My husband, Alan Carmichael, and our friend and client, Mary Ellen Brewington. Mary Ellen's company, Cherokee Distributing, was a sponsor of "Under a Harvest Sky."
There was a little nip in the air recently when supporters of the Dogwood Arts Festival gathered for an interesting fundraiser at the Kingston Pike home of the city’s deputy mayor, Eddie Mannis. The little chill was perfectly fine since Mannis’ terraced backyard gardens descend down to a lovely outdoor fireplace that featured a roaring fire that night.
The theme of the evening, called “Under a Harvest Sky,” featured food pairings with both wines and beers. The chefs were some of Knoxville’s best: Chef Chris Moore from the Knoxville Convention Center, Chef Deron Little from Seasons Cafe, Chef Matt Patin from The Creamery Park Grille, Chef Drew McDonald from Plain Apron and Chef Karen Crumley of Avanti Savoia.
The food was spread throughout the gardens at individual stations to keep lines from getting too long at any one place. Although there was an interesting little silent auction, I truly appreciated the fact that the event was something different from the traditional fundraising “ball” at Cherokee Country Club. We are in the midst of “ball” season here in Knoxville. There was one in November and one in December. Others are set for January and February. I’m not going to name the organizations that insist on doing this kind of fundraising because I truly support all of them. But I am getting SO TIRED of silent auctions, followed by dinner and then a deadly long live auction. If you are going to bore me to death, I’m going to complain about it! I BEG these groups to try to do something a little more creative. And I will give a tip of the hat to the Knoxville Opera Company folks who did add some life to their event this year (click here for a recap).
But back to “Under a Harvest Sky.” It was very interesting to get to see how food was paired with both wine and beer. Sponsors of the event were All Occasions Party Rentals, Cherokee Distributing Company, Constellation Brands and Sysco.
Roasted pumpkin soup with ginger, apple and radish slaw and sorghum foam was paired with Sierra Nevada porter and Mark West chardonnay.
The soup was prepared and served by Bonni and Drew McDonald of The Plaid Apron.
Janet Testerman of Scripps Networks Interactive and Craig Shelton of The Drawing Room, two of my favorite people!
Chef Karen Crumley of Avanti Savoia was serving up pasta salad with grilled artichokes, roasted butternut squash and lemon vinaigrette. It was paired with Leinenkugel Lemon Berry and Ruffino Aziano chianti classico.
Here's a closer look at that yummy pasta!
Avanti Savoia also brought some crusty bread for olive oil tastings.
Dogwood's Alaine McBee, left, and Covenant Health's Amy Styles. These are fun women!
Host Eddie Mannis checks out a piece of art in the silent auction.
Ken and Tammy Knight of the Crowne Plaza hotel.
Music was by the Johnson Swingtet.
Chef Chris Moore of the Knoxville Convention Center, an excellent Moxley Carmichael client.
Chef Moore's vegetable and roasted tomato ratatouille with micro greens on grilled garlic-rubbed bread was my favorite dish of the night. It was paired with Spaten Oktoberfest and SIMI sauvignon blanc.
Lisa and Dr. Steve Skinner enjoyed the evening.
Hand-pulled Mongolian pork with sweet potato puree, prepared by Chef Matt Patin of Creamery Park Grille, was paired with Shiner Bock and Mark West pinot noir, my favorite red wine.
David and Nancy Goodson
Here's that fireplace at the bottom of the terraced gardens.
Chef Deron Little of Seasons made pumpkin cheesecake with nutmeg creme fraiche. It was paired with Highland mocha stout and Hogue late harvest riesling.
The city of Knoxville's Bill Lyons, left, with Shanna Browning, center, and Kim Henry
I loved Erin Slocum's blue dress. She's with Dogwood Arts.
Judith Foltz of the city of Knoxville's special events office with Greg Blankenship of Gregory's Greenhouse.
Kim and Scott Bumpas. She's head of Visit Knoxville.
I'm glad Eddie got to taste the wares!
Alex and Meg Lonon
My pal Dino Cartwright of WVLT-TV liked the crostini, too.
The KSO's Michael Combs beside a Ron Williams painting Alan and I won at the silent auction. It's our first Ron Williams.
David Butler, left, executive director of the Knoxville Museum of Art, advised me on my art purchase. He's with Ted Smith, another great guy!
Lisa Duncan, the head of the Dogwood Arts Festival, left, and Melynda Whetsel.
Dr. Michelle Brewer, left, and Sherri Gardner Howell
We walked back to cars with Duncan Mansfield of TVA and Vivian Vega of the News Sentinel. It was a fun, relaxing and delicious evening!
Filed under: Events, Food, Knoxville