Heat can’t beat Knoxvillians set on a feast!

Genius idea! With the heat index above 100, the hosts of this outdoor dinner passed out frozen washcloths several times during the evening. Alyssa Maddox, left, and Julianna Tullos put them to good use!

It was a scorcher! But the charm of the evening more than made up for it. (And the fans helped!)

The occasion was an Italian feast in the lovely historic home of Jim and Pam Given in Fountain City. It was one of Knox Heritage’s Summer Suppers. The food, prepared by the hosts using many ingredients grown in the Givens’ ample backyard gardens, was out of this world.

Just a word about the Summer Suppers. They are a wonderful way to experience different neighborhoods in East Tennessee and get to know other preservation-minded folks in a fun, casual environment. Four of the remaining Suppers have some tickets left. We would urge you to grab them, if you can.

Homeowners Pam and Jim Given.

This particular one was held on Maple Drive in a house that won one of Knox Heritage’s Fantastic Fifteen awards in 2015. A Craftsman-style home built in the 1930s, it had just been renovated when Jim Given bought it in 2005. A second renovation began in 2014, when Jim married his wife, Pam, and they decided to increase the size, as well as add a number of modern amenities. The challenge was to do all this without decreasing the home’s character and architectural integrity.

The result was a resounding success. Guests at the Summer Supper were bowled over by the new additions and how well they blended with the original home.

Landscaping, raised gardens, and a small greenhouse completed the transformation — and provided many of the victuals that delighted us that evening.

The lovely site of the sold-out event.

Carol Fusco and Leslie Fawaz helped get folks checked in.

Jaybee Brennan met guests with prosciutto-wrapped melon. A cool bite on a hot night.

Gayle Burnett helped out.

Bruschetta was made with homegrown tomatoes and herbs.

In the kitchen, Kendall and Mike Keller were mixing up Limoncello drinks. Very Italian.

Beautiful hydrangeas also were from the backyard.

We all were wowed by the master bedroom, part of the new renovation.

And the master bath.

Here’s one of the upstairs guest rooms.

The backyard is a showstopper!

Step through the arbor and you can’t believe you are in Fountain City. It feels so much more rural.

Love the purple chairs.

Ha. (But, unlike me, they really ARE outdoorsy!)

Herbs are thriving under a protective tunnel.

Zinnias love the sun.

So do these beauties.

Lisa Thomas, left, and Lauren Rider were staffing the antipasto station.


Vince Fusco, left, and John Fawaz tended bar.

Melissa Charles made a last-minute check of the table.

Some folks relaxed on the comfortable porch prior to dinner.

Among them were Carol Merchant and John Thomas.

Alyssa and Miles Maddox loved the bathroom!

Cathy and Mark Hill.

Jenny Blackburn and Mary Pom Claiborne. (I told Mary Pom that I liked her dress, and she confided that it was her wedding dress!)

Kenneth Stark and Nancy Voith.

These two look like they are up to something! Rick Blackburn, left, and Steve Hancock.

Teresa Fischer and Chris Manning were providing guests with info about the house.


Tinah Utsman, left, and Deborah Franklin.

Back outside, Alan Carmichael was visiting with Mary Ann Condry, left, and Teresa Scott.

Jerry Faerber had a great idea!

Becky and Steve Hancock.

Bill and Melissa Charles.


Happy to see these at every place setting!

As soon as we were seated, Paul Hotsinpiller brought out the most amazing Italian torte slices to be spaced along the table and spread on artisan Italian bread.

I’m telling you, this was unbelievable.

John and Leanne Dougherty sat across from us.

Cool gazpacho on a steamy evening. Perfect!

Cody Ratliff helped with service.

A perfect Caprese salad.

Lynne and Scott Fugate.

After that, the buffet line opened!

The menu was pork loin with fig sauce, rustic ratatouille, asparagus with lemon vinaigrette and heirloom carrots. There also was summer vegetable lasagna and orzo with garden herbs and fresh pesto. Wow.

The carrots were works of art, don’t you think?

From left, Steve Cotham, Tom Whisman and John Cotham.

Everyone was having fun visiting with others along the table!

Pat and Jane Armstrong.

Madeline Griffey, left, with Mandy Hart. Thank goodness pinot grigio is Italian — because it’s my favorite!

Matt Fischer was the official photographer.

The Givens made a few remarks after dinner.

Dessert was Tiramisu.

As we left, the garden lights were coming on.

Another sweet and memorable East Tennessee evening came to a gentle close.

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

6 Responses to Heat can’t beat Knoxvillians set on a feast!

  1. Tinah Utsman, on August 2nd, 2017 at 3:39 pm said:

    Great fotos N hot fun in tha summertime!!

  2. Cynthia Moxley, on August 2nd, 2017 at 3:45 pm said:

    Tinah: You know it, Girlfriend!

  3. Deborah Sams, on August 2nd, 2017 at 3:47 pm said:

    Loved every delight in this story! A feast for the eyes and more.

  4. Cynthia Moxley, on August 2nd, 2017 at 3:50 pm said:

    Deborah: Weren’t the frozen washcloths a stroke of genius? Gotta remember that one!

  5. Matt Fischer, on August 4th, 2017 at 10:12 pm said:

    Awesome shots!
    Why did I bother? 😉

  6. Cynthia Moxley, on August 5th, 2017 at 12:33 pm said:

    Matt: You are too sweet. I bet yours are great.

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