Stacy Nickell on cello Sunday night during the KSO’s “Evening by the Tracks.”
The tickets were pricey ($500 each), but it would have been hard to beat the food and music anywhere in Knoxville last Sunday.
Called “Evening by the Tracks,” the benefit for the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra was held at the future location of Bisto by the Tracks in Bearden. It’s the former site of the venerable Knoxville eatery, The Orangery. The sneak peek was exciting because we all wanted to know what to expect when the popular restaurant reopens in its new location. Although the regular dining room is not yet open, this elegant event space will continue to be available even after it is.
The crowd was intimate and relaxed. Just what we all needed before plunging headlong into the hectic holiday season starting this week.
Food was by By the Tracks Catering, of course, and music was by the Knoxville Symphony Chamber Orchestra. The convenient Bearden location made it very easy for folks from all parts of Knoxville to attend on a “school night.” Bravo, friends.
The tables were beautiful. All that glassware indicates a four-course meal — with wine pairings!
From left, Kenneth Creed, Ruth and Joe Fielden, and Jane Creed. Ruth is a KSO board member..
From left, KSO violinist Sean Claire, Sande MacMorran, KSO board member Elizabeth Offringa, Brian Murphy, and Karen Wunderlich.
My favorite of the three passed appetizers: homemade potato chips topped with caviar and creme fraiche.
KSO board member Roy Cockrum and KSO president and CEO, Rachel Ford.
Joe and KSO board member, Sharon Pryse.
From left, Beth and Scott Holman with Annie and David Colquitt, president-elect of the KSO board.
From left, Peter and Lisa Xiques with Sean Claire, in back, and Lisa and Bruce Hill.
First course was a fantastic salad of local baby kale, toasted hazelnuts, compressed persimmon, and Asher blue cheese topped with an aged sherry vinaigrette. Wine pairing was a 2019 Blanchet Pouilly Fume les Champs Sauvignon Blanc from Loire, France.
From left, Susana Navarro, Moody Altamimi, Josh Thornton, Nazzy Hashemian, and Amy Edge. Moody is a new KSO board member; Josh is KSO’s development director.
Lauren and Richard Dodson with Kirk Finnerty, at right.
This, in my opinion, was the best bite of the night! It was wild mushroom porridge with Anson Mills rice grits, a farm egg, and crispy chicken skin, with mushroom Parmesan brodo poured over it at the table. Wine pairing was a 2019 Triventon Golden Reserve Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina.
From left, Joey Creswell and two KSO board members: his wife, Janet Testerman, and Dr. Doug Leahy.
From left, Carolyn Leahy, Alan Carmichael, and Judith Foltz.
Main course was Chatel Farms American Wagyu strip steak with wood grilled fall squash, charred Brussels sprouts, sunchokes, black garlic and red wine jus. Wine pairing was a 2019 Black Stallion Winery Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley.
Sean Claire, center, with Carol and Paul Gary.
From left, Elizabeth Offringa, Sande MacMorran, Joe and Ruth Fielden.
Past KSO board chair, Bill Riley, with Rachel Ford.
From left, Jane and Kenneth Creed with Brian Murphy, and Karen Wunderlich.
My husband thought he had died and gone to heaven when he tasted this dessert: chocolate budino with dulche de leche and sea salt. It was paired with Sandeman’s Founders Reserve Porto from Porto, Portugal. We loved it because we visited the Sandeman’s winery when we were in Portugal earlier this year and this brought back memories!
Following dessert, the musicians took their places under the baton of KSO Music Director Aram Demirjian. (Well, actually, I don’t think he used a baton that night!)
The musicians, from left, Kathryn Gawne, Sarah Senn, Bill Pierce (in back), Andy Bryenton, Steve Benne, and Stacy Nickell.
The musicians, from left, I-Pei Lin, Kyle Venlet, Sean Claire, Zofia Glashauser, and Ikuko Koizumi.
Rachel Ford and Aram Demirjian at the end of the lovely evening.