Symphony League delivers a little taste of Austria

Chef Simon Hall holds the tiny cookbook for the evening: “Austrian Specialties.”

Sometimes, when you purchase one of the “Elegant Dining” events from the Knoxville Symphony League, you can be transported to another country — without passing the Knox County line! These ladies are well-traveled. And they love sharing their international experiences with the folks back home.

This was the case recently when Elizabeth and Rudy Koester offered a dinner for 10 in their lovely West Knoxville home. “Dinner at Cafe Mozart” was their title for the evening. Chef Simon Hall prepared Viennese dishes paired with European wines. “Guten appetit!” said the description of the evening. (That’s Austrian German for “good appetite!”) Come along and see how the Viennese might be dining tonight!

Elizabeth Koester welcoming Alan Carmichael to the experience.

The table was stunningly set. And, beautiful music was in progress.

The Jewel Tones Quartet includes, from left, Rachel Ford, Diana Salesky, David Wasilko and Melissa Allen. Rachel also happens to be the executive director of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra.

Molly Bates offers guest Fred Buffum a sampling of gebacken Gemüse. Let me tell you, these fried vegetables served warm were out of this world!

Other appetizers included Caspian roe and smoked salmon on dark rye and pumpernickel breads. Yum.

I sneaked into the kitchen and saw John and Marla Peterson enjoying some pre-dinner wine.

I also saw this beautiful Linzer torte sitting on the counter waiting to be sliced!

Back in the dining room listening to the enchanting music were host Rudy Koester, left, and A.T. Yanno.

Fred and Gina Buffum.

Mary Cushman, left, and Yellie Greebe.

Tom Fine and Patricia Maffeo.

Caught just as dinner was served were, from left, seated: Alan Carmichael, Susan Yanno, Fred and Gina Buffum. Our hostess, Elizabeth Koester, is standing behind.

The main course was Esterhazy rostbraten (upper Austrian roast beef) with sauteed leeks, carrots and celery along with parsleyed potatoes. And, isn’t the china fabulous?

After dinner, we took a short break before dessert. On the porch enjoying a little respite, were, from left, Molly Bates, Chef Simon Hall, Stephanie Sawyer, Kim Donahue and Elizabeth Koester.

Dessert was that Linzer torte, right, and Sacher torte, which is a chocolate cake with apricot jam filling. And whipped cream, of course.

And Austrian candies to boot!

Thanks so much to this sweet couple, Elizabeth and Rudy Koester, for all you do for the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. It was a sweet evening.

Here’s a sample of the enchanting music by the Jewel Tones:

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