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UT Culinary Institute

Picture of pots, seasonings and utensils

Community Cooking Courses

2019 Fall Schedule

*Registration closes 1 week prior to each class.

To be added to the waitlist, contact Terri at

Click Here to Register for Classes Online


E. and J. Gallo California Wine Dinner. Thursday, Sept. 19, 6:00-8:30 p.m.

Join us as we explore, taste & enjoy sensational wines from California. Wine Specialist Jennifer Benedict will explain why the wines can be so unique with many types and styles. You will enjoy 5 dishes to accompany the wines with Chef Jeff Ross in the kitchen.

Note: This is not a hands on class.

Fall Bounty. Tuesday, Sept. 24, 6:00-8:30 p.m.

It’s all about plant-based cooking and the incredible health benefits of eating plant-based meals the family will love. Join chef Jason as he leads you through another fabulous hands on class. Menu: Roasted Garlic Rosemary Pumpkin Hummus; Roasted butternut squash risotto with breaded maple glazed Brussel sprouts; Tamari seared tempeh, Portobello mushroom bacon and thyme gravy; Carrot apple zucchini bread with lemon glaze. Chef Jason Dean

East meets West Cooking. Thursday, Sept. 26, 6:00-8:30 p.m.

In this hands on class you will learn about the fundamentals of Thai cooking methods and main ingredients. Class participants will create three favorite Thai dishes including Crispy Shrimp Donut, Drunken Spaghetti Chicken, and Thai Tea Chiffon Cake. Chef Cherry Brewer

Wines of Portugal. Thursday, October 24, 6:00-8:30 p.m.

It’s time to get out of your comfort zone and experience Portuguese wines. You might not be familiar with some of these wines because Portugal has over 250 indigenous grape varieties that you can’t find anywhere else. Kelly Campbell will introduce us to Portugal’s grapes and growing regions while we enjoy drinking some fantastic wines. The menu has been created to accompany each wine and Chef Gary Nicely will be in the kitchen.

Note: This is not a hands on class.

Encore: Best Steakhouse. Tuesday, October 29, 6:00-8:30 p.m.

Learn how to cook a perfect steak every time in this hands on class. Get all the great tips including complete instructions on purchasing, cooking methods, and types of beef steaks. For the less expensive cuts the Ultimate Marinade will tenderize and add great flavor. You’ll learn what cuts are best for grilling and how to cook a steak on the stove top. Complete the steaks with flambé mushrooms, caramelized onions and roasted root vegetables.  Instructor: Chef Joseph Blauvelt

Cheese, Chocolate and Wine. Thursday, November 7, 6:00-8:30 p.m.

Wine, cheese and chocolate are three of the finest culinary pleasures, and finding the perfect match will be a delicious experience. Join Jason Drotar and Chris Osborn as they break down the art of these pairings while creating a fabulous Holiday event.

Note: This is not a hands on class

For more information or to register:

Contact Terri Geiser

Types of payments accepted: Checks (to UT) and credit cards (Discover, MasterCard, Visa)

Fee for all classes: $50 unless stated otherwise

Location for all courses:

UT Visitor Center
2712 Neyland Drive, Knoxville TN 37916

Guest Chefs/Instructors

Holly Jones, manager of the UT Gardens kitchen garden, has a bachelor’s degree in plant sciences. An internship at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden in California later earned her a position there. After working at Growing Solutions Restoration Education Institute, she went to Maui to work in an organic food garden for a yoga retreat center and later as the lead gardener at a private estate. She currently oversees the sustainable production, maintenance, and display of perennial fruit, vegetable, herb, and cut flower crops for the UT Gardens Education Program.

Rosemarie Cirina earned her culinary degree from Thomas Danby College in Leeds, England, and later completed Italian cooking certifications in Tuscany and Sorrento, Italy. In 2015 she completed UT’s master gardener course. Her culinary experiences are vast and include work at Sur La Table in California and with Art Smith (Oprah Winfrey’s personal chef) and celebrity chef Giada DeLaurentiis.

Jeff Ross is Blackberry Farm’s field school manager. With an education in American history and a profound passion for food, he now showcases his talents in cooking and the foodways of Appalachia at Blackberry Farm.

Kelly Campbell has more than 20 years of experience in the wine industry, including teaching and sales. During her tenure with B&T Distributing she shared her knowledge, helping vendors appreciate and sell wine. Her travels to major wine making countries and wineries has broadened her knowledge and passion for wine.

Jason Drotar is head sommelier at Blackberry Farm. After completing a second bachelor’s degree in restaurant management at the University of Central Florida, he interned Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.

Lee Payette is vice president and director of wine for Beverage Control Inc. He has 30 years of wine industry experience and has traveled for education to South Africa, France, Chile, Argentina, Australia, and Italy. Through extensive training in the Bordeaux region of France, he received the coveted Bordeaux Ambassador title. He has served as a wine judge in Tennessee for 13 years and has judged competitions in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, California, and Nevada.

Lina Kinandjar, a graduate of the UT Culinary Institute and the National Hotel Institute in Indonesia, works at Citico’s WindRiver in Lenoir City. She has a special interest in food preparation, and her creativity and eye for color and appeal are exceptional. She gained experience while employed at the Hilton Gatwick Airport in England and Hotel Engematthof in Zurich.

We’d like to thank The Fresh Market , Beverage Control Inc. and Knoxville Food Tours for their Great Partnerships!