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.