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UT Culinary Institute

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Community Cooking Courses

2018 Spring 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


Chinese Indian Fusion. Thursday, January 25, 6:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
Growing up in Bombay, my absolute favorite was Indian-Chinese fusion food sold by street vendors. The Indian-Chinese fusion started in the late 19th century when a small Chinese community from the Hakka region settled in Kolkata (Calcutta) in India.  If you love Chinese and Indian food, then you have found “Nirvana” with this hands on class on how to cook some of the Indian-Chinese fusion favorites.  The flavors of Indian spices blended with Chinese seasonings tantalizes taste buds.  In this class you will learn how to prepare the famous Chilly Chicken, Gobi (Veg) Manchurian, and Manchow Soup. You will enjoy this with Veg Hakka Noodles and end this heavenly meal with a mango cheese cake dessert. Instructor: Chef Florence Graves

All Aboard for Shellfish Lovers, Tues., January 30, 6:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
Afraid of cooking seafood? Fear no more. In this hands on class you will be amazed at how quick and easy you can put together an amazing dinner. You will learn how to cook shrimp in a matter of minutes, how to prepare and sear scallops and how to select and use crab. The recipes will include: Shrimp and Tomato Basil Bisque with a Basil Drizzle,, Coquilles St.-Jacques, seared sea scallops topped with savory mushrooms, Gruyere cheese, and a breadcrumb mixture, and Moroccan Spiced Crab Cakes with Cilantro Orange Dressing. Instructor: Chef Terri Geiser

Exploring Food and Wines; a Pairing Adventure, Thursday, February 15, 6:00 p.m.- 8:30 p.m.
Join Jason Drotar, head sommelier at a prominent award winning restaurant in East Tennessee, on a food and wine adventure. He will discuss flavor profiles that you can experiment with to develop a great food and wine pairing. He will show you how to match food and wine like a professional chef or sommelier. The menu will include an appetizer, a small plate, a main dish and dessert with cheeses each paired with an appropriate wine. Note: This is not a hands on class. Wine Instruction: Sommelier Jason Drotar.

Lost Restaurants of Knoxville, Thursday, February 22, 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Cost: $55.00
If you remember some of Knoxville’s greatest restaurants and miss those delicious meals you will love this class. Paula Johnson, local historian and author of Lost Restaurants of Knoxville will share some nostalgic culinary moments including stories from favorite restaurants in the 70s, 80s and 90s. Terri Geiser will walk you through bringing those popular dishes back to life. In this hands on class you will make from The Orangery- Oyster-Artichoke Ramekins topped with cream, sherry, and Parmesan cheese; The Sunsphere Restaurant- Cornish game hen Black Forest Style with wild rice and spices, and Grady’s Chocolate Bar Cake – that really became iconic here. You’ll also sample a long time favorite, Regas’s Strawberry Shortcake. Note: Shrimp available upon request for oyster substitution. Every participant will receive a copy of Paula’s book! Guest Speaker: Paula Johnson and Grady Regas; Instructor: Chef Terri Geiser

Simply Southern, Tuesday March 6, 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Class participants will learn how to prepare a good ole southern meal in this hands on class. The chef will introduce you to a variety of uniquely Southern cooking techniques—from braising and frying to creating creamy grits and cooking shrimp to perfection. You will learn how to develop layers of flavor for three traditional favorites, Butter Bean and Ham Hock Soup, Georgia White Shrimp and Grits and Fried Apple Hand Pies. Instructor: Chef Donna Parang.

Stocks and Sauces, Thursday March 29, 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
In this hands on class, you will learn how to make rich, flavorful stocks and turn them into amazing sauces for meats and vegetables. The pre-prepared stocks will be used for you to make a veloute sauce to be served over a stuffed chicken breast and a espagnole, typically made from brown stock, mirepoix, and tomatoes, and thickened with roux used to make beef stroganoff and a vegetable stock that you will turn into a delicious tomato sauce for serving over roasted vegetables. BONAS: You will learn some chef worthy knife skills for prepping vegetables. Instructor: Chef Joseph Blauvelt

Favorites from Blackberry Farms, Thursday April 19, 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
In this hands on class you will learn how to find delicious greens right in your own back yard. Jeff will show you a few favorites he uses in the Foraged and Found Spring Salad with Roasted Grapes dressed with an amazing vinaigrette. He’ll also show you how to make your own Peameal Bacon. Making your own is so much better than store bought because it has much more flavour, and you know exactly what is going into it. It’s also a simple process with a simple recipe that anyone can do starting with a pork loin and this will be accompanied with a delicious Spring Pea and Mint Puree. For dessert a favorite, Buttermilk Slab Pie. Instructor: Chef Jeff Ross.



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 at UT Culinary School, is originally from Columbia, Missouri. He has been in the food industry for 31 years. Blauvelt graduated with a dual degree in culinary and pastry arts from Sullivan University in Louisville, Kentucky, continuing on to work the Cannes Film Festival and pursue baking instruction from Gerard’s Bakery in Oberkor, Luxembourg. After returning to the states, he 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.

Kelly Campbell has over 20 years of experience in the wine industry that includes teaching and selling wine. During her tenure with B&T Distributing she shared with restaurant staff her knowledge, helping them to appreciate and sell wine. She has taught wine tasting with chef Gary Nicely at the Glass Bazaar and has hosted numerous wine dinners at local restaurants like Naples Italian Restaurant. Her extensive travels to major wine-making countries and wineries has broadened her knowledge and passion for wine. Campbell recently became certified as a wine specialist.

Terri Geiser is a culinary enthusiast, caterer, and cooking instructor who appears regularly on WBIR. She loves entertaining and has a special interest in food and wine pairing. She learned about different foods, herbs, spices and cooking methods in South Africa. She also has training in French, Italian, and other ethnic cuisines. Geiser has been teaching cooking classes for over 20 years for the Glass Bazaar and previously for William Sonoma. She is currently the assistant director of the Culinary Institute Non-Credit Program where she also teaches. She offers gourmet house parties and private cooking classes for children, families, or for special events. Check out her food blog at

Amanda Kohler discovered her love of baking in high school and went on to become a baking and pastry graduate from the Culinary Institute of America. She later went on to complete her degree in hospitality. She has worked at a variety of establishments on the East Coast, including Blackberry Farm, Perfect Wedding Cake, and The American Club Resort.

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 occasional 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.

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