The Knoxville Zoo and the March of Dimes have annual restaurant-sampling events that I loved attending in the past. Naturally I was thrilled to be invited to the Cityview Top Chefs of Knoxville event on Saturday, which was a benefit for East Tennessee Children’s Hospital’s Camp Cure.
Former “Hell’s Kitchen” contestant Carol Scott of Bravo Cucina Italiana was one of the chefs donating her time and food. Even if I didn’t know her from “Dancing with the Knoxville Stars,” I would have thought her shrimp dish was one of the best entrees in the competition. We each received a ballot to rate the food, which meant deciding which offerings were great and which were extra great.
It was interesting that Rose Mortuary was listed as one of the sponsors. It’s not like they were handing out business cards or anything. I think they were just supporting another worthwhile cause in the community. Last December they sponsored a screening of “White Christmas.”
I recognized Denae D’Arcy of WATE. I introduced myself and she introduced me to her friend Melissa Etezadi of WYMT in Hazard, Kentucky. Before I got out my camera and while I was still making a bee line for the food, I saw Jill McNeal. She introduced me to her husband. He will be forever known as Lucky Prentice Elliott. I lost them in the crowd and couldn’t find them later when I was on my photo safari.
I wonder if the event will soon outgrow the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. It was a bit of a challenge to get through the crush of foodies to all the chefs’ tables set up around the Rotunda. After a while, my wife and I noticed that the hall was thinning out. We followed the signs to the Urban Playground room where former Tennessee Vol and Minnesota Viking Tim Irwin was singing and playing with his band, the ChillBillies. Irwin is also known as Judge of the Juvenile Court for Knox County.
As I mentioned earlier, there wasn’t a bad thing on the menu. Everything was terrific. Despite all the deliciousness, one item that was not on the menu stood out like Cinderella’s slipper. I had a list of the entrees and desserts offered by the participating restaurants and there was no mention anywhere of chocolate-covered Benton’s bacon. Yes, chocolate-covered bacon! I can’t stop thinking about how good it was. In fact, I am seriously considering trying to make some, assuming my wife and son want to help. Does anybody know which restaurant put out the extra treat?