Chef Matt Gallaher of Emilia and Knox Mason shows off his very sharp knife prior to dinner service Saturday. (I would have been scared, if he weren’t such a nice guy.)
Chef Matt Gallaher took full advantage of the state-of-the-art kitchen in the newly renovated Kingston Pike home of former University of Tennessee Chancellor Beverly Davenport for the Knox Heritage “Summer Supper” he prepared on Saturday.
Davenport, who lived in the 1920-era home at 2733 Kingston Pike for about a year before leaving UT last year, poured hundreds of thousands of dollars of renovations into it, and created what Realtor Jon Brock described to the News Sentinel as “maybe the very best historic renovation I’ve ever seen in Knoxville.”
The Georgian Revival-style home is owned today by Christian and Katie Corts, who paid slightly over a million dollars for the 3,396-square-foot residence. Christian said they were happy to welcome the Knox Heritage guests into the space because “it forced us to get a lot of things done.”
The house truly is stunning. The real knock-out is a second-floor outdoor patio just off the master bedroom. This is where guests of the sold-out fundraiser were welcomed with classic cocktails called French 75s and scrumptious passed hors d’oeuvres.
Homeowners Christian and Katie Corts.
The house, called Boxhall, is near the intersection of Kington Pike and Concord Street right across from historic Crescent Bend. Note the tent over the second-floor patio on the right.
Here’s where the fun started.
Scott Schimmel and Lisa Sorensen were pouring the French 75s.
These appetizers were show-stoppers: Benton’s ham-wrapped figs stuffed with Roquefort and glazed with saba. What is saba? It’s made from cooking down grape musts and is the main ingredient in traditional balsamic vinegar.
Deborah Franklin, left, and Laura Cole are at all the best parties.
Griddled Paysan caneles with chicken liver pate, peach conserves and sea salt were another pre-dinner offering.
Marla and John Peterson on the patio.
Tom Boyd and Sandi Burdick with a French 75 for her.
Jim and Pam Given getting into the spirit of things.
Meanwhile, one of our volunteers on the host committee was still working hard downstairs helping people park.
I could tell Ben Pinnell got a charge out of waving around his parking saber!
David and Meg Arning were staffing the check-in table.
Guests were still coming in, including Neil and Maureen Dunn McBride.
And Denise Cumming, left, with Dr. Frances Craig.
Laurens and Polly Ailor Tullock took seats in the air-conditioned living room. Smart.
Chef Gallaher was hard at work prepping the first course.
Here’s Chef Gallaher, left, with his brother and sister-in-law, Kevin and Alyson Gallaher. They were co-chairs of the planning committee for this event.
Rick and Jenny Blackburn were the other co-chairs.
Here’s the master bedroom you had to walk through to get to the patio.
What great closet space!
Calm and elegant dining room.
Living room without the Tullocks!
But, the main event was going to happen outside!
What a beautiful table!
I found my spot! Here’s a tip for you. I was sitting beside Tom Boyd. He doesn’t drink. So he shared his wine throughout the dinner with his wife and me! Pretty lucky, huh?
Besties Christi Branscom, left, and Julia Bentley.
Kathy Brennan, left, and Victoria Daniel-Cape sat across from me. They were fun.
So was Johnnie Creel.
First course was ahi tuna tartare with cucumber, watermelon, crispy rice, tomato consomme and serrano chiles. Wine pairing was a 2018 Peyrassol La Croix des Templiers rose from Mediterranee.
Taylor Wortham did a great job explaining all the wines.
My favorite course was the lobster Newburg. It consisted of Maine lobster tail meat with sea urchin cream, toasted squid ink brioche (to die for!), and slow cooked farm egg. Wine was a 2016 Thevenet Macon Pierreclos.
Chef Gallaher checking on the ladies.
Foie gras de canard: dry-aged duck breast, foie gras and local peach “tarte flambee” with sweet corn butter and basil. Wine: 2015 Domaine M Boutin Rasteau.
Yep, there’s more! Fines herbes and dijon-crusted lamb chop with smoked chevre Parisienne gnocchi, ratatouille vegetables and oil cured olive jus. Wine was a 2016 Mas Del Perie La Roque Cahors.
Dessert was profiteroles with fresh figs, elderflower creme patisserie, honey, orange zest and creme Chantilly. Wine pairing was a 2012 Domaine de Durban Muscat de Beaumes de Venise.
What a meal! What a house! What fun!
Here are some of the folks who helped make it happen. From left, Elizabeth Justus, Allison Stanley, John Harris, Fran Harris, Simonne Wortham, Taylor Wortham, Sara Pinnell and Kevin Gallaher. Thanks, everybody!
Here’s Sara, who is on the KUB Board of Commissioners, posing with one of those KUB fans I snagged at the “Shoes for School” event earlier that day.