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The Culinary Institute, based in the Department of Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management, is offering a slate of noncredit culinary courses in the fall.

The “Become Your Own Chef” series provides hands-on lessons with culinary professionals to help home cooks build skills and confidence, and explore the world’s cuisines.

The courses include:

  • Exploring Chilean Food and Wine, 6:00–8:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 30: Learn to pair Chile’s wines and foods to complement and heighten flavor. Taste five of Chile’s most popular wines paired with dishes like pork loin stuffed with mushrooms and thyme, crispy potatoes in a rich tomato sauce, and shrimp in roasted garlic oil with linguine.
  • French Macaroons, 6:00-8:30 p.m. Thursday, September 8: Crack the code for making these delicious French cookies. Learn to make basic French buttercream to fill the pastries, how to make many flavors, and create your own flavors.
  • Persian Cooking Made Simple, 6:00–8:30 p.m. Thursday, September 15: Create an exotic, but easy and healthy Persian dinner. Using ingredients like fresh herbs, saffron, rose water, and pomegranate molasses, students will prepare two appetizers, a salad, saffron Basmati rice and chicken, and walnut and pomegranate stew.
  • The Best of Indian Cuisine, 6:00-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 21: Learn about India’s unique cooking methods, spices, local ingredients, and how the dynamics of India’s culture has influenced the nation’s cooking. Create onion pakoras with a tamarind sauce; a traditional chicken and vegetable dish served with raita and homemade pita bread; and Indian custard with fruit salad.
  • A Classic Gourmet Irish Dinner, 6:00-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 19: Explore Irish-style cooking and learn tips and techniques for preparing Irish cuisine like North Atlantic Chowder, a creamy broth with shrimp, scallops and mussels; Gaelic chicken, chicken with mushrooms and shallots on a bed of classic colcannon; and apple tart with caramel sauce.
  • Authentic Thai Cooking with a Thai Chef, 6:00-8:30 p.m. Thursday, October 20: Learn how to prepare three authentic Thai dishes and how to adapt recipes to use ingredients available locally. The menu includes papaya salad, Panang curry with steamed jasmine rice, and grilled bananas with coconut caramel sauce.
  • Gingerbread Houses, 6:008:30 p.m. Thursdays, November 3 and 10: A two-session course. The first class covers planning a house, making the parts, and deciding how to decorate the house. The second class focuses on making the frosting, constructing the house, and garnishing it.
  • Healthy Eating through the Holidays, 6:00-8:30 p.m. Thursday, November 17: Are you looking for ways to make holiday dishes healthier? Learn to make an appetizer, entrée, and dessert that will wow your holiday guests, keep the calories low, and promote heart health. The menu includes homemade baked tortilla chips with hummus, herb-crusted salmon with cucumber dill cream, warm spinach salad, and a dark chocolate dessert bar.

About the instructors:

  • Kelly Campbell has over twenty years of experience in the wine industry that includes teaching and selling wine.
  • Terri Geiser is a culinary enthusiast, caterer, and cooking instructor who appears regularly on WBIR. She is currently the assistant director of the Culinary Institute Non-Credit Program.
  • Amanda Kohler is a baking and pastry graduate from the Culinary Institute of America. She has worked at a variety of establishments including Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee, Perfect Wedding Cake in Atlanta, and the American Club Resort in Wisconsin.
  • Heather Kyle-Harmon has been with UT Extension since 1997. Her areas of focus and teaching include food safety, canning, parenting, personal finance, and chronic disease education.
  • Prawannarat “Cherry” Suntithammosoot is a Ph.D. candidate and teaching assistant in the Department of Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management. Suntithammosoot discovered a passion for cooking while working in her sister’s Thai restaurant in Australia.
  • Donna Parang is a graduate of UT’s Culinary Institute and the former owner of Bella Luna Restaurant on Market Square. Her specialties include Italian, Persian, and healthful farm-to-table cuisines.
  • Chef Garrett Scanlan has worked in several Michelin-starred kitchens including Le Gavroche and the Grosvenor House in London. He has spent the last few years in Knoxville, hosting food and travel programs, including “90 Miles with Chef Garrett” and “A Fork in the Road with Chef Garrett.”

All classes are $50 and are held at the UT Visitor Center at 2712 Neyland Drive. Checks and credit cards are accepted. To register, contact Marcia Lane at or 865-974-6645. All registrations must be made one week prior to the start of class.

Students must wear closed-toe shoes and long pants to classes.


Terri Geiser (865- 524-4936,

Marcia Lane (865-974-6645,

Karen Dunlap (865-974-8674,