We loved, loved, loved our time in Prague last month. It is a beautiful, historic city. But our friends and I immediately noticed on our visit that many of the fantastic buildings are defaced by ugly graffiti.
That got me to thinking about Knoxville and our graffiti issues. Several months ago, Alan and I were about to have dinner in our downtown condo, when Alan spotted two young guys spray-painting a “tag” on the empty Pryor Brown Parking Garage at the corner of Church Avenue and Market Street. I grabbed my cellphone and photographed the guys. Then, we consulted with two friends who work for the city. They urged us to call the Knoxville Police Department, which we did. We emailed them the pictures of the vandalism and the guys.
In less than 30 minutes, the police had apprehended them on bicycles on Jackson Avenue. They brought them back to our place and had Alan identify them, and they were taken to the police station and charged. Although they denied they had done it, a can of spray paint matching the color of the tags on the garage was found in one of their backpacks. And some paint on one of their pants also matched the color. Continue reading →
Sea bream with pappardelle, artichokes and snow peas in a red pepper sauce at Field. Delish.
I’m not saying that you should book a flight to Prague just so you can eat dinner there. But, should you find yourself in the neighborhood, there are some damn fine restaurants to visit.
Julia and Gary Bentley, Alan and I just returned from a Viking River Cruise on the Danube River from Budapest to Nuremberg, and we added three days in Prague to the end of the trip. We fell in love with the Czech Republic capital for its beautiful scenery, architecture, food and friendly people.
Our first food find was a restaurant named Field that a friend of Julia recommended. It bills itself as “free range dining” and is basically a farm-to-table eatery. You can tell from the menu that they believe in using all of the animal, a concept I struggle with. I mean, I believe you should, but I just can’t dig into sweetbreads, beef tongue, rabbit and dried deer heart, all of which were on the menu during our visit. Fortunately, there were seafood options that saved the day. And they were fantastic. Continue reading →
Chef Holly Hambright adds some crispy duck skin to Alan’s main course.
My friends and I are really loving this “Taste Bud Tour of the World” that chef Holly Hambright is staging throughout this year. At her restaurant in Bearden, Holly’s Homberg, she is offering five-course dinners featuring dishes from some of the world’s best known food cities.
We signed up for three of them. Recently, courtesy of Holly, we went to Barcelona.
These dinners are limited to 26 diners and cost $120 per person. You bring your own wine, which I think is fun because you can go to the liquor store and select wines from the same country as the menu for the evening.
Still to come are dinners featuring food from Bologna, Italy (Sept. 10), Montreal, Quebec (Oct. 22) and good ole Knoxville, Tennessee (Dec. 3).
Jim Haslam, left, welcomes UT Basketball Coach Rick Barnes to the podium. (Photo by Gary Heatherly)
I know it’s football all the time right now as the countdown draws close to kickoff of the gridiron season. But for one day last week, thoughts turned to basketball as the business community hosted a reception to welcome Rick Barnes, the new head coach for University of Tennessee men’s basketball.
This photo of Jack Rose was taken in April of 2013 by his best friend, Joe Stewardson.
Saturday was bittersweet for the relatives and friends of the late Jack Rose, a photographer and avid outdoorsman who passed away this summer at age 58 after a brief illness.
Jack was honored posthumously by the Foothills Land Conservancy, an organization dedicated to protecting, preserving and enhancing the lands of the Southern Appalachian region, largely by convincing landowners to place their property under conservation easements, which will prevent the land from being subdivided and developed.
Jack, with his love of nature and his talent for photographing it, was a perfect match for the organization. His widow, Sara, his four siblings and scores of friends came together this weekend at the beautiful Penrose horse farm in West Knoxville to celebrate the group’s 30th anniversary — and to honor Jack. Continue reading →
Here’s the beach in front of the Pink Pony Pub in Gulf Shores, my all-time favorite dive bar. We never go to Gulf Shores without visiting it at least once.
They say that everyone’s favorite beach is the one they went to as a child. I suppose that’s why my favorite beach is Gulf Shores, Alabama. That and the fact it has the most beautiful sugar white sand and clear blue water of any beach on the continental United States that I’ve ever visited. And, especially lately, a proliferation of fun places to eat and drink. Continue reading →
Short, whose show runs on Scripps’ DIY Network, spent time on Market Square and in the Old City, he had dinner at Knox Mason on Gay Street and lunch at Tupelo Honey. “Knoxville rocks,” he said. “It’s really a special place.”
Appropriately, Short’s appearance was at the Summer Supper held at Knox Heritage’s Salvage Shop at 619 Broadway. The Salvage Shop is a program that accepts donated historic building materials (50+ years old) to prevent these valuable items from going to the landfill. These items are resold to benefit Knox Heritage. The donations include historic materials such as sinks, stoves, doors, windows, wood, flooring, hardware, lighting, furniture and more. All donations are tax deductible. Continue reading →
What if you threw a party for Randy and Jenny Boyd and everybody came?
Randy and Jenny Boyd, left, with Nazzy and Hash Hashemian.
That’s exactly what Hash and Nazzy Hashemian did a couple of weeks ago. A virtual who’s who of Knoxville was at this over-the-top soiree at the couple’s gorgeous RiverSound mansion. The event was catered by the Northshore Brasserie, featured a piano player, a band and a disc jockey at different portions of the evening, and was quite simply fun, fun, fun. Continue reading →
Chef Jill Heiser tends the shrimp that are about to become one of the evening’s appetizers.
Dr. Don Heiser and his wife, Carole, and their neighbors, Dr. Robert Madigan and his wife, Brenda, are big supporters of the Knoxville Museum of Art. That’s why when it came time for the annual L’Amour du Vin fundraising auction earlier this year, they wanted to put together something really great to auction off.
It just so happens that the Heisers have a fabulous vegetable garden in their back yard on Rio Vista Lane in West Knoxville. And the Madigans across the way have an excellent wine collection. But the best part of all? The Heisers’ daughter, Jill, is a chef in Atlanta. Jackpot!
Rosemary Gilliam was the lucky winner of the garden-to-table dinner for eight offered by the Heisers and Madigans. And, lucky us: Rosemary invited Alan and me to join the fun.
Chef Jill Heiser was raised in Knoxville and always cooked with her mother as she was growing up. At the time, she said, food was not very inspiring. “At every meal,” she said, ” we had a slice of white bread with four pats of butter.”