In my 32 years in Knoxville, I’ve never seen a better Dogwood Arts Festival Art Fair on Market Square. This year, the art is as good as it’s ever been and the food and entertainment have been elevated many levels.
A welcome addition this year is the Publix Culinary Arts Stage located on Union Avenue across the street from Coffee & Chocolate. In anticipation of entering the Knoxville market within the coming year, it’s impressive that the much anticipated grocery chain already is making its presence felt with this highly visible sponsorship. If I were the other grocery stores in town, I’d definitely take notice.
Another eager participant in this year’s Dogwood Arts Festival is the Asheville restaurant Tupelo Honey Cafe, set to open its doors in Knoxville in late summer on the southwest corner of Market Square. Tupelo Honey not only has a booth in the fair, but it brought its personable executive chef, Brian Sonoskus, to the Publix Culinary Arts Stage Saturday to make one of his unique warm pimento cheese dishes. Tupelo Honey is about to launch a Pimento Cheese of the Month Club where, every other month, members will receive a different creative pimento cheese, some charcuterie and artisanal crackers. I, for one, am signing up! If you’d like to as well, keep an eye on the Tupelo Honey Cafe website (click here) for details.
The Market Square Arts Fair ends today at 5, so get on down there and check out all the fabulous art, food and fun. Here’s a quick run-through to get you in the mood.
But, don’t worry, the old favorites are still available.
Here’s a look at some of the art for sale.
Over in the Publix Culinary Arts Stage tent, an amazing outdoor kitchen is set up.
Chef’s recipe for that warm pimento cheese is at the end of this blog post.
Music of all kinds is non-stop at the event.
OK. Here is the best deal of the day. Pay $2 — yes, $2 — and gain admission into the Robert Mondavi wine tasting. You get to try five kinds of Mondavi wine — our favorite was the pinot noir. Wine tasting today is at 3:15 in the culinary arts tent. Go early!
OK. Here is that warm pimento cheese recipe from Tupelo Honey Cafe:
WARM PIMENTO CHEESE
AND CHIPS - from the Cookbook
8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon stone-ground mustard
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1/2 cup finely diced roasted red bell pepper
Tortilla chips, for serving
Combine the cheese, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, stone-ground mustard, mustard powder, salt, pepper, parsley, and roasted bell peppers in a large bowl. Transfer to a microwavable dish and microwave for about 20 seconds, or until hot. Or put in a baking dish in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes, or until heated through. Serve with the tortilla chips.
MAKES 2 CUPS
Here is Sunday News Sentinel story about the Market Square Arts Fair: click here.
Here is another blog post about the Art Fair by my friend Rusha Sams: click here.