Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Autumn Fun In Knoxville

Coach Johnny Majors
“Wish that I was on ole rocky top,
Down in the Tennessee hills.
Ain't no smoggy smoke on rocky top,
Ain't no telephone bills.”

  “Rocky Top” by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant

KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE—The university on the banks of the Tennessee River produced genuine sports legends like Johnny Majors and Peyton Manning. A respected institution of higher learning, the fans gather for home games in Neyland Stadium clad in bright orange just after finishing one of the South’s finest tailgating feasts. After all, Tennessee is home to tailgating essentials like Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, George Dickel and Benton’s Smoky Mountain Country Ham.

Few products anywhere are connected more  to culinary heritage.

Bluegrass music abounds and during football games refrains of “Rocky Top,” the Volunteer’s anthem penned by Boudleaux and Felice Bryant never cease..

Bluegrass in Downtown Knoxville
Knoxville is a modern city, a center for the arts that showcases some of the best restaurants this side of Nashville. The culture is quintessentially East Tennessee, a mixture of Appalachian and Deep South. New folks who move here for the high quality of life. Like most college towns, Knoxville has the luxury of an educated population making it an attractive place for relocation and retirement.

Roaming the tailgaters is only after touring Knoxville’s outdoor Farmer’s Market where on Saturday’s, the streets display vegetables, canned goods like jellies, jams and salsas, along with Tennessee sausages and artisan baked products. Barbecue is omnipresent with pork and chicken dominant.

These are wine-savvy tailgaters and finding a group serving Shannon Ridge Petite Sirah wasn’t surprising. The remarkable red wine paired beautifully with Chef Lara Lyn Carter’s Tennessee Bruchetta and smoked meats with homemade biscuits.

Bistro By The Tracks is just one of several top rated local gourmet dining destinations.
Executive Chef Christopher Stallard marries a wealth of regional and worldly culinary knowledge to create a menu that is distinctly original. The wine program is backed by one of the state’s top cellars offering an extensive wine list featuring carefully selected whites and reds from the acclaimed wineries

The Tennessee Theatre compares with Atlanta’s Fabulous Fox Theatre and you don’t want to miss a concert featuring the magnificent Wurlitzer organ.

Knoxville is a launching pad to Smoky Mountain adventures and is in proximity to the great fishing and water sports of TVA lakes. The area is rich in mountain heritage and the accommodations are first rate.

Benton’s Bacon Bruschetta 
      By Chef Laura Lyn Carter
I6 slices French bread - slightly grilled
Sage butter (recipe follows)
4 ears sweet corn - kernels removed
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes - finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
16 slices Benton's bacon - cooked and crumbled
Chef Lara Lyn Carter
In a large skillet, melt 1 and 1/2 tbsp. of sage butter over medium-high heat. Add the corn to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, cream, salt and pepper to the corn and cook for an additional 4 minutes stirring often. Spread the sage butter onto the grilled bread slices. Top the bread with a tbsp. of the corn and sprinkle with the bacon.
Sage Butter
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 cup sage roughly chopped
1 tsp. coarse salt
Melt butter over medium heat until bubbly. Reduce heat and add sage. Allow sage and butter to simmer f
or 3-4 minutes. Remove the butter from heat and stir in the salt. Allow the butter to cool slightly, remove the sage and pour into a small bowl.

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