barley Waters.

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These attendees were from Knoxville. The gentleman on the left has a Food and Beer blog. The gentleman on the right manages Suttrees, an establishment on Gay Street in downtown Knoxville. They overwhelmingly agreed that the presentation changed their minds on the difference that glassware can make in tasting, plus the advantage over a regular pint glass. IMG_4104

The Glass Expose and Tasting event at KaTom seemed like a fun event; however, it ended up shifting my thinking about how important glassware is to dining and how it can enhance one’s experience in a significant way. I will never ask for a regular pint glass again.

Now, we are hoping Spiegelau will return some day for a presentation on whiskey or wine glasses. There is more to know…

You can learn all kinds of things when you are out and about in Sevierville.

 

Cherokee Country Club Executive Chef David Pinckney Returns to KaTom With the Best Menu Yet

Always a crowd pleaser, Cherokee Country Club Executive Chef David Pinckney brought it again to the KaTom cooking demonstration Monday evening. His relaxed manner and elegant recipes make for an effortless, gourmet evening. Here is what we experienced during the cooking lesson on Monday, June 26th.

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The first reason that people sign up for this class is chef name recognition. The second thing may be where he works, Cherokee Country Club, because we imagine the food is so good there! The third reason is the menu planned for the evening—and it didn’t disappoint. (Oops…I forgot to get a picture of just the chef so I’ll use the one above.)

The Menu

Gala apple salad with English Claret cheddar, mixed baby greens, apple cider vinaigrette, toasted walnuts and Benton’s 2 year country ham

Boursin chicken with herbed panko bread crumbs

Yukon gold potatoes and mushroom stock sauce

Chocolate Ganache with pecan crust and salted caramel sauce

 

Executive Chef David Pinckney leads the kitchen at Cherokee Country Club after working 25 years at the Orangery. (He started there in high school.) With that kind of professional pedigree, you can bet that he is one of the best chefs in East Tenneessee. When he comes to KaTom, always make sure you reserve a spot!

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This time, I made some new friends at my table. Pictured right is Faye Andrews. I have met her several times and enjoy her perspectives on cooking, restuarants, and travel. She is a delight at these events. New friends, Vickie (pictured left) and Dan Lynch are from Morristown—and, coincedentally, live almost across the street from my sister Suzanne. They also enjoy these events. This is the second time that I have seen them so it was fun to meet them and share their table. Vickie’s sister, Janet Benett, sat beside me. She drove from Greeneville for the event and was a very nice table companion.

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Benton’s two year country ham is ready for the salads.

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These attendees are from Knoxville, Dandridge, and from out of state. They had great seats!

Preparations for the chocolate ganache.

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I was so happy to see my colleague, Nancy Hayes (pictured left), and her daughter, Charlotte Tatum.

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We had a great view from our table as well. Sound and screen technology are excellent so you see and hear everything with no problem.

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There was a moment of excitement when the brandy was ignited. It made quite the impression!

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Mushroom stock sauce.

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More colleagues from Catlettsburg, Sevierville, and Pigeon Forge Primary Schools. Pictured are Denise Barnes, Sami Moore, Sherry Moore, and Rebecca Smock. It was their first demonstration at KaTom and they enjoyed it thoroughly.

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This is an effective way to make salad dressing. I am going to try to make the apple cider vinaigrette tomorrow with my Cuisinart.

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Preparing salads for service.

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The Gala apple salad with English Claret cheddar, mixed baby greens, apple cider vinaigrette, toasted walnuts and Benton’s 2 year country ham. The perfect summer salad.

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Boursin chicken with herbed panko bread crumbs served on top of Yukon gold potatoes and mushroom stock sauce. Divine!

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Preparing the chocolate ganache for service. These were, by far, the largest blackberries that I have ever seen. They came from North Carolina.

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You can probably tell by looking at the picture how rich, satisfying, and decadent this dessert was in each bite. One could never have a better dessert than this chocolate ganache with pecan crust and salted caramel sauce. We could have stopped with two bites…but no one did. It was one of the best desserts that I have ever had at a KaTom cooking event. We applauded the chef.

I enjoy the presentations by David Pinckney for several reasons. First, no matter what preconceived notions you may have about him because of where he works, Pinckney is very friendly and approachable. He is happy to answer any questions and stopped several times so I could take a picture. The executive chef is very comfortable in the kitchen and doesn’t worry if everything is perfect. He works in a ‘flow’ and it is relaxed, laid back, and well timed. Finally, his selections for KaTom demonstrations are rather elegant, but anyone who has some cooking experience could attempt these recipes. It is a nice combination of things and we hope that he returns soon.

If you are interested in KaTom cooking events then look them up on their Facebook page and click under the ‘events’ category. Here is a link. https://www.facebook.com/KaTomRestaurantSupply/

Or, just call them (865) 225-1559.

It is an enjoyable way to get out and about in Sevierville. Save me a seat at the table!

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Cooking with Barbara Tenney at KaTom

Renowned East Tennessee cook, Barbara Tenney, presented a menu at KaTom Wednesday evening. I have seen at least 10 of her presentations so I couldn’t wait to see her at KaTom. Here is how our cooking event went at KaTom.


It is fun to walk in and find your place at a table. I had a great seat.


Tables were set in a simple, elegant display. You get a copy of each recipe too.

A friend, Sophia Connerly, joined me for this presentation. Also at our table were a mother and daughter from Morristown, a professor from U.T., and a personal chef/ chef from the Lonesome Dove restaurant in Knoxville.


Notice the home- made treats from Barbara at each place setting. Cookies and a sweet mix. Divine!


The menu featured chicken and dumplings and pot roast with a Barbara Tenney flair!


I am one of her devoted fans. Barbara Tenney, the legend, is pictured on the right. Love her style too.


Get there early so you can shop!


Every seat has a great view.


Chicken breasts cooked to perfection. Broth to cook the dumplings.


Dumplings measured to perfection by a scoop.

Par excellence!


It was wonderfull!


View from the overhead screen.

And the pot roast extraordinaire. I took leftovers for lunch the next day.

We can’t wait to see Barbara Tenney again out and about in Sevierville.

See more pictures on my blog Facebook page.