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This fall, UT’s Culinary Institute will offer a variety of hands-on cooking classes. Professional chefs will lead courses for all skill levels. Attendees will learn recipes from around the world and cultivate culinary skills while expanding their palate.

The following courses will be offered:

South of the Border, 6–8:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 13. In this hands-on class students will learn how to make black bean salsa, green tomatillo sauce, a tequila cream sauce, and guacamole. Students will prepare grilled chicken enchiladas and mango salsa served over grilled goat cheese tortillas.

Photo by John Canelis/Unsplash

French Food and Wine Dinner, 6­–8:30 p.m. Thursday, September 21. Students will taste their way through France with wine pairings from the Loire and Rhone Valleys as well as the Southwest region. Students will taste a variety of famous French hors d’oeuvres such as salmon mousse, prosciutto-wrapped melon, zucchini tomato verrines, and cheese gougeres. The menu also includes chicken in a creamy Riesling sauce, beef bourguignon, and an apple tart.

From Pantry to Table, 6­­–8:30 p.m. Saturday, September 23. This hands-on class will teach students how to create an impressive appetizer, entrée, and dessert from the items in their pantry. Students will learn what items to keep in their pantry for easy 30-minute recipes to save time and money.

Culinary Specialties from India, 6–8:30 p.m. Thursday, October 19. Students will learn to cook an authentic Indian dinner. In this hands-on class, they will create a Mumbai street snack called bhelpuri, rice pilaf, chicken tikka masala, cucumber salad, and a sweet mango lassi. For dessert, students will prepare a sweet curd called mishti doi.

Breakfast for Dinner, 6–8:30 p.m. Thursday, October 26. In this course, students will learn how to flip, poach, scramble, and soft boil eggs. Students will master the perfect omelet, stuffed French toast with homemade syrup, and more.

Homemade Italian Style, 6–8:30 p.m. Thursday, November 2. Students will master Tuscan recipes in this hands-on course. The traditional Italian meal will consist of an omelet with porcini and truffle, Florentine bean soup, salt cod with leeks and polenta, and a sweet chocolate sausage for dessert.

Tennessee Wines, 6–8:30 p.m. Monday, November 13. Students will hear from Tennessee grape grower Jeremy Dalton to learn about the making of Tennessee wines. This class will include a buffet of roasted meats, cheeses, and sweet treats. Chef Terri Geiser will share recipes with students using several wines and sangria.

Cast Iron Cooking, 6–8:30 p.m. Thursday, November 16. In this hands-on course, students will learn how to make a three-course meal using different cooking techniques with cast iron cookware provided by Lodge Manufacturing Company.

About the instructors:

Joseph Blauvelt graduated with a dual degree in culinary and pastry arts from Sullivan University. He has been in the food industry for 31 years and is currently an instructor in UT’s Culinary Institute.

Kelly Campbell is a certified wine specialist with over 20 years of experience in the wine industry, including teaching and selling wine.

Terri Geiser is a culinary enthusiast, caterer, and cooking instructor who appears regularly on WBIR. She has been teaching cooking classes for over 20 years for the Glass Bazaar and previously for Williams-Sonoma. She is the assistant director of the Culinary Institute community cooking courses at UT.

Florence Graves is a graduate of UT’s Culinary Institute’s Professional Culinary program. Originally from Mumbai, India, she later moved to Dubai, where she owned a restaurant focusing on multicultural cuisine. After moving to Knoxville, Graves spent five months as sous-chef for Bonefish Grill. She also has catering experience and holds a passion for cultural traditions.

Donna Parang is a graduate of UT’s Culinary Institute and former owner of Bella Luna Restaurant on Market Square. Her specialties include Italian, Persian, and healthful farm-to-table cuisines.

Jeff Ross has a profound passion for food and is currently working as Blackberry Farm’s Field School manager. At Blackberry Farms, Ross showcases his knowledge of American history and his talents in cooking the food of Appalachia.

All classes haves a fee of $50 and are held at the UT Visitors Center, 2712 Neyland Drive. Checks and credit cards are accepted. To register, contact Terri Geiser at Registration closes one week prior to each class. Students must wear closed-toe shoes and long pants to classes.


Terri Geiser (865-524-4963

Tyra Haag (865-974-5460