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UT Culinary Institute

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Community Cooking Courses

2018 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


Special Opportunity Slice and Dice. Thursday, September 27th, 6:00-8:30 p.m. Limited Seats Available. Knife skills are the foundation of all cooking. Become faster and more accurate with your knife work, and create dishes that cook evenly and look truly professional. In this hands on class, you will learn proper hand placement and the fundamental cuts- dice, mince, brunoise, batonnet, and julienne on a range of fruits and vegetables, how to section an orange, chop herbs without bruising them or losing flavor, and never again cry when cutting an onion. And for the grand finale, you will learn how to break down a whole chicken, including how to filet and create pockets in the chicken breast for stuffing. Snacks provided during class.
Instructor: Chef Joseph Blauvelt
For attending this class you will have the opportunity to purchase a professional chef’s knife from Mercer Cutlery for $10.25. That is 75% off the retail value. You must order in advance by paying upon registration.

On the Go Meals. Wednesday, October 10th, 6:00-8:30 p.m. When your days are packed with meetings, errands and a social life sometimes the only time to eat is on the go. Don’t grab a bag of chips, opt for a healthy meal. You are sure to enjoy this make ahead great lunch idea! Beth will also share her favorite on the go snack. We’ll talk about how to substitute other ingredients for your tastes.
Breakfast: Cheesy Bacon & Egg Breakfast Tarts in a large muffin tin, Lunch: Portable Pasta Salad in a jar or bag; Quinoa and broccoli cakes. And for Dinner: Chicken Pot Hand-Pies.
Instructor: Beth LaFontaine

Red Wines; Different Styles, Thursday, October 18th, 6:00-8:30 p.m. Join Jason as he takes you on another fabulous food and wine journey. He will describe wine styles by variety and production area, enhancing your knowledge and appreciation of different wines from a variety of countries. We will discuss why each wine pairs with the selected menu.

The menu will include:

  • Flame Kissed Flat Iron Steak with Basil Pesto paired with
    Columbia Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, from Columbia Valley Washington Estate Casillero Del Diablo Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, Central Valley, Chile (nicknamed Cellar of the Devil)
  • Slow Roasted Pork Roast glazed with Plum Sauce with
    Carol Shelton “Wild Thing” Old Vine Zinfandel from Mendocino County, California
  • Herbed Lamb Kabobs with mixed grilled Vegetables with
    M. Chapoutier Belleruche Cotes du Rhone, Cotes du Rhone, France
  • Dessert: Cheese board with dark chocolate, nuts and figs with
    Fonseca Bin 27 Ruby Port, Portugal Wine

Instructor: Jason Drotar, Sommelier
NOTE: Items may change based on availability.

Italian Sunday Supper, Thursday, November 1st, 6:00-8:30 p.m. Join us for a celebration of the Italian family. In this hands on class you will experience the joy, warmth and magic created around the Italian table. We begin with the antipasto of roasted olives with rosemary, garlic and lemon zest; Bagna Cauda dip with seasonal vegetable crudité; and breadsticks wrapped in prosciutto with Mostarda – an Italian fruit and mustard condiment. The entrée is beef medallions in a red wine reduction with wild mushroom risotto. We wind up this fabulous evening with a duo of cannolis: a chocolate dipped cherry and a lemon-rosemary dipped in candied lemon zest.
Instructor: Chef Donna Parang

All About Cheese. Thursday, November 15th, 6:00-8:30 p.m. This hands on class will involve basic cheese making and producing of ricotta and ricotta salata all on the stove top, a technique that you can replicate at home. This fast set technique will give everyone an example of how cheese is produced. All basic steps will be covered including set, curd development, draining and pressing. Then you will take the cheese you made and turn it into a delicious recipe. The instructor will also show you how to build a cheese board for entertaining. A few basic tips will ensure a winning cheese course every time.
Instructor: Chris Osborne, Cheese Maker

Gluten Free Taste of Italy, Thursday, December 6th, 6:00-8:30 p.m. Join us for this hands-on class where you will learn how to prepare a delicious Italian-themed Gluten Free (GF) meal. You will prep, taste and take home Lasagna, Olive Garden-Style Breadsticks and Double Chocolate Biscotti. All recipes are grain free and xanthan gum free, and can be prepared dairy free. We will be using almond flour and tapioca flour, and will be discussing the ins and outs of convenience, nutrition, taste and texture of GF cooking. A gluten free snack will also be provided.
Instructor: Julianne Morrison
Note: Although the kitchen is not considered a GF facility, all of the baking equipment used will be brought in by the instructor who has a GF home kitchen.

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

Joseph Blauvelt , Instructor, UT Culinary School from Columbia Missouri . He has been in the food industry for 31 years . Joseph graduated with a dual degree in Culinary and Pastry Arts from Sullivan University in Louisville Ken-tucky, continuing on to work the Cannes Film Festival and pursuing baking instruction from Gerard’s Bakery in Ober-korn Luxembourg. After returning to the states, Joseph took the manager position for Sullivan University’s school bakery where he also became a Basic Baking instructor. He has a passion for healthy, easy, natural cooking.

Donna Parang is a graduate of UT’s Culinary Institute and the former owner of Bella Luna Restaurant on Market Square. As a chef and culinary instructor, she regularly appears on WBIR, teaches cooking classes and is an occa-sional caterer. Her specialties include Italian, Persian, and healthful farm to table cuisines. She is also available for kitchen consultation – setting up, use of equipment, and menu planning.

Jeff Ross, Blackberry Farm’s Field School Manager. With an education in American history and a profound passion for food, he has found at Blackberry Farm, a place to showcase his talents In cooking and the food-ways of Ap-palachia.

Beth LaFontaine, Event Planner for Knoxville High Inde-pendent Senior Living, and Community Health Educator who provides Health and nutrition classes in Knox and surrounding counties. She provides health and nutrition classes, in Knox and surrounding counties. She is a cook-ing enthusiast and food lover who assisted The UT Medi-cal Center’s Healthy Living Kitchen with cooking instruc-tion and demos, along with TV appearances on local news shows.

Chris Osborne, Head cheese maker for Blackberry Farm. During Chris’s first job in a restaurant kitchen he experienced natural and organic foods for the first time. He quickly became passionate about quality and taste, gaining a new appreciation for farmers and small produc-ers. His path eventually led him to Blackberry Farm in 2015. His work quickly earned recognition and awards. Chris’ passion for quality, farm-fresh products has only grown over the years, and today, his favorite part of the job is discovering the nuanced flavor differences of our cheese from batch to batch—the result of a process led by the seasons.

Jason Drotar, Head Sommelier , Blackberry Farm, found his way into Hospitality while in a Master’s degree program at Florida State University. While in Tallahas-see he built a beverage program and fueled his curiosity of the beverage world at Mama’s Restaurant. After completing a second Bachelor’s degree in Restaurant Management at the University of Central Florida he was selected for an internship at Caesar’s and made a de-tour to work in Las Vegas where he extended his bev-erage and restaurant knowledge at several quality estab-lishments.

Julianne Morrison, author of Survive & Thrive Gluten Free and the blog,, shares her nearly normal recipes and tips for making GF life more enjoyable. When Julie was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2009 it meant never eating another crumb of gluten. Ever. Finding new ways to bring safety, convenience, nutrition and cost containment into a manageable realm led to learning how to cook all over again, Now great taste, texture and many memories have been re-stored! Julianne embraces the challenge of creating deli-cious gluten free food that now makes her both proud and happy to be gluten free!


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