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KNOXVILLE — Have you ever tried potato candy or bean bread? Maybe you’re looking for a good recipe for meatloaf or want to try something international like pav bhaji.

A large variety of dishes cooked for many years by families from Tennessee and countries such as Germany, Haiti, India and China can be found in the Multicultural Cookbook published by the hotel, restaurant and tourism management program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

The cookbook is a collection of about 180 recipes from students in a course called Introduction to Quantity Foods. With each recipe, the students included a short description about why the dish is important to his or her family.

The cookbooks are sold in the UT Bookstore on campus for $19.99.

John Antun, director of the UT Culinary Institute and assistant professor, and former UT graduate student Sylvia Smith taught the classes.

“I had this idea that my students’ families probably had all sorts of exotic recipes passed down from generations. I was doing research at the time that tied the expression of one’s culture to foods,” Antun said. “So I had my students complete an assignment that asked them to call home and ask for a recipe that expressed their family’s history or culture.”

Also, as part of the learning experience, students had to quantify the recipe, measuring the amount of the ingredients. Often the recipes were handed down in the families with instructions for “pinches” and “handfuls.”

Antun received a grant for $4,000 from UT’s Ready for the World initiative to publish the cookbook. The book has already won a second place national prize from the Center for the Advancement of Foodservice Education (CAFÉ). He presented the project at the CAFÉ leadership conference in Chicago in June.

Proceeds from the book will go toward publishing a second book next year.


Elizabeth Davis, UT media relations, (865) 974-5179,