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This summer, UT’s Culinary Institute will offer a variety of hands-on cooking classes led by professional chefs where attendees can improve their culinary skills while expanding their palate. 

All classes cost $50 and will be held at the former UT Visitors Center building, 2712 Neyland Drive. Checks and credit cards are accepted. To register, contact Terri Geiser at Registration closes one week before each class. Participants must wear hats, closed-toe shoes, and long pants to class. Hair nets will be provided.

The summer courses include:

Hoepler Wines—An Elaborate Wine Dinner with the Winemaker, June 3, 6–8:30 p.m. Christof Hopler, owner and winemaker for Hoepler Wines, will guide participants through a six-course wine dinner. The menu includes:

  • Pannonica Rosé 2018 with four cheese and bacon soufflé
  • Grüner Veltliner 2017 and Riesling 2017 with summer garden salad with tortellini pasta, red and yellow bell peppers, prosciutto crisps, and a citrus vinaigrette
  • Pinot Blanc2018with honey garlic and Sriracha chicken breast with scallion rice
  • Pinot Noir 2017 with wild mushroom risotto with charred broccolini
  • Zweigelt 2016and Blaufränkisch2015 with tomato braised beef brisket with carrots and onions
  • Almond cake with Chantilly cream and fresh strawberries

A Mexican Breakfast, August 6, 6–8:30 p.m. In this hands-on class, participants will learn about cooking and eating the way they do south of the border. The class will use the freshest ingredients to make chilaquiles, a breakfast casserole; huevos rancheros with tomatillo salsa; Mexican bread pudding; and guava and cream cheese empanadas.

The Best Steakhouse, August 29, 6–8:30 p.m. In this course, participants will learn how to cook a perfect steak every time. The instructor will offer tips on purchasing, cooking methods, and types of beef steaks. Participants will learn which cuts are best for grilling, how to cook a steak on the stove top, and will complete the steaks with flambé mushrooms, caramelized onions, and roasted root vegetables.

About the instructors:

  • Christof Hopler, owner and winemaker for Hoepler Wines in Austria, will talk about the unique microclimate that enables them to make such delicious wines. Each wine is delicate, elegant, and subtle, sharing similarities with wines from the Burgundy region of France. The Hoepler winery is a 47-hectare estate on the slopes of the Leitaberg Hills situated on the shores of the Neusieedlee Lake in Austria.
  • Jeff Ross is Blackberry Farm’s field school manager. With an education in American history and a profound passion for food, he now showcases his talents in cooking and the foodways of Appalachia at Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee.
  • Joseph Blauvelt has been in the food industry for 31 years. After graduating with a dual degree in culinary and pastry arts from Sullivan University, he pursued further baking instruction from Gerard’s Bakery in Oxford, London. He is currently an instructor in UT’s Culinary Institute.


Terri Geiser (865-524-4963,