There will be tons of media stories today and tomorrow about the passing of 39-year-old Sam Beall, father of five and proprietor of the world-renowned Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee.
Media outlets reported that Beall died late yesterday as the result of a ski accident in Vail, Colorado.
I will leave it to my friends in the news media to chronicle the literally scores of chefs, restaurateurs, interior designers, landscape designers and other artisans who have blossomed in our community as a result of their employment at Blackberry Farm under the leadership of Sam Beall.
We are truly a much better place because of him and the great people he helped attract and develop.
Sam Beall and Blackberry Farm also have been generous supporters of our artistic and cultural community, in particular the Knoxville Museum of Art, which benefited from Blackberry and Beall’s involvement in the hugely successful annual fundraiser, L’Amour du Vin. For the past several years, Blackberry has been the locale of a fundraising Chamber performance by the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, bringing in a substantial chunk of change for KSO’s operations.
And, in a mutually beneficial arrangement, Blackberry has been a major sponsor of the annual International Biscuit Festival and the Southern Food Writing Conference held each year in May in downtown Knoxville and at Blackberry Farm.
Because of all this, Sam Beall has been a frequent presence on this blog and I’d like to share here some of those great memories.
Our condolences and prayers go out to Sam’s family. We also mourn his loss on behalf of the East Tennessee community, as well as the national and international culinary and hospitality families, which will not be the same without him.
Click here for a link to a post a few years back when Sam’s mother described how important her son was to the success of Blackberry Farm.