Even puppy can’t steal the show from this cook

Kim Trent, the executive director of Knox Heritage, attended this event with her new puppy, Charlie Chaplin. “I named him that because he’s a little tramp,” she laughed.

Here’s a little tip for deciding which of Knox Heritage’s many great Summer Suppers you want to attend each year. Of course, it’s good to look for an interesting setting. And the date has to fit your calendar.

But another key thing to look for is this name among the host committee: Melissa Charles! I’m telling you that lady can cook! If you see her name on the host committee, the food is going to be amazing.

Alan and I selected the most recent Summer Supper we attended based on that fact — and because our friends Julia and Gary Bentley and Mickey Mallonee also were on the host committee. The location was the 1927  “eclectic Tudor” style home of Linda Phillips and Ken McFarland in Fountain City, winner of one of Knox Heritage’s Fantastic Fifteen Awards due to its painstaking expansion.

The homeowners, who were intent on increasing the size of their tiny kitchen and adding a carport/workshop, really wanted to match the style and appearance of their existing house and preserve its rooflines. The project took 13,500 matching bricks and concrete roof tiles salvaged from three different homes! But what a beautiful outcome they accomplished.

It was a great place to enjoy a relaxing Saturday evening repast prepared by Melissa Charles and other members of the host committee: Ken Cagle, Bill Charles, Patty Cooper and Bill Dohm, John Cotham, Steve Cotham, Peter Duncan, Brenda Goslee, Paul Hotsinpiller, Lauren and Steven Rider, Jane Stokes, Dana and Tom Traylor, Tom Whisman, Julia and Gary Bentley and Mickey Mallonee.

The lovely exterior of the house.

Gary Bentley with Julia Bentley, left, and Mickey Mallonee checking folks in.

Nancy Voith enjoying one of the evening’s signature cocktails, “Tile Roof Sipper.” It consisted of freshly brewed iced tea, homemade lemon-mint simple syrup, vodka and a lemon slice.

John Cotham offering bacon-wrapped figs.

Patty Cooper with brie and peppered jelly pastry cups.

Friendly bartenders: Ken Cagle, left, and Ward Bastian.

From left, Kenneth Stark, Bill Charles and Gary Cox socializing during cocktail hour.

Jerry Lenn, left, and Doug Sparks.

Judy and Randy Pyne.

Steve Cotham and Dana Traylor.

Betty Sue Sparks, left, and Emily Lenn.

Virginia Dougherty, left and Carlene LeCompte. Virginia is a descendant of the original homeowners.

And then this guy showed up and melted everyone’s heart.

Cody Ratliff took a turn cuddling him.

And Tom Traylor.

Lovely tables were set in the new carport.

Gary Bentley, vice chair of the Knox Heritage Board, made a few announcements.

And the buffet was opened. The fried chicken drew rave reviews.

But my very favorite thing? The beans. Made by Melissa Charles, of course. She said she’d take me out with her next year to pick them and show me how she makes them!

Another kitchen magician: Tom Whisman.

He made all the fantastic bread!

Here’s a nice plate of food. It’s not my plate. My plate was filled mostly with beans and cornbread!

Here’s my hubs, Alan Carmichael, posing with our tablemate, Walt Smith.

Lauren Rider offering refills of pinot grigio, my favorite.

Some more good folks at our table: Lou Smith and Paul Parris.

The homeowners, Linda Phillips and Ken McFarland, gave a brief explanation of the renovations and invited us inside.

Here’s the tiny kitchen that started it all.

And the new one.

The old living room is not used as a living room anymore.

Here’s the new one.

A small bedroom has been transformed into an office.

Anyway, you get the idea. We went back to the carport for dessert.

Which was peach cobbler tarts and vanilla ice cream.

Here she is: Melissa Charles with husband, Bill.

When it was time to leave, we said goodbye to our friend Hollie Cook, director of education for Knox Heritage.

The moon was rising and a sublime Knoxville evening came to an end.


Filed under: Events, Food, Historic preservation, Knoxville. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Even puppy can’t steal the show from this cook

  1. Mickey Mallonee, on September 8th, 2017 at 11:08 am said:

    Thanks for the shout out. Always wonderful to have you and Alan attending.

  2. Cynthia Moxley, on September 8th, 2017 at 1:17 pm said:

    Thanks for volunteering, Mickey! It was a lovely evening.

  3. Alan Carmichael, on September 8th, 2017 at 2:33 pm said:

    These are really good photos from a fun event. Funny how puppies can steal the limelight.

  4. Cynthia Moxley, on September 8th, 2017 at 2:45 pm said:

    You are right, Alan. Should we get one??

  5. Melissa Charles, on September 8th, 2017 at 3:05 pm said:

    Thank you Cynthia and Alan for all you do to support Knox Heritage. I am always excited when I see that you both will be attending an event I am chairing/hosting! I promise to take you to Chambers Farm (Bybee, TN) next year to get some of the best beans and heirloom tomatoes grown in Tennessee!

  6. Cynthia Moxley, on September 8th, 2017 at 3:22 pm said:

    Yay! That sounds great, Melissa! And you will teach me how to cook them, too, right? They were fantastic! I’ll write a Blue Streak post about it so everyone else can give it a try, too.

  7. Gay Lyons, on September 8th, 2017 at 3:43 pm said:

    Looks lovely! I recognize quite a few good cooks on that committee. We look forward to seeing you & Alan at Old Gray next week.

  8. Cynthia Moxley, on September 8th, 2017 at 3:51 pm said:

    Thanks, Gay! We are looking forward to that one. Sad that it’s the last Summer Supper of the year. But there sure are a lot of other activities in the fall and winter.

  9. Betty Sue Sparks, on September 8th, 2017 at 4:43 pm said:

    We had so much fun! It was great to catch up with old friends and make some new ones. The food was fabulous, the house is divine, and the weather was perfect. Thank you, Cynthia, for sharing the pictures.

  10. Melinda Derrick, on September 8th, 2017 at 7:35 pm said:

    I know the food is divine, and the venues have been such fun to explore through your pictures, Cynthia. Thanks for offering a glimpse!

  11. Linda Phillips & Ken McFarland, on September 8th, 2017 at 11:03 pm said:

    Thank you for the splendid essay about our Summer Supper, Cynthia! We had a grand time at the party and were delighted that you even caught the moon.

  12. Cynthia Moxley, on September 9th, 2017 at 12:25 am said:

    Betty Sue: We have loved getting to know you through the Lenns. This was such a fun night.

    Melinda: Thanks for your kind words and thanks for reading!

    Linda and Ken: You were so generous with your hospitality. Thanks so much! We loved seeing the moon at the end. It was perfect!

  13. Rusha Sams, on September 9th, 2017 at 7:40 am said:

    You had me at bacon-wrapped figs, but this post just got better with each picture. Some of my favorite all-time Southern foods cooked by loving hands. You’re right. This is one way to pick a dinner, but after reading most of your posts, I’m not sure you could go wrong even if you used a close-you-eyes-and-point method of picking one out of the Summer Suppers book. They’ve all looked good to me.

  14. Cynthia Moxley, on September 9th, 2017 at 8:17 am said:

    Rusha: You are right. Been some great eating this year! Can’t wait to see what next year brings.

  15. Virginia Dougherty, on September 23rd, 2017 at 8:28 am said:

    Thank you for your lively and lovely depiction of my old family home and beautiful restoration of it. Such a great dinner, kind hosts, and the puppy as icing on the cake.It was both somber remembering, but inspiring to see it so loved

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