Arkis BioSciences opens new facility

KNOXVILLE, TN – Arkis BioSciences, a medical device company, has opened a new state-of- the-art facility at Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus, the University of Tennessee’s research and development park. Since its founding in 2013, Arkis BioSciences has operated from the University of Tennessee Research Foundation Business Incubator before expanding to Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus, a move that provides access to the resources of the Joint Institute for Advanced Materials (JIAM), the University of Tennessee, UT Medical Center and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

The grand opening event, which took place at Arkis BioSciences’ 6,000-square-foot, state-of- the-art facility, drew researchers, educators, elected officials and business and community leaders.

Arkis BioSciences manufactures surgical instrumentation and catheter technology, for neuro-, general-, and plastic-surgeries.

Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus officially welcomed high-tech medical device company Arkis BioSciences at the University of Tennessee’s research and development park on Oct. 23, 2017. Ceremony participants included (from left) Cherokee Farm Development Corporation President and CEO Cliff Hawks; UT Interim Vice President for Research, Outreach, and Economic Development Stacey Patterson; UT Chancellor Beverly Davenport; UT President Joe DiPietro; and Arkis BioSciences CEO Chad Seaver. Photo submitted.

Kidney Foundation benefit scheduled

The 5th annual VOLS for Kidneys Golf Classic benefiting the East Tennessee Kidney Foundation is set to tee off on Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, at Cherokee Country Club in Knoxville. The tournament benefits local dialysis patients and will feature former athletes from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, otherwise known as Vols for Life (VFLs), who will be stationed throughout the course to interact and take pictures with registered participants.

“This is a great event for golfers and UT fans,” ETKF Executive Director Katie Martin said. “We welcome and encourage participation by those whose lives have been touched by kidney disease, who are interested in meeting VFLs or who simply want to enjoy a day outdoors for a great cause.”

To register, visit, call 865-288- 7351 or email The cost is $1,000 per team of four, $250 for individuals and $200 for hole sponsorships. Early registration is recommended, as the tournament typically fills quickly. Registration opens at 10 a.m., lunch begins at 11 a.m., pictures with VFLs start at 11:30 a.m. and shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. Registered golfers will receive a tournament gift and other items from tournament sponsors, catered lunch by Cherokee Country Club, snacks and beverages during and after the tournament. Awards include top 3 teams, closest to the pin and longest drive.

The East Tennessee Kidney Foundation (ETKF) helps local kidney patients in 15 East Tennessee counties with costs for transportation to and from dialysis treatments, free dental work for patients whose last barrier to placement on the kidney transplant waiting list is dental clearance, and provides nutritional supplements and blankets to make dialysis treatments more comfortable for patients. It also provides patient and caregiver education; facilitates prevention, detection and awareness of kidney disease; and promotes organ donation.

The East Tennessee Kidney Foundation VOLS for Kidneys Golf Classic is sponsored by Averitt Express and DaVita Dialysis. Individuals or community service groups interested in volunteering may contact Martin at 865-288-7351 or

Farmers Market week is Aug. 6-12

East Tennessee farmers’ markets join markets across the country in celebrating National Farmers Market Week from August 6-12, 2017. Nourish Knoxville, organizers of the Market Square Farmers’ Market in downtown Knoxville, are celebrating farmers’ markets in East Tennessee by lighting up the Henley Street bridge in green and blue, hosting a kick-off at the Market Square Farmers’ Market on August 5, highlighting markets on social media, and raising awareness of the amount of farmers’ markets in East Tennessee.

Nourish Knoxville will also guest-host the Farmers Market Coalition’s Instagram account from July 31 through August 12 to highlight the great work being done in Knoxville, Tennessee.

As demand for local food continues to grow, so too have the opportunities for America’s farmers to market fresh food directly to the consumer. According to statistics recently released by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), farmers’ markets and farm stands account for roughly $2 billion of the $3 billion that Americans spend annually on farm-direct products. This revenue, in turn, supports the livelihoods of more than 165,000 mostly small and mid-sized farms and ranches.

Nourish Knoxville began in 2013 as a nonprofit organization to promote and support local producers, and currently hosts the Market Square Farmers’ Market. Photo of Market Square Farmers Market by Celebrate Knoxville.

Nourish Knoxville produces the East Tennessee Local Food Guide. The 2017 guide lists 37 farmers’ markets and 146 direct marketing farms in 28 counties in East Tennessee.

“Farmers’ markets play a vital role not just in generating real income for farmers, but in forming a healthy, prosperous food systems,” says Jen Cheek, Executive Director of the Farmers Market Coalition. “By providing the opportunity for farmers to connect directly with consumers, markets serve as education centers. Vendors are teaching customers about agriculture and sharing recipes and new foods with their neighbors. Markets are making people and communities stronger and healthier.”


Summit offers 3D mammography

Summit Medical Group will offer three-dimensional (3D) mammography at its Deane Hill Diagnostic Imaging Center starting in June 2017 with availability at the other Knoxville-area Summit Diagnostic Centers to follow soon thereafter. Aimed at enhancing patient care, 3D mammography provides a higher rate of detection for breast cancer than two-dimensional screenings.

3D mammography takes multiple images of breast tissue to create a multi-layered, three-dimensional image, compared to a single image created by traditional mammography. This 3D image provides a clearer picture, allowing doctors to examine breast tissue one layer at a time to help make a more accurate diagnosis. Thus, 3D mammograms help reduce false positives and the need for further testing, particularly for women with dense breast tissue.

“We strive to provide the latest technology and equipment to ensure our patients receive the highest level of care when they visit us for a screening or imaging procedure, and that now includes 3D mammography,” said Debbie Everts, mammography supervisor at Summit Diagnostic Centers. “The goal, as always, is early and accurate detection – and your peace of mind. If you’re due for a yearly mammogram, please consider 3D technology for your next screening.”

A 3D mammogram emits the same amount of radiation as a traditional mammogram, takes only a few seconds more to perform and causes no additional discomfort. The difference is the benefit of enhanced images for a physician to review.

Any individual can receive a 3D mammogram. Women age 40 and older should receive a yearly mammogram, as well as those with risk factors and family history as recommended by a primary care physician.

Summit operates three diagnostic centers in Knoxville, including locations at Deane Hill, Cedar Bluff and Fountain City.

Call 865-588-8005 for scheduling.

Spin class for community gardens

Knoxville, TN – Enjoy a Moonlight YMCA Rooftop Spin Class to Benefit Community Gardens, from 7 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 at Lindsay Young Downtown Y Rooftop.

Two professional cyclists, Clay Murfet and Brandon “Monk” Feehery will lead the one-hour spin on the rooftop, which will offer spectacular views of April’s full moon, traditionally known as the Pink Moon.

Participants, who will donate $40 to ride, will receive a limited edition PINK MOON T-shirt and a special cup to commemorate the ride.

The Y has several community gardens in Knoxville, which have produced more than 12,000 pounds of produce since their inception, with 100 percent of their produce given to area food banks.

Knoxville Marathon draws 8,938

The 2017 Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon, which took place April 1-2, 2017 in Knoxville, drew a record-setting 8,938 participants.

Gina Rouse of Knoxville won the women’s marathon for the second year in a row with a time of 2:52:06, beating her 2016 winning time of 2:53:16. Dylan Belles of Flagstaff, Arizona, won the men’s marathon with a time of 2:25:15.

“On behalf of Covenant Health, congratulations to all the winners and participants who completed a race this weekend,” Covenant Health President and CEO Jim VanderSteeg said. “Whether you crossed the finish line at age 4 or 94, ran a marathon or jogged a 5K, raced for the first time or the 10 th time, you should be proud of your accomplishment and for doing something good for your health.”

Race officials have verified the results in various categories, and the winners are as follows:

Men’s full marathon:

1. Dylan Belles of Flagstaff, Arizona, at 2:25:15

2. Peter Limo of Morristown, New Jersey, at 2:28:37

3. Peter Kemboi Chemaoy of Morristown, New Jersey, at 2:43:04
Women’s full marathon:

1. Gina Rouse of Knoxville, Tennessee, at 2:52:06

2. Lynn Baione of Sevierville, Tennessee, at 3:10:01

3. Eden Slater of Knoxville, Tennessee, at 3:16:08
Men’s half marathon:

1. Julius Koskei of Morristown, New Jersey, at 1:07:24

2. Austin Whitelaw of Johnson City, Tennessee, at 1:07:43

3. Teferi Regasa of Morristown, New Jersey, at 1:08:13
Women’s half marathon:

1. Firegent Ayalew of Morristown, New Jersey, at 1:22:47

2. Evan Adams of Johnson City, Tennessee, at 1:23:14

3. Amanda Martin of Knoxville, Tennessee, at 1:23:18
Men’s 5K:

1. Andrew Ogle of Knoxville, Tennessee, at 16:44

2. Aidan Delfuoco of Ann Arbor, Michigan, at 17:27

3. Douglas Cross of Knoxville, Tennessee, at 17:46
Women’s 5K:

1. Kelsey Kane of Knoxville, Tennessee, at 20:16

2. Allison Wilson of Knoxville, Tennessee, at 21:19

3. Tommi Buford of Knoxville, Tennessee, at 22:17
The race also included several handcyclists and wheelchair competitors. Winners in the

handcyclist category for the full marathon are as follows:
Men’s Handcycle Marathon:

1. Kevin Siebarth of Monroe, Michigan, at 2:03:48

2. Dennis Clark of Oliver Springs, Tennessee, at 2:06:18

3. Ronald Malik of Tremont, Illinois, at 2:08:26
Women’s Handcycle Marathon:

1. Carly Pearson of Knoxville, Tennessee, at 2:29:42

In addition to individual participants, the race also included a two- and four-person marathon relay. The men’s and women’s 5K run and one-mile Covenant Kids Run were held Saturday, April 1.
The Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon is a premier event organized by the Knoxville Track Club, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the encouragement of physical well being through running, jogging, competitive road racing, race-walking, fun runs, cross-country and track and field.

Fresenius Medical hosts job fair

Fresenius Medical Care’s newest pharmaceutical manufacturing plant is beginning to staff for their first shift of production located in the Forks of the River Industrial Park. The job fair sessions will be held Thursday, April 6, 2017. Two sessions are scheduled from 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm at the Fresenius Mfg. Plant – 5105 S. National Drive, in Knoxville.

Interested candidates can visit or to review job details and apply.

Fresenius Medical Care North America was voted one of Forbes’ America’s Best Employers (2015) and provides renal care products and services, including state-of- the-art dialysis machines, dialyzers and pharmaceuticals.

The American Job Center tour bus facility will be on-site during the event with a career coach to provide assistance to job seekers with applications, resumes, and interviewing.

Gass serves as state’s TSSP president

KNOXVILLE, TN – South College School of Pharmacy student Joshua Gass began his term as president of the statewide Tennessee Society of Student Pharmacists (TSSP) at the organization’s recent meeting in Nashville. The TSSP is the student affiliation of the Tennessee Pharmacists Association (TPA), the largest statewide organization of pharmacists, student pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians to advocate for the health of pharmacy patients and the future of the profession. The TSSP has more than 1,700 student pharmacist members, with representation from each of the six pharmacy schools in Tennessee.

Gass is a second professional year student pharmacist at the South College School of Pharmacy and is the first TSSP president from the school. South College also has representation on the statewide TSSP board with student pharmacists Rachel Cole and Emily Thompson serving as members-at-large.

“I am excited about the ability to work with the TSSP and TPA to make a difference in the profession that I have chosen,” Gass said. “During my time as president, I hope to develop leadership and education opportunities for student pharmacists in Tennessee. I am also passionate about ensuring the profession of pharmacy is equipped with every resource and opportunity necessary to continue to take care of patients in the best manner possible across the state of Tennessee.”

As president, Gass will work with the TSSP board to help organize the Winter Meetings of the organization, as well as assist with the organization of the annual Pharmacy Day on the Hill when pharmacists and student pharmacists meet with legislators to advocate for the profession and the patients it serves.

The 2017 Day on the Hill was held Feb. 28 and in addition to lobbying, included a Legislative Health Fair for senators, representatives and their staffs to check blood pressure, diabetes, and cardiovascular health. More than 30 student pharmacists from South College attended this year’s event.

“We congratulate Josh on this honor of being the first TSSP President from South College. Election to this office by student pharmacists across Tennessee shows recognition of his leadership skill,” South College School of Pharmacy Dean Walter Fitzgerald said. “Our South College student pharmacists are passionate about advancing the profession and patient care, and I am confident that Josh will represent South College and the pharmacy profession effectively on a statewide level as TSSP president.”

Gass will serve as president until the TSSP Winter Meeting in February 2018.

About South College

South College is a private institution accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to offer programs at the doctorate, masters, baccalaureate, and associate levels. To learn more about South College, visit

Knoxville Winter Farmers’ Market begins

KNOXVILLE – Nourish Knoxville will open the Winter Farmers’ Market for its fourth season on January 14, 2017. Patrons can shop from a host of farms selling locally grown produce, meat, eggs, honey, herbs, plants, and more, along with artisan food and craft producers with baked goods, prepared foods, and handcrafted items. Food trucks will be stationed in the parking lot to provide brunch and locally roasted coffee.

As part of opening day, Nourish Knoxville will kick off the Power of Produce (PoP) Club. A nationwide program that actively engages children in healthy eating, PoP Clubs give children the opportunity to become an active part of their local food economy by empowering them to make their own food choices with their PoP Bucks. All children participating in the activity of the day receive PoP Bucks to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables or food producing plants. Any children visiting the WFM are invited to participate in the day’s activity, or join the PoP Club to participate season long, track their progress with their own PoP Passport, and receive prizes for completing multiple activities. With a curriculum created by the Knox County Health Department, PoP Club promises to be a fun and educational child-centered piece of the Winter Farmers’ Market. The PoP Club at the Winter Farmers’ Market is sponsored by OliBea, a restaurant with a commitment to purchasing local ingredients from farms in the East Tennessee region.

The Winter Farmers’ Market will also provide the Fre$h Savings program, a SNAP matching program that allows SNAP recipients to buy more fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets. For every $20 of SNAP/EBT spent, SNAP customers will receive an additional $20 to use at market on fresh produce. Fre$h Savings is made possible by the AARP Foundation and Wholesome Wave Foundation, and is available at farmers’ markets across Tennessee.

The Winter Farmers’ Market happens every other Saturday, January through April. Along with invaluable programs like PoP Club and Fre$h Savings, the WFM will offer special events throughout the season, such as monthly cooking classes with nutrition cooking master Katie Dodson. These classes will cover topics like meal planning, quick dinners from healthy ingredients, and tweaking healthy diets to maximize pleasurable eating. For more information about these and other events, visit our website at

Nourish Knoxville is a 501(c)(3) non-profit working to cultivate and support relationships between farmers, artisanal producers, and the community through outreach, education, and advocacy, and to build healthy communities through connections to local food. NK operates the Market Square Farmers’ Market, Market Square Holiday Market, and Winter Farmers’ Market in Knoxville, Tennessee, and publishes the annual East Tennessee Local Food Guide, a free publication connecting the East Tennessee community to local food.

Transportation draft available for review

With a gas tax increase among the most important topics for the 2017 Tennessee legislature, a new study from the University of Tennessee Knoxville shows that a majority of Tennesseans want more investment in biking and walking. According to a recent poll, if the gas tax is increased, 57 percent of Tennesseans support increased funding for biking, walking, and transit.

A majority of registered voters also believe that investments in walking and biking infrastructure are investments in safety. Tennesseans also said they are more likely to support a gas tax increase if local governments retain control over how to spend this money.

Bike riders are a common sight in Market Square, downtown Knoxville. Long range plans for bike lanes connecting five counties could provide increased opportunities for economic growth as well as benefits for health and fitness in East Tennessee. Photo by

Mobility Plan 2040 is the long-range transportation plan for the Knoxville region (including Anderson, Blount, Knox, Loudon, and Sevier). The plan guides transportation decisions and funding over the next 20 years.

The first draft of Mobility Plan 2040 is available for public review and comment. Comments will be accepted until the end of January 2017. Visit

Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization is also taking comments on the revised project list – including greenways and bicycle facilities in the region. There is an interactive map, which can be used to view all projects, or just bicycle and pedestrian projects. Readers can also look at just the projects in specific counties, can comment on a specific project via the interactive map (click on the project, then on “details” in the pop-up box) or email with general comments.

New Summit Express Clinic opens

The Summit Express Clinic on Bearden Hill officially opened Nov. 1, 2016; the new clinic at 6537 Kingston Pike in Knoxville is only one mile from the current Wellington Drive location, but the short move is expected to reap big results for patients.

“The Bearden Hill location makes it possible for us to deliver the same services and same high level of care but in a better environment,” said Ranee Guard, vice president of diagnostic and therapeutic services for Summit Medical Group. “Bearden Hill’s Kingston Pike location is much more convenient, and we believe those coming to us for care will appreciate the clean, modern look and feel of the new facility.”

Located next to Calhoun’s in the Sequoyah Place shopping center, the clinic includes five patient rooms. Like all Summit Express Clinics, it is a full-service care center designed to fulfill the everyday and after-hours needs of area residents, whether or not they are under the care of a Summit Medical Group physician. The clinic provides medical treatment, laboratory and X-ray services seven days a week, and walk-ins are welcome.

Summit Express Clinics also are located in Farragut and Fountain City.


Representatives from Summit Express Clinics and the Knoxville Chamber participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Summit Express Clinic on Bearden Hill on Nov. 3. Pictured from left: Knoxville Chamber Ambassadors Jay Cobble and Christa Early; Wendy Hall, Ranee Guard and Elizabeth Vanzant of Summit Express Clinics; Ashleigh Adkins of Knoxville Chamber; and Knoxville Chamber Ambassador Rebecca Darnell. Photo submitted.

Bellmore joins Summit Medical

Dr. Katherine Bellmore has joined Summit Medical Group as a family physician with Fountain City Family Physicians. Summit Medical Group is East Tennessee’s largest primary care organization with 240 physicians and more than 160 advanced practitioners providing care at 55 practice locations in 13 counties. 

Bellmore earned a bachelor’s degree from Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, in 2004 and her medical degree from Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University in 2013. She is a board-certified family physician.

Born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, Bellmore is the daughter of James B. Hall and Mary Ford Chilton Hall. She resides in West Knoxville with her husband, Greg, and their 1-year-old son. When she’s not working, Hall enjoys home improvement projects, traveling and reading.


Dr. Katherine Bellmore
Summit Medical Group Fountain City Family Physicians

South College merger in Asheville

South College recently announced the completion of a merger endeavor that results in the South College-Asheville campus, which had been structured as a separate institution, becoming a Learning Site of South College.

“Transitioning the Asheville, North Carolina location to a Learning Site of South College creates efficiencies within our organization and provides increased resources to Asheville students,” South College President Steve South said. “Students at the South College Asheville campus will continue to receive the same high-quality education from our outstanding faculty and staff. This merger will benefit these students by providing additional resources such as library and research materials and course offerings.”


Approval for South College adding an Asheville campus as a learning site has been approved by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). SACSCOC is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern States. South College’s accreditation was reaffirmed in 2015. Photo submitted.

“The inclusion of the Asheville Learning Site as part of our regionally accredited institution will position this campus for growth in many ways,” South said. “The accrediting process itself demonstrates to our student and peers that our academic standards reflect a commitment to excellence. Collaboration between quality staff and faculty across the institution promotes best practices for our students. I appreciate the work of our South College team to ensure that our mission is reflected in every aspect of our institution.”

The leadership team, staff, daily operations and degree and certificate offerings for the Asheville campus are not affected by the merger.

South College is a private institution accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to offer programs at the doctorate, masters, baccalaureate, and associate levels. To learn more about South College, visit

Medicare information sessions planned

Medicare Advantage through BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee will be hosting free informational sessions this fall to educate seniors about the healthcare options available to them. Statewide, there are about 361,000 people enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan.

Lisa Wright, principal consultant and other Medicare advocates from BlueCross will be holding educational meetings all across the state that are free and open to the public. Anyone wanting to learn more about Medicare Advantage is welcome to attend. Below is a list of meetings scheduled for East Tennessee. All meetings are scheduled for 10 a.m.

Knox area meeting locations include:

Oct. 26, Hilton Garden Inn, 216 Peregrine Way, Knoxville
Nov. 4, Clarion Inn, 5634 Merchant Center Blvd., Knoxville
Nov. 28, Hilton Garden Inn, 216 Perigrine Way, Knoxville
Founded in 1945, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee serves more than 3.4 million members in Tennessee and across the country. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association.

For more information, visit the company’s website at

Fall great time to get a new tat

CELEBRATE KNOXVILLE – While you’re thnking about fall decorations, why not add a little color to yourself? This week Celebrate Knoxville paid a visit to Liquid Ink Tattoo to chat with artist Tony Maskevich about industry trends and to ask if Knoxville has its own tat vibe.


Tony Maskevich (pictured above) says he has worked as a tattoo artist since October of 1991, and since that time he has “heard it all from folks sitting in the chair” and has developed his own strict standards for a clean shop. He has even been a special speaker on industry standards at the University of Tennessee and has expanded his art into creating custom framed artwork (including airbrush) as well as custom design and installation of signage for other businesses. Photo by Laura Long Martin for Celebrate Knoxville.

“Tennessee has some pretty strict standards for this work, but I go even beyond that,” Maskevich says. “You saw my daughter in the lobby, right? I want this shop to be clean enough for me and for my family, as well as for all my clients. Some of the things I do here, (he points with a gloved hand to disposable plastic coverings on the ink lines from his machine and on containers on his desk) aren’t law, but I do them anyway.”


Cleanliness and hygiene are always important for Liquid Ink Tattoos, and they are inspected six times a year, Maskevich said. Fines for health inspection infringements can range from $50 to $500. The company has strict standards that go beyond what the law requires, and the excellent inspections history for the company is a testimony to high standards.

As far as trends go, Maskevich says geometric patterns from Europe are making their way into the Knoxville market, as well as tattoos designed to look like watercolor paintings. In urban cities like Knoxville, Tennessee, he sees a lot of steampunk, mandalas, and a lot of images that morph into other images like M. C. Escher paintings. As often as he can, he goes to conventions such as Tattoo Carnival of Mayhem in Pasadena, Texas, to learn tricks of the trade from other artists and to keep up with trends.

“Tribal will never go away,” he says, referring to designs that look like black and white drawings. “And I can’t tell you where those designs came from in the beginning, but now it is a standard in this business.”

Editor’s Note: Wiki says the word “tattoo” comes from the Polynesian word “tatau”, meaning “to write.”

Traditional tattoos refer to enduring symbols of a variety of nations and cultures, such as tigers, eagles, stars, swords and other weapons, and fire.

“Traditional tattoos are old school, and are respected designs among equipment makers and ink manufacturers,” Maskevich said. “That would be like the tiger with the sword through his head, or the nautical star, which is considered by some to be a reminder to seek balance in life (star points north, to find your way home).” Other symbolic designs may indicate that a person has spent time in prison (cobweb), survived a suicide attempt (semicolon) or witnessed and/or committed a murder (teardrop).

Maskevich says in 26 years in business he has heard many stories from clients, and since tattoos can be deeply personal, there is a measure of confidentiality to his work. He loves clients that bring in art that they want him to duplicate, but sometimes gets annoyed with people who bring in a photo from Pinterest and want that exact tattoo, which is a challenge sometimes, especially if the design is complicated.


Maskevich says he works hard to produce the style of work clients are looking for, if not that specific design. Costs for a simple tattoo start at about $60 and can go up into hundreds, even thousands of dollars for large pieces, such as back pieces, or sleeves that cover part or all of an arm. Clients that also want body piercing can choose from a wide variety of jewelry at the shop. Gift certificates are also available.

The business often gets involved with fundraisers, and in October this year Liquid Ink plans to donate a portion of the proceeds to a friend, Bobbi Foster, who is a survivor of breast cancer.

Does Knoxville have its own tat vibe?

“Every state has tattoos that are popular for that place,” he says. “Here in East Tennessee, you better stock up on orange (ink).”

Liquid Ink is located at 12215-B Chapman Highway in Seymour, Tennessee. Call for an appointment at 865-333-5963.

East TN Plant Swap scheduled

The Fall 2016 East Tennessee Plant Swap will be held at New Harvest Park, located at 4775 New Harvest Lane, Knoxville, Tennessee, on Saturday, October 8, 2016. The swap starts at 10:00am. (No exchanges before that, please.) The potluck lunch will be at 11:30am.

Everyone is invited to attend the Fall meeting of the East Tennessee Plant Swap. The ETPS is a group of men and women who love plants and enjoy sharing them with friends.

There is no fee for attendance and no money can exchange hands for the plants. This is a great way to add lovely plants to lawns and gardens at absolutely no cost.

Editor’s Note: If you do not have plants to share, you are encouraged to attend anyway. You can bring gardening magazines, small tools, potholders, wind chimes, or any small items gardeners might enjoy. Over the years those new to the meeting have brought canned foods such as homemade pickles or beets, garden signs, books and homemade bags.

Tomato Crush feeds thousands

The Knoxville Convention Center is inviting volunteers to assist in the second annual “Tomato Crush” event to prepare hundreds of healthy, premade meals for hungry families across East Tennessee. The event to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee will be held in the Convention Center’s industrial kitchen on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Volunteers will assist in preparing fresh tomatoes for processing into red sauce to be used in a variety of dishes. Volunteers also are invited to bring locally grown or canned tomatoes to donate to Second Harvest.

“Last year, we had a great turnout to help the Knoxville Convention Center staff prepare more than 1,000 gallons of healthy, red tomato sauce for Second Harvest Food Bank,” Convention Center Executive Chef Chris Moore said. “We need volunteers of all ages and skill levels to help us exceed last year’s donation. No culinary experience is required. There are many different tasks, and several chefs are available to help supervise.”

Sysco, US Foods and local farmers have donated tomatoes, onions, garlic and other ingredients for volunteers to turn into sauce. Approximately 80 volunteers from the University of Tennessee Culinary Arts program have signed up for Saturday’s event.

The idea for the event stemmed from conversations about the lack of fresh, healthy ingredients in the local food system – and its effect on the population – among members of the Knoxville-Knox County Food Policy Council and Gail Root, programs director for Second Harvest.

This year’s Tomato Crush is being held in memory of one of the founders of the event, James Bosi.

Volunteers interested in participating in the event should meet at the Clinch Avenue entrance of the Convention Center between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Aug. 27. Participants will be taken to the industrial kitchen on the hour and half-hour. Parking is available at the Poplar Street lot and the Locust Street Garage.

If possible, interested volunteers should contact the Knoxville Convention Center in advance at 865-522- 5669. Notification of participation is requested but not required.

Knoxville Marathon registration begins

KNOXVILLE, TN – Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon celebrates 13 years this year and race organizers are offering discounted fees to runners who sign up during the first 13 days of registration.

“Through Aug. 13, 2016 runners registering for the full or half marathon, relay races or 5K will receive a $10 discount, and registration fees for the Kids Run will be reduced to $10,” said Jason Altman, race director for the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon.

“It’s our small way of celebrating the 13-year mark and thanking the runners who have helped the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon maintain its status as the largest competitive road race in East Tennessee.”

The Covenant Kids Run and Covenant Health 5K will take place Saturday, April 1. The marathon, half marathon and relay races are set for Sunday, April 2. All of the races start in downtown Knoxville and end on the 50-yard- line of Neyland Stadium at the University of Tennessee.

“Covenant Health is committed to improving the quality of life in our region through better health. The marathon helps us promote fitness and good health and has a positive impact on tourism and quality of life in East Tennessee,” said Jim VanderSteeg, Covenant Health president and CEO. “I am proud of our association with the Knoxville Track Club and very pleased that we are continuing to host the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon.”

For more information, call 865-684- 4294.

2016-04-03 CHKM Start line

Chapel Hill cheese products recalled

Restaurants, stores, and farmer’s markets in Tennessee may be affected by a recent cheese recall. Chapel Hill Creamery in Chapel Hill, NC, has announced a voluntary recall of all Chapel Hill Creamery cheese products because of a potential association with an outbreak of Salmonella infections. Health officials have identified recent cases ofSalmonella infection in persons who consumed Chapel Hill Creamery products.

A matching strain of Salmonella has been identified in the milk from the creamery that was used during preparation of the cheese products. The products involved in the voluntary recall include all codes, packages and sizes of the following varieties of cheese manufactured by Chapel Hill Creamery and distributed through retail locations, Farmer’s Markets or restaurants throughout North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia.

Hot Farmers Cheese
New Moon
Smoked Mozzarella
Fresh Mozzarella
Hickory Grove
Carolina Moon
Smoked Farmers Cheese
Dairyland Farmers Cheese

Portia McKnight, co-founder of the Creamery, said “Although there is not yet a definitive link between the CHC cheese and the illnesses, there is enough evidence to implicate the cheese and we are asking customers to not consume these cheeses or use them in food service.” Chapel Hill Creamery has requested wholesale customers to remove any CHC cheese from their shelves and dispose of it. Consumers who have this product in their home should not consume it and should dispose of it. Customers are reminded to thoroughly wash their hands and any utensils or equipment that may have contacted the cheese in warm, soapy water.

“Our customers are our top priority,” McKnight said. “If there is any potential of risk, we take that very seriously and are committed to addressing it fully.”

Chapel Hill Creamery is working in cooperation with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the Orange County Health Department to identify the source of the Salmonella and which cheeses are affected.

“The Chapel Hill Creamery has been an integral part of our local community for many years. They have consistently adhered to and exceeded safety measures and it is this adherence that allowed us to identify the issue so quickly. Since identification they have gone above and beyond to protect the health and safety of their customers.” Dr. Colleen Bridger, Orange County Health Director.

The Creamery will provide updated information on its web site ( as it becomes available.

Most persons infected with Salmonella experience fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. People who are concerned they might haveSalmonella infections should contact their doctor to discuss testing and treatment. The illness typically lasts four to seven days, and most persons recover without treatment. However, in some persons, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized.

Orange County has provided a hot line (919) 245-2378 for any questions.

Gerdau raises $2000 for research

Representatives of steel recycler Gerdau’s Knoxville mill recently held their fourth annual golf tournament benefiting primary amyloidosis research. The rare and devastating disease took the life of former Gerdau Knoxville vice president and general manager Arlan Piepho at age 63.

The tournament raised $2,000 for donation to the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine in Piepho’s memory. The donation supports a research team led by Dr. Alan Solomon seeking to find better treatments for primary amyloidosis.

“The golf tournament was a fun time for a worthy cause,” Gerdau Vice President and General Manager Johnny Miller said. “We are honored to help make a difference in the lives of amyloidosis patients by supporting research that will help find new ways to diagnose and treat the disease.”

The golf tournament was held at Ruggles Ferry Golf Club and drew 55 participants.

Gerdau, a leading producer of long steel in the Americas and one of the largest suppliers of special long steel in the world, has a robust social responsibility program that focuses on providing community support in the locations where its business operates. Pillars under the social responsibility program are health and wellness, history and culture, education and affordable housing.

2016-05 Gerdau - Golf Tournament 3

Matt Woodward, Todd Wakefield, Allen Osborne and Don Kidd comprised the first-place team at steel steel recycler Gerdau’s annual benefit golf tournament at Ruggles Ferry Golf Club May 10, 2016. The tournament raised $2,000 for amyloidosis research at the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine. Photo submitted.

South College graduates 77

Knoxville’s South College School of Pharmacy held their graduation on Friday, June 17, 2016. Friday’s class was the third and largest to graduate from the college; 77 student pharmacists received their degrees.

Hallerin Hilton Hill, a radio and television talk show host, delivered the commencement address. A Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter for Whitney Houston, Take 6 and Bishop T.D. Jakes, Hill travels the country speaking to businesses and organizations to spread his message of positivity.

He shared the ABCs of his value system, with examples from all 26 letters of the alphabet, to challenge students to write their future and then share their dreams with younger generations.

“For C, life takes courage,” Hill said. “Courage is not the absence of fear. It is the commitment to not be paralyzed by fear. We must live our dreams so that those that come behind us can live theirs.”

Jonathan Zierden was among those receiving degrees. He trained and worked in musical theater for eight years before deciding on a career in the medical field after getting married and having four children.

“One of the reasons I chose South College was because we have extended family here,” he said. “After spending the last three years as part of the accelerated pharmacy program, we’ve really put down roots in Knoxville, and I can’t imagine living anywhere else.”

South College is a private institution accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to offer programs at the doctorate, masters, baccalaureate, and associate levels.

To learn more about South College, visit

HHS funding awarded to Knoxville area

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced nearly $156 million in funding to support 420 health centers in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to increase access to integrated oral health care services and improve oral health outcomes for Health Center Program patients.

Cherokee Health Systems of Knoxville was among the seven cities in Tennessee receiving an award, and will be receiving $524,999.

This funding enables health centers to expand integrated oral health care services and increase the number of patients served. With these awards from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), health centers across the country will increase their oral health service capacity by hiring approximately 1,600 new dentists, dental hygienists, assistants, aides, and technicians to treat nearly 785,000 new patients.

“Oral health is an important part of our overall physical health and well-being,” said Secretary Burwell. “The funding we are awarding will reduce barriers to quality dental care for hundreds of thousands of Americans by bringing new oral health providers to health centers across the country.”


Covenant Health to award grants

KNOXVILLE, TN – Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon is currently accepting proposals for its Community Contribution Program, which will award funds for healthy living initiatives in East Tennessee. The deadline for the proposals is August 1, 2016.

Eligible applicants include nonprofits with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status and regional government entities that are considered nonprofit and serve Knox County and/or one of its eight contiguous counties: Anderson, Blount, Grainger, Jefferson, Loudon, Roane, Sevier and Union.

Projects should represent unique ideas, methods and approaches that utilize physical fitness activities


Improve quality of life in the community

Promote healthy living practices

Promote healthy eating habits in relation to physical activity

Support current programs promoting physical activity (i.e. supplies, equipment, materials or other similar items)

A combination of all of the above

Applicants may submit proposals up to $10,000, and multiple recipients may be selected. Proposals must be submitted by Monday, August 1. The award date will be no later than September 30, 2016.

Application forms are available at

Wilson joins Summit Medical

Summit Medical Group, one of the largest primary care based organizations in East Tennessee, is pleased to announce that Jean Wilson, FNP, has joined Summit Medical Group at Farragut as a family nurse practitioner.

Summit Medical Group includes 230 physicians and more than 150 advanced practitioners providing care at over 50 practice locations in 12 East Tennessee counties. Summit also consists of four diagnostic centers, mobile diagnostic services, seven physical therapy centers, three express clinics, a central laboratory and a sleep services center. Summit provides healthcare services to more than 260,000 patients, averaging over one million encounters annually. Summit’s Statcare division, which includes 70 of the group’s physicians and 40 of its mid-level providers, delivers superior care for hospitalized patients.

Wilson graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a master’s degree in nursing in 1981 and earned her MBA from Meredith College in Raleigh in 1988. A longtime family nurse practitioner, Wilson and her husband, Gene, have lived in the Farragut community for 29 years.


Knoxville receives Invest Health grant

A $60,000 grant administered through the East Tennessee Community Design Center has been awarded to the city of Knoxville by Reinvestment Fund and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The new Invest Health initiative is aimed at transforming how leaders from mid-size American cities work together to help low-income communities thrive, with specific attention to community features that drive health such as access to safe and affordable housing, places to play and exercise, and quality

Knoxville and Jackson are the two Tennessee cities among the 50 mid-size cities in 31 states selected to receive the grant. Cities with populations between 50,000 and 400,000 were asked to form five-member teams including representatives from the public sector, community development, and an anchor institution, preferably academic or health-related. The Knoxville team includes: Becky Wade, Knoxville Community Development; Phyllis Nichols, Knoxville Area Urban League; Martha Buchanan, Knox County Health Department; Gerald Green, Metropolitan Planning Commission; and Susan Martin, University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Michelle Eichinger of Designing4Health, LLC, who assisted in developing the team’s proposal, will help in process facilitation.

According to Wayne Blasius, ETCDC executive director, “The team will explore equitable transportation solutions and mixed-use development, including local transportation and planning policy change, and integrate health impact in the planning process in development projects. Further, the team will develop a coordinated, collaborative approach and explore funding strategies to support health equity in the community planning and the built environment.”

Mid-size American cities face some of the nation’s deepest challenges with entrenched poverty, poor health and a lack of investment, Blasius said.

Administrators of the grant believe the program has the potential to fundamentally transform the way Knoxville improves opportunities for healthy lives by addressing the drivers of health including jobs, housing, education, community safety and environmental conditions.

Marathon draws 8,000 runners

Race officials have verified the winners in the 2016 Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon, which took place this past weekend in Knoxville. Local resident Gina Rouse (Knoxville) won the women’s full marathon with a time of 2:53:16.


Gina Rouse crosses the finish line with a time of 2:53:16. Now in its 12th year, this year’s Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon race drew nearly 8,000 runners, representing its largest crowd ever. Photo submitted.

“On behalf of Covenant Health, it is my honor to congratulate the winners and all participants for their efforts today,” said Jim VanderSteeg, Covenant Health president and CEO. “Whether yours was the fastest time or you persevered until you got to the finish line, whether you ran the 5K or completed the full marathon, you’re all winners because you’ve made an important investment in your health.”

Race officials have verified the results in various categories, and the winners are as follows:

Men’s full marathon:

1. Bryan Morseman of Bath, New York, at 2:25:01

2. James Miller of Johnson City, Tennessee, at 2:36:21

3. Jake Rhyne of Maryville, Tennessee, at 2:51:07

Women’s full marathon:

1. Gina Rouse of Knoxville, Tennessee, at 2:53:16

2. Lynn Baione of Sevierville, Tennessee, at 3:05:03

3. Sarah Eldridge of Knoxville, Tennessee, at 3:20:49

Men’s half marathon:

1. Patrick Cheptoek of Bowling Green, Kentucky, at 1:10:10

2. J. Penny of Johnson City, Tennessee, at 1:14:23

3. Tony Casey of Johnson City, Tennessee, 1:15:16

Women’s half marathon:

1. Lydia Kosgei of Clarksville, Tennessee, 1:22:11

2. Emily Boles of Greensboro, North Carolina, at 1:26:23

3. Barbara Powers of Knoxville, Tennessee, at 1:27:49

Men’s 5K:

1. Nicholas Morgan of Knoxville, Tennessee, at 18:01

2. Douglas Cross of Knoxville, Tennessee, at 18:20

3. Bobby Haines of Knoxville, Tennessee, at 18:48

Women’s 5K:

1. Kathy Wolski of Knoxville, Tennessee, at 19:11

2. Emily Jones of White Bluff, Tennessee, at 22:33

3. Sue Moring of Knoxville, Tennessee, at 23:03

The race also included several handcyclists and wheelchair competitors. Winners in the handcyclist category for the full marathon are as follows:

Men’s Handcycle Marathon:

1. Dane Pilot of Weaverville, North Carolina, at 1:26:10

2. David Neumer of Kingston, Tennessee, at 1:43:49

3. Daniel Smith of Elizabethton, Tennessee, at 2:32:34

Women’s Handcycle Marathon:

1. Carly Pearson of Knoxville, Tennessee, at 2:44:24

In addition to individual participants, the race also included a two- and four-person marathon relay. New this year, the men’s and women’s 5K run was held on Saturday, alongside the one-mile Covenant Kids Run.


New specialty shop opens

North Knoxville residents are invited to attend the Grand Opening of First Lady Specialty Shop for Women on Thursday, February 11, 2016. The event will begin with a ribbon cutting at 4 pm and continue with an open house until 5:30 pm.

Angela C. Farmer, owner of the new boutique, says the updated facility is located in the Cancer Center of North Knoxville Medical Center and has a dual role of servicing mastectomy and cancer patients as well as a ladies specialty boutique.


North Knoxville Medical Center offers comprehensive cancer diagnostics, treatment, and support services; state-of-the-art imaging services; and women’s diagnostic services and educational programs.

“We’ll be featuring several new product lines including a clothing line from Lior Paris and a natural skincare line by Amino Genesis,” Farmer said.

Light hors d’ oeuvres will be served at the grand opening. The North Knoxville Medical Center is located at 7557 Dannaher Way in Powell.

For more information, call 865-859-7010.

Summit Medical welcomes physicians

Knoxville and Summit Medical Group welcomes two new physicians to the health care community in 2016: Dr. Ellen Liuzza has joined Summit Medical Group as a primary care physician with Dr. Michael Passarello’s office in the Fort Sanders area of downtown Knoxville and Dr. David Crouch has joined Summit Medical Group at Farragut as a family physician.

Crouch earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in molecular biology and completed his medical training at Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago, where he was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. A U.S. Army veteran, Crouch completed his family practice residency at Madigan Army Medical Center and served as a battalion surgeon at Fort Campbell in Kentucky with the 101st Airborne Division.

Liuzza graduated from Tulane University School of Medicine with her medical degree in 1993. Prior to joining Summit Medical, she practiced with Baptist Health Kentucky in Louisville, Kentucky. She also previously served with the Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans. Liuzza is a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine and specializes in internal medicine.

Open Streets Knoxville kicks off

Open Streets Knoxville, a new festival in Knoxville, Tennessee, will take place on Sunday, October 25, 2015, from 1 pm to 4pm on Central Street between Willow St and Oklahoma Avenue.

This one mile of Central Street, between the Old City and Happy Holler, will be filled with people of all ages and abilities. Guests can walk, scoot, skip, ride bicycles, hula hoop, play croquet, and try out activities like yoga and zumba and pickle ball – all in a setting that is traffic-free.

Every booth will be interactive and the only thing that will cost money is food (provided by local food trucks and restaurants along the route).

The goals are to have fun, get some exercise, bring people together, and showcase the local businesses and neighborhoods.

South College tourney supports parenting

Students from the South College School of Physician Assistant Studies Class of 2016 presented a recent donation of $2,200 to Susannah’s House from money raised through their annual golf tournament.

The check presentation to representatives of Susannah’s House was made at the charity’s location at 923 Dameron Ave., in Knoxville. The Edmund J. Wise Physician Assistant Society Golf Classic was held earlier this summer at Centennial Golf Course in Oak Ridge with 55 players, 21 volunteers and 20 sponsors. Wise is a South College faculty member and serves as the society’s adviser.

“I speak for all of the South College School of Physician Assistant Studies students when I say we are truly grateful for everyone who supported our golf tournament this summer and made this donation possible,” said Ryan Roe, vice president of the class of 2016 for the School of Physician Assistant Studies. “Susannah’s House provides invaluable services to mothers and children across East Tennessee, and we are proud to partner with the organization.”

Susannah’s House serves mothers who are recovering from substance abuse and their prenatally exposed infants. The staff helps the mothers achieve sobriety, enhances relationships between mothers and children and builds better life skills for the future.

“We believe destructive cycles can be broken,” said Rebekah Fetzer, executive director for Susannah’s House. “Our goal is to serve women who have the desire and commitment to change. This donation will help us care for mothers and children. We are truly appreciative of South College and the students’ efforts to help our organization.”

2015-09 South College Susannah's House donation

2015-09 South College Susannah’s House Donation: Class of 2016 students from the South College School of Physician Assistant Studies presented $2,200 to Susannah’s House. Pictured from left: students Jessica Hannigan, Ryan Roe, Adaku Taylor, Meredith Cummings and Kate Pryor and Susannah’s House Executive Director Rebekah Fetzer. Photo submitted.

Knoxville among health award winners

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell has announced $169 million in Affordable Care Act funding to 266 new health center sites in 46 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico for the delivery of comprehensive primary health care services in communities that need them most. This month Tennessee received 3 awards totaling $2,175,838 to serve a proposed 19,378 new patients.

The August 2015 winners are the Tennessee Department of Health, the Memphis Health Center, and the Tri-State Community Health Center in Memphis.

In May of 2015, three awards totaling $1,578,524 also went to Tennessee, including Cherokee Health Systems in Knoxville, Christ Community Health Services in memphis, and United Neighborhood Health Services in Nashville. The awards are expected to serve a proposed 19,172 new patients.

“Across the country, health centers have provided a source of high-quality primary care for people in rural and urban communities for 50 years,” said Acting Deputy Secretary Mary Wakefield. “These Affordable Care Act funds build on the strong legacy of the health center program and provide even more individuals and families with access to the care they need the most.”

This investment will add to the more than 700 new health center sites that have opened as a result of the Affordable Care Act, including those awarded earlier this year. What started with one clinic in rural Mississippi and another in South Boston is today a national program that supports 1,300 community-based and patient-directed health centers with 9,000 sites serving nearly 23 million people.

“Health centers now provide primary care to one in fourteen people living in the United States,” said HRSA Acting Administrator Jim Macrae. “These awards mean that more communities than ever can count on a health center to help meet the increasing demand for primary care.”


Melnik joins Keep Knoxville Beautiful

Knoxville, TN – The Board of Directors of Keep Knoxville Beautiful is pleased to announce that Patience Melnik has joined the organization as executive director. Patience brings a background in nonprofit project development and management to the position.

“The wealth of experience Patience has in grant writing and relationship building made her an ideal candidate for this position,” said Bob Graves, president of the board of directors.  “We are energized by her presence and look forward to her leadership as we continue the important work of keeping Knoxville beautiful.”

Patience fills the vacancy created by former Executive Director Allison Teeter’s departure in May to join the Knox County Health Department.

Before joining Keep Knoxville Beautiful, Patience served as Director of Environmental Health Programs at the Tennessee Clean Water Network (TCWN), a nonprofit statewide environmental organization located in Knoxville, Tennessee. At TCWN, she was instrumental in creating, funding, and implementing the Bringing Tap Back project, which increased access to drinking water in Tennessee’s public places by providing water bottle refill stations to schools, universities, municipalities, and other organizations.

“I am thrilled to join Keep Knoxville Beautiful,” Melnik said. “At nearly 40 years old, the organization has such a long history of partnerships with other organizations and with countless volunteers to make Knoxville a cleaner, greener, and more beautiful place to live. It is an honor to have the opportunity to build upon the foundation laid by so many people over so many years.”

To welcome Patience, please join Keep Knoxville Beautiful for a Meet and Greet at the Fieldhouse Social located at 2525 UT Commons Way on Thursday, August 27, 2015 from 5:30 until 7pm.

Knoxville great place to bike

Want to learn how to ride your bike safely in Knoxville? Need tips on which routes are best for getting to and from work on your bike?

Take the Ride Smart – Urban Biking 101 class – with I BIKE KNX.

I BIKE KNX promotes bicycling as part of the overall transportation system and is housed within the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization.

This 1-hour casual ride will teach you where to ride on the road, how to negotiate intersections, and other tips to make you more confident biking in traffic.

Email if you’re interested and want to find out when the next class is available. There is a $15 fee.

In the meantime, enjoy this One Minute Bike Ride in Knoxville’s Old City video by Courtney Connors, June 2015.

Grants available for healthy projects

Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon is accepting proposals for its Community Contribution Program, which will award funds for healthy living initiatives in East Tennessee. The deadline for the grant program, now in its second year, is July 31, 2015.

Projects should represent unique ideas, methods and approaches that utilize physical fitness activities to improve quality of life in the community.

Eligible applicants include nonprofits with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status and regional government entities that are considered nonprofit and serve Knox County and/or one of its eight contiguous counties: Anderson, Blount, Grainger, Jefferson, Loudon, Roane, Sevier and Union.

Applicants may submit proposals up to $10,000, and multiple recipients may be selected. Proposals must be submitted by July 31, and the award date will be no later than September 30, 2015.

The Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon is a premier event organized by the Knoxville Track Club, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the encouragement of physical well being through running, jogging, competitive road racing, racewalking, fun runs, cross-country and track and field.

For more information, call 865-805-2476.

KCDC elects board officers

Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation (KCDC) has announced the appointment of new board officers following its annual board meeting.

Dan Murphy, a University of Tennessee professor of accounting specializing in federal taxation, will serve as chairman. Murphy was appointed by Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero to the Board of Commissioners in 2013.

Jacqueline Arthur, general manager of the community-owned food cooperative Three Rivers Market, was appointed vice chairman. Arthur also was appointed to the KCDC board by Rogero in 2013.

Resident commissioner Phyllis Patrick, administrative assistant at Evergreen Presbyterian Ministries, Inc., will serve as treasurer. Art Cate, KCDC executive director and CEO, was elected secretary.

KCDC’s Board of Commissioners is a seven-member body appointed by the Knoxville mayor to oversee programs provided by the agency, including affordable public housing administration, redevelopment and rental assistance. The board members began their one-year term as officers at the board’s annual meeting on May 28.

Other board members are: John Winemiller, partner at the law firm Merchant & Gould; David Hutchins, architect and president of Hutchins Associates P.C.; Lisa Wagoner, supervisor of health services for Knox County Schools; and Dr. John Turner, retired senior vice president of education, training and diversity at the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Since 1936, KCDC has been dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for the citizens of Knoxville. KCDC’s mission is to improve and transform neighborhoods and communities by providing high-quality affordable housing, advancing development initiatives and fostering self-sufficiency.

For more information, call 865-403-1100 or visit

Turn up the heat with Thai Fire-tini

by Mary June Thompson, Contributing Food Writer. —One of my favorite things about the summer gardening season is growing (and eating) hot peppers. I generally grow 4-6 varieties in my garden, and occasionally pick up some additional varieties from the farmers’ market. Hot peppers are a good choice for a sustainable kitchen garden, as many types, including Thai chilies, cayenne, and chiles de arbol, can easily be air-dried, either on the plant before harvesting in late fall, or by hanging indoors, thus providing hot peppers for cooking throughout the winter season as well.

Most pepper plants don’t need more than full sun, hot temperatures, and adequate water to survive and thrive, so planting some by early June will insure that you have a bounty of hot peppers ready to eat by late summer. A new additional to my garden this year is the Carolina Reaper. I had never heard of it before this spring, and I am very anxious to try its peppers because it beat the infamous ghost pepper for title of “World’s Hottest Pepper”.


From more tame jalapeños to the classic habanero, there are all sorts of varieties to suit different tastes and heat tolerances. Hot peppers are great to liven up numerous dishes, and not just the typical Asian or Mexican cuisine that one might associate with having a higher heat level. Some other great uses for them include adding a kick to less assertive foods that benefit from some extra flavoring, such as sautéed zucchini, squash, or Brewer’s mushrooms; adding to scrambled eggs for a little extra morning zing; using a different dried variety to sprinkle over a pizza instead of the typical crushed red pepper flakes; or infused into a liquid, which is a great way to impart both the heat and flavor of the peppers in a novel way.


Infusing is not a new concept, but it is currently a very popular one with mixologists around the country, with house-flavored vinegars, mixers, and spirits spotlighted in their craft cocktail menus. Infusing a liquor is a virtually effortless thing to do at home, and it works equally well with vodka, tequila, or rum. Best of all, you can use whatever kind of hot pepper is most pleasing to your palate, and adjust the infusing time to create a milder outcome for those who don’t like it hot, as a lesser amount of peppers and shorter soaking time will yield the mildest result, or a more fiery outcome by using more peppers, stronger peppers, and/or a longer infusing time to create a significantly hotter finished product.

Cocktail IngredientsCelebrateKnoxvillesmall

Because I love ridiculously hot peppers and experimenting with them, I created a refreshing, albeit fiery hot, cocktail to enjoy throughout the summer. The sweetness of the just-ripe Georgia peaches helps to balance the burst of heat that every sip contains, and the tartness of lime and anise and herbal notes from the Thai basil complement the peach and the pepper flavors as well. (Disclaimer: I infused the vodka for 5 days before making this cocktail, and it was deliciously flavored but HOT. Please consider a lesser infusing time and/or using fewer peppers when making this cocktail if you do not enjoy the burn.) Photos by Mary June Thompson.

Thai Fire-tinismall


MJ’s Thai Fire-tini

Make Ahead:

Vodka Infusion: In an airtight glass container, add 1 cup vodka and 6 fresh or dried Thai chilies, crushed. Seal and store in a cool, dark place for at least 2 days (for less heat) and up to 7 days for maximum heat. Once desired heat level has been achieved, strain chilies and save for a cocktail garnish or refrigerate to use later in Asian dishes. Use infused vodka in cocktail or return to airtight glass container and store for up to 6 months.

Simple Syrup: In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together 1 cup filtered water and 1 cup organic sugar. Heat just until sugar dissolves, stirring often. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Chill in the refrigerator and store for up to 1 month in an airtight glass container. (Note: Recipe makes extra simple syrup, which can be used to sweeten fresh lemonade or other cold beverages without the grainy residue that plain sugar would leave.)

To Make the Cocktails:

In a mini (or regular) food processor, purée together the flesh or 2 large (or 4 small) very ripe southern peaches, peeled; the juice and zest from 1 lime; and ¼ cup simple syrup. Transfer to a large cocktail shaker and add the Thai chili infused vodka, 4 sprigs of Thai basil, crushed lightly to release their oils, and ice. Shake until mixture is well chilled. Pour into serving glasses and garnish with thin slices of lime, Thai basil sprigs, and/or Thai chilies, if desired. Makes 4 cocktails.

Mary June Thompson has been cooking and entertaining for nearly two decades. During this time, her cooking style has expanded and evolved from typical American fare to encompass many different types of cuisines, including Italian, French, Greek, Asian, Mediterranean/North African, and Latin American. Focusing on obtaining the best available ingredients and preparing fresh, healthy dishes with bold flavor defines her cooking style, regardless of cuisine.

Mary June Thompson, Celebrate Knoxville, June 1, 2015.

Strawberries make great cocktails

by Mary June Thompson, Celebrate Knoxville Food Writer. –Strawberries are typically at their peak of perfection this season. Some savory suggestions to try, if you haven’t already: include them in a spinach salad with a sweet vinaigrette and feta cheese; along with other berries over mixed greens and goat cheese; paired with burrata cheese, basil, and a thick, wonderfully aged balsamic vinegar; as the base for a spicy salsa; or even grilled.



Strawberries are always a welcome sight at the Market Square Farmers Market in downtown Knoxville and usually sell out fast. Photo by Celebrate Knoxville.

One of my favorite non-traditional uses of this beautiful berry is as the base for a refreshing drink. By using the actual fruit instead of a mix, my cocktail even has a healthy component (and tastes oh-so-much better). Cheers!

Strawberry-Lavender Fizz

½ cup white sugar
½ cup water
1 tsp. dried lavender flowers
1 cup fresh strawberries, stems removed, and halved (or quartered if large)
3 oz. vodka
4 oz. club soda, chilled

For Lavender Simple Syrup:
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and water. Cook until sugar completely dissolves, stirring occasionally, about 6-8 minutes. Stir in lavender flowers. Simmer 2 minutes. Turn off heat and steep for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain. Set aside.

For Strawberry Purée:
Place strawberries in a mini food processor (or blender). Pulse (or blend) until strawberries reach a thick, syrupy consistency. Place a fine mesh sieve over a measuring cup. Transfer the purée, in batches if necessary, to the sieve and use the back of a spoon to gently press down on strawberry purée to release the juice and leave the pulp behind. You should end up with at least ¼ cup of strawberry juice. (Reserve remaining pulp to spoon over pancakes, yogurt, ice cream, etc. if desired.)

For Cocktail:
In a cocktail shaker, combine strawberry juice, ¼ cup lavender simple syrup (or to taste), vodka, and ice. Shake until combined and chilled. Pour evenly into 2 glasses with ice. Top each with 2 oz. club soda. Serve. Enjoy!

Mary June Thompson has been cooking and entertaining for nearly two decades. During this time, her cooking style has expanded and evolved from typical American fare to encompass many different types of cuisines, including Italian, French, Greek, Asian, Mediterranean/North African, and Latin American. Focusing on obtaining the best available ingredients and preparing fresh, healthy dishes with bold flavor defines her cooking style, regardless of cuisine.


—Sustainable Cooking,, May 26, 2015.



Knoxville Zoo hosts sports event

Knoxville Zoo’s Wild World of Sports event will take place Saturday, May 16, 2015 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Knoxville Zoo.

Bamboo Playing Soccer

Athletic-themed activities include the chance for kids to interact with local collegiate athletes playing games that challenge them to move like animals.

Professional players and mascots from the Tennessee Smokies baseball team will be posing for photos and signing autographs, and guests can interact with other organizations representing the sports scene in Knoxville, including the Knoxville Force soccer team, the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and Knoxville Bubbleball, a member of the National Association of Bubble Soccer.

All Wild World of Sports event activities are included as part of general admission to Knoxville Zoo. Knoxville Zoo is Knoxville’s most-visited destination. Knoxville Zoo is nationally accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is committed to the highest standards in animal care and well-being, ethics, conservation, and education.

Currently, the zoo is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Admission and ticket sales stop one-hour before the zoo closes. Next-day admission is free after 3 p.m. For more information, please call 865.637.5331.

Sustainable Cooking from Market Square

Sustainable Cooking by Celebrate Knoxville Food Writer Mary June Thompson.—At the heart of Sustainable Cooking is local food, particularly from producers who utilize sustainable farming practices. Knoxville’s Market Square Farmers’ Market just kicked off its 12th season this past Saturday, and I visited the Market to buy local, sustainable ingredients straight from the growers.


A few local farmers, such as Brewer’s Mushrooms, also grow foods that have medicinal properties, which is gaining popularity. Of course we all know that plant foods are better for us than processed foods, but the modern medical community is just beginning to study the specific effects of certain plants on our health, and while more research is needed to confirm much of the anecdotal evidence out there, a lot of the research is proving that the ancient world was onto something in treating or preventing common maladies with the fruit of the earth.


Best wine pairing for this week’s Market Square Farmers Market recipe: Pour a glass of Blue Slip Winery’s Spring Traminette, containing flavors of apricot and honeysuckle, which complement the fruit and honey notes in this salad.

MJ’s Health Salad

Dressing: In a large bowl, combine 1 Tablespoon each unfiltered apple cider vinegar and extra virgin olive oil; 1 teaspoon local wildflower honey; 1 small or half of a large garlic clove, minced; and 1/8 teaspoon each kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper per salad serving. Whisk until emulsified and set aside while assembling salad ingredients.

Salad: You will need, per salad serving: 2 Tablespoons chopped, toasted walnuts; 2 Tablespoons crumbled goat cheese; 2 Tablespoons finely chopped dried apricots; 1/4 cup sliced fresh strawberries, 2 cups fresh baby spinach.

Whisk dressing again just before adding the salad ingredients to the bowl. Toss to coat and divide equally among plates, if preparing multiple servings.

Serving suggestion for a non-vegetarian entrée and additional lean protein: Marinate 1 organic chicken breast per person in buttermilk (and a few dashes of hot sauce, if desired) for at least 4 hours or up to overnight in the refrigerator. Drain, pat dry, season with salt, pepper, and cayenne, and grill until internal temperature reaches 165° or to desired degree of doneness. Cool to room temperature, slice, and toss with other salad ingredients.

Why is this a truly a health salad with sustainable ingredients?

Honey is said to have antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Unfiltered apple cider vinegar has been shown to have an antibacterial and anti-glycemic effect. Raw garlic consumption may offer protective benefits against heart disease and cancer. Extra virgin olive oil contains healthy fats and antioxidants, which contribute to heart health and reduce inflammation. Despite all the recent hype about kale, spinach is still a nutritional powerhouse, containing, among other things, good amounts of iron and Vitamin K, which are essential for blood health. Dried apricots provide fiber, which is essential for the digestive system, and minerals such as iron and potassium. Strawberries are full of Vitamin C, fiber, folic acid, and antioxidants. Goat cheese has calcium and protein. And walnuts are one of the most concentrated food sources of nutrients, including protein, heart-healthy fats, and significant amounts of trace minerals. This merely highlights some of the health benefits of these foods and is not a complete list of all their nutritional aspects or health benefits. Regardless, consuming a sustainable, local, plant-based diet is an easy and delicious way to benefit your overall health and may help to prevent chronic diseases from developing in the first place. Now that’s my kind of “medicine”.


Mary June Thompson has been cooking and entertaining for nearly two decades. During this time, her cooking style has expanded and evolved from typical American fare to encompass many different types of cuisines, including Italian, French, Greek, Asian, Mediterranean/North African, and Latin American. Focusing on obtaining the best available ingredients and preparing fresh, healthy dishes with bold flavor defines her cooking style, regardless of cuisine.

—Sustainable Cooking,, May 6, 2015.

Great views from hiking House Mtn

By Laura Long/ If you’re looking for a great place to enjoy Springtime in East Tennessee, you’ll want to hike House Mountain, a 500-acre natural area located in Knox County approximately eight miles from Knoxville.

The hiking trails are short, but steep, challenging, and rewarding. The 2,100-foot crest of House Mountain provides great views of the Unakas and Cumberlands some 30 miles away, or northeast to the adjacent Clinch Mountain.

According to Knox County’s Department of Parks and Recreation, before erosion by Big Flat Creek, “the gently dipping bedrock layers underlying House Mountain once extended to Clinch Mountain, whose base lies approximately two and half miles to the northeast. The bedrock structure represents a large synclinal fold that formed during the Appalachian mountain building event called the Alleghenian Orogeny.”


The western trail of House Mountain to the crest is .8 miles and the eastern trail is 1.5 miles. The western trail is narrow, steep, and has a few turns that require careful negotiating. Both trails are connected at the top by the wider Crest Trail that is 1.5 miles long. Photo by Laura Long/Celebrate Knoxville.

Many hikers bring their dogs with them on the trail. From time to time, a courteous wait is needed to allow hikers coming down and hikers going up enough room to pass one another.

In a few places, the great sandstone boulders serve as resting places or picnic spots for hikers or artists sketching the chestnut oaks and mountain pines. Photographers are often seen kneeling in the moist dirt by streambeds to catch a close-up. The north-facing slopes support a forest of sugar maple, tulip poplar, ash, and buckeye.

Don’t forget the binoculars: House Mountain is also a favorite place for birdwatchers. Migrating hawks and warblers can be observed from the mountain. Ruffed grouse, pileated woodpeckers, scarlet tanagers, wild turkeys, and more than one hundred additional species of birds have been observed on the mountain.

Gurgling from the cool streams provide a musical backdrop for hikers making their way up the slopes. House Mountain is drained by several unnamed tributaries of Roseberry Creek and by Hogskin and Brice Branches, which divide it from the 1,500 feet high McAnnally Ridge, which lies to the east and south.

To get to House Mountain from Knoxville, Tennessee, take I-40 East. Exit on U.S. Highway 11W (Rutledge Pike) and go north and east on Rutledge Pike. After about 10 miles, look for the “House Mountain State Park” sign on the right side of the highway and then turn left on Idumea Road. Turn left on Hogskin Road. The parking area is less than a mile on the right. Restrooms are available next to the parking lot. There is no admission fee to hike the trails.

Benches and signage along the trails are provided in memory of John Evans, a Scout leader and founding member/active volunteer for Friends of House Mountain. Enjoy the trails and remember to Leave No Trace.

–Laura Long/

Shinrin Yoku at IJAMS

Had a rough week? You need sanctuary!

The Ijams Sanctuary Series is a new program designed to help visitors slow down and appreciate all the beauty in their surroundings.


Shinrin Yoku, or forest bathing, is the slow, meditative exploration of the forest using all five senses. Studies conducted in Japan, where the art originated, showed that people who spent meditative time in a forest environment not only reduced stress but also boosted immunity and the body’s ability to fight disease.

Participants may experience this walk on Saturday, April 25, 2015 from 10am to noon.

By removing distractions such as cell phones, cameras, and even talking, participants are able to truly engage with their surroundings and experience the restorative properties of nature.

The fee for this program is $7 for Ijams members and $10 for non-members. Please call (865) 577-4717, ext. 110 to register.

Knoxville hosts bike summit

City of Knoxville officials will present the finalized Bicycle Facilities Plan at a public meeting to be held Wednesday, April 8, 2015 at 6 p.m. at the East Tennessee History Center, 601 South Gay Street. The plan identifies the improvements that could develop a system of connected bike corridors, including on- and off-road facilities, that is focused on improving the accessibility, safety and convenience of traveling by bicycle.

photo (4) - Copy

Knoxville city planners will present a map of the proposed corridor enhancements and the priority list of more than 100 projects including new bike lanes or other safety accommodations, to be designed to account for traffic flow and road conditions, at a public meeting in April. Photo by Celebrate Knoxville.

In addition, Knoxville is hosting the TN Bike Summit April 23 – 24, 2015. This event is a chance for the Knox area community to discuss how to build safe roads, strong communities, and a Tennessee where everyone is able to enjoy the benefits of bicycling and walking.

The keynote speakers for the Bike Summit are Gil Penalosa and Martha Roskowski, both of whom were featured speakers at the international Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place conference in 2014.


TN announces sustainability awards

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau recently announced the launch of the TDEC Sustainable Transportation Awards initiative to recognize outstanding and voluntary achievements by governments, businesses, industries, public and private institutions of higher learning, and utilities that demonstrate leadership in advancing sustainable transportation in the State.

The awards cover eight broad categories: on-site transportation; off-site transportation; incorporation of sustainable transportation in the supply chain; employee incentive or engagement programs; public transportation; technological or operational innovations; and infrastructure development.

Entities eligible to apply for the TDEC Sustainable Transportation Awards include: federal, state and local governments; commercial and industrial organizations; public and private institutions of higher education; and utilities. Self-nominations are encouraged. A panel of judges representing diverse interests will select award recipients based on criteria including on-the-ground achievement, innovation, transferability, and public education and outreach.

In connection with Clean Air Month, TDEC will host a recognition ceremony and sustainable transportation forum on May 7, 2015 in Memphis, Tennessee.

Applications are due to TDEC no later than March 20, 2015. Interested applicants are encouraged to contact Luke Gebhard in TDEC’s Office of Energy Programs at 615-741-2994.

Sustainable Coffee Bread recipe

Sustainable Cooking by Mary June Thompson, Food Writer, Celebrate Knoxville, February 20, 2015. – There are a lot of ways to utilize a sustainable cooking philosophy in the kitchen, and not just with food. At my house, we drink a lot of coffee, and we prefer a specific brand that is sold in tin cans. Not only do those cans keep the coffee very fresh, but they have a myriad of other handy uses once the coffee is consumed, including bacon grease cans, paint cans, storage cans, and even baking vessels.

Bread that has finished baking in the can

So today I would like to share a recipe I developed that not only reuses the coffee grounds, but also repurposes the coffee tin as well. It would also make a great homemade gift idea, as the bread is actually very simple to make, especially for a yeast bread, and a load of bread baked in a coffee can makes a whimsical and fun presentation.

My bread is purposely quite a bit less sweet than one would expect a chocolate bread to be. I made it this way for a couple of reasons: First, the coffee notes in the bread are more noticeable with less sugar, and second, I wanted a bread that I could enhance with sugary things and not be overwhelmed by an excess of sweetness. This bread is absolutely perfect with a smear of Nutella, and it is also complemented by maple syrup when used as the basis for chocolate French toast. Add some fresh sliced strawberries on top, and you’ve got a perfect breakfast, brunch, or snack time treat that is fresh, healthy, and sustainable.

A Few Simple Ingredients Make a Lovely Home Baked Bread

Chocolate Coffee Can Bread

Special Equipment:

Candy thermometer


½ pound metal coffee can (Note: Don’t use one with a coated lining for health

Kitchen string


Non-stick cooking spray

½ cup milk

2 Tablespoons used coffee grounds

1 teaspoon fast-acting yeast

1 Tablespoon sugar

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¾ cup bread flour, plus an extra cup or so for kneading

¼ cup cocoa powder

2 Tablespoons neutral-tasting oil, such as canola, vegetable, or safflower

1 large egg, at room temperature

Coffee Grounds Bundle


Spray interior of coffee can thoroughly with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

Using at least four layers of cheesecloth, cut out a section large enough to hold the
coffee grounds with enough additional space to tie the bundle at the top. Place coffee grounds in center of cheesecloth and tie together securely with kitchen string. (See photo.)

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt. In another
small bowl, whisk together the egg and oil. Set both bowls aside.

In a small saucepan, add the milk and bundle of coffee grounds. Warm the milk over
medium heat to reach 110°F on a candy thermometer, pressing occasionally on bundle to release the liquid and infuse the milk with coffee flavor.

Once the milk has reached 110°F, remove from heat, press all liquid from the coffee
bundle, discard coffee bundle, and stir in yeast. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture, then add the egg mixture and stir until incorporated. You should have a moist, sticky dough at this point. (See photo.)

Flour a large, flat work surface and the exterior of the dough ball generously. Place
dough on floured surface and begin to knead the dough with floured hands, adding a small amount of flour as needed, just enough to keep the dough from being sticky. Knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 5-6 minutes. Place dough into prepared coffee tin. Cover coffee tin with a clean kitchen towel and set in a warm place for an hour to an hour and a half, or until dough has risen above rim of can. Pre-heat oven to 375°F.

Once dough has risen, place can into the center of the pre-heated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into center of dough comes out clean. Let the bread cool in the can until the can is cool enough to touch. Remove bread and cool thoroughly on a wire rack before slicing, or return to can if giving as a gift.


Mary June Thompson has been cooking and entertaining for nearly two decades. During this time, her cooking style has expanded and evolved from typical American fare to encompass many different types of cuisines, including Italian, French, Greek, Asian, Mediterranean/North African, and Latin American. Focusing on obtaining the best available ingredients and preparing fresh, healthy dishes with bold flavor defines her cooking style, regardless of cuisine.

Local mushrooms souffle recipe

Sustainable Cooking by Celebrate Knoxville Food Writer Mary June Thompson. —
I recently had the privilege of touring a local mushroom growing facility, Brewer’s Mushrooms. Housed on a hilltop with a gorgeous view of the Smoky Mountain foothills, their greenhouse (photo featured below) is a fascinating place for a food lover, with a surprising variety of mushroom types in various stages of growth. The mushrooms grow out of bundles of specially heated wood chips or straw that have been inoculated with fungi spores. They thrive in a temperature and humidity controlled environment, and they are grown without the use of any chemicals or pesticides. The proprietors sent me home with a bounty of pristine mushrooms, including lion’s mane, old world blue oyster, golden oyster, king, and shiitake mushrooms. The flavor of the Brewers’ mushrooms is outstanding; their earthiness is perfectly complemented when sautéed with onions or shallots, garlic, and/or thyme. (See our Twitter photos of Brewers Mushrooms @CelebrateKnox.)

Mushrooms growing in greehouse

Once back in the kitchen with the mushrooms, a quick look through the refrigerator yielded immediate inspiration for a sustainable, local dish featuring these beautiful fungi: some leftover egg whites from making pudding out of the egg yolks, a chunk of smoked gouda cheese, and two pieces of leftover shallot—the perfect makings for a soufflé.

Although a seemingly daunting task to many, I find a soufflé to be a very versatile dish, as it is a perfect centerpiece for brunch or an elegant dinner, and its presentation far outweighs the actual difficulty of preparation. Plus, if you start with whites from whole eggs when making a soufflé, you have the perfect excuse to make a decadent pudding or custard later using the leftover yolks.

Perfectly Browned Mushroom and Smoked Gouda Souffle

Local Mushrooms and Smoked Gouda Soufflé


1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup finely chopped shallots
2 cups assorted chopped fresh mushrooms, such as those from Brewer’s Mushrooms
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
Cooking spray
2-3 Tablespoons unseasoned dry breadcrumbs
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cups milk
1/3 cup unoaked dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc
1 large egg yolk
½ cup freshly grated smoked gouda cheese
6 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar


Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a small skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add the shallots and cook for 2-3 minutes, just until shallots are softened. Stir in mushrooms, season with ¼ teaspoon each of the salt and pepper, and cook for another 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms have released their liquid. Add the thyme and cook for another minute. Set aside.

While the mushrooms cook, spray a 1-quart soufflé dish with cooking spray. Evenly sprinkle breadcrumbs over the bottom and sides of the dish, discarding any extra crumbs that didn’t stick. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the 1/3 cup flour and remaining ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk to prevent lumps. Stir in the wine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Once it boils, cook mixture for 1 minute or until thickened. Set aside so it doesn’t burn while tempering the egg yolk.

In a medium heat-proof bowl, add the egg yolk and lightly beat it. Starting with a few drops at a time, slowly whisk about a quarter of the milk mixture into the egg yolk. Return saucepan to medium heat and add egg mixture to milk mixture, stirring constantly. Cook for 1 minute.

Remove pan from heat. Stir in gouda until melted and smooth. Fold in mushroom mixture. Set aside to cool slightly while whipping the egg whites.

In a large bowl (or alternatively, in the bowl of a stand mixer), add egg whites and cream of tartar. Beat at high speed with hand mixer or stand mixer until egg whites form stiff peaks.

Gently fold about ¼ of the egg whites into the milk mixture to lighten it a bit. Then fold the mixture back into the egg whites, taking care not to deflate the egg whites, until incorporated. Gently spoon into prepared soufflé dish, smoothing and leveling the top.

Place soufflé dish on a sheet pan or piece of foil to catch any drips. Bake for 55 minutes or until the soufflé is golden brown and set. Serve immediately, as the soufflé will begin to deflate as it starts to cool.

Serves 2-3 as a main dish.


Mary June Thompson has been cooking and entertaining for nearly two decades. During this time, her cooking style has expanded and evolved from typical American fare to encompass many different types of cuisines, including Italian, French, Greek, Asian, Mediterranean/North African, and Latin American. Focusing on obtaining the best available ingredients and preparing fresh, healthy dishes with bold flavor defines her cooking style, regardless of cuisine.

Black Eyed Peas soup recipe

By Mary June Thompson, food writer. In previous Sustainable Cooking columns, I have mentioned that making stock is a great way to get extra mileage out of food scraps. For the past couple of weeks, I have been saving my vegetable odds and ends in a zip-top bag in the refrigerator. I collected quite an assortment: pieces of onions, leeks, carrots, bell peppers, scallions, mushroom stems, celery tops, jalapeno pieces, garlic ends, stems from parsley and thyme, and even some broccoli stalks. I planned to make a vegetable stock with them and use this a soup base. There are lots of recipes available for vegetable stock, but you don’t really need a set recipe to make vegetable stock successfully.

Veggie Scraps

The key to soup deliciousness is having a variety of vegetables to flavor the cooking water, along with the basics of onions, garlic, celery, and carrots. And if, like me, you find yourself coming up a little short on one thing or another (mine was carrot), you can always add some extra into the mix. I like to add a teaspoon of whole peppercorns and a couple of extra herb sprigs (parsley, thyme, oregano) for depth of flavor.

To make the stock, place the vegetable pieces in a large saucepan or Dutch oven on the stovetop. Add enough filtered water to cover the veggies, usually 6-8 cups, and bring to a boil on medium heat. Continue to boil for a couple of hours until the liquid is reduced to about half of its original volume. Cool to room temperature, strain liquid into an airtight container, and refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for up to three months. It really is that easy.

Another “discard” item that I always save for later use is the rind off of a block of Parmesan cheese. The rinds freeze beautifully and add a luxurious umami note to simple soups. (Of course, you must buy the real Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano to get the rind, but I don’t recommend using that other stuff anyway, as it doesn’t impart the same flavor.)

During the cold of winter, I find myself craving warm, comforting, distinctly Southern dishes. I recently came across a recipe in a traditional southern cookbook for Black-Eyed Pea Soup. I loved the thought of that, but that recipe was way too bland for my taste, as it involved little more than the peas, water, and some salt, so I decided to come up with my own version of Black-Eyed Pea Soup. Most of the time, authentic southern food isn’t suitable for vegetarians or vegans, so the recipe I developed using my homemade “vegetable scrap” stock can be easily adjusted to suit any food preference. And if you make the stock in advance, the soup comes together very easily.

Soup's On!

Black-Eyed Pea Soup

½ cup dried black-eyed peas (or substitute 1 can of black-eyed peas in a pinch, but the flavor won’t be as good)
1 bacon slice (omit for vegan/vegetarian soup; substitute 1 Tablespoon olive or vegetable oil)
½ of a small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3 cups “vegetable scrap” stock
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1 Parmigiano-Reggiano rind (omit for vegan soup)
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper

The night before, place the dried peas in an airtight container. Cover with water and soak overnight in the refrigerator. Rinse and drain them just before using. To make the soup, heat a medium Dutch oven or heavy-duty saucepan on the stove top over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crispy, or alternatively, add oil to pan. Set bacon aside to cool. Add the onion to the fat in the pan. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Add the peas, Cajun seasoning, rind (if using), and stock to the pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until the peas are tender, about 45 minutes.
When peas are tender, sprinkle flour over the soup, 1 teaspoon at a time, stirring well to incorporate, until soup is slightly thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve topped with your choice of thinly sliced green onions; the reserved bacon, crumbled; freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese; and/or hot sauce. It’s best served with a slice of freshly baked cornbread on the side for a true Southern comfort food meal.

Serves 2 as a main course or 4 as a first course.


Mary June Thompson has been cooking and entertaining for nearly two decades. During this time, her cooking style has expanded and evolved from typical American fare to encompass many different types of cuisines, including Italian, French, Greek, Asian, Mediterranean/North African, and Latin American. Focusing on obtaining the best available ingredients and preparing fresh, healthy dishes with bold flavor defines her cooking style, regardless of cuisine.

IJAMS hosts 2015 Seed Swap

Join IJAMS Nature Center for the ever popular annual seed swap on January 31, 2015, from 1-4 p.m.

Ijams’ Seed Swap promotes the sharing of vegetable, flower and other seeds among area gardeners. This event supports genetic diversity, sustainability and self-reliance in the garden.

This program is free.

Located in Knoxville, Ijams is an urban greenspace filled with rocks, rivers, trees, trails, owls and salamanders. Visitors of all ages and ability can hike, bike, paddle, stroll, learn or simply enjoy the day.

Ijams is a sanctuary for all visitors to learn and connect with the natural world.

Ijams is also a member and visitor-supported nonprofit organization. Your generous support is needed to continue the ongoing legacy for generations to come.




MEDIC seeking blood donations

MEDIC is offering all blood donors a FREE movie ticket as a way to say thank you for taking a moment during this busy time of year to donate blood. The entire process takes less than 45 minutes. Locations include:

Tuesday – December 30, 2014
MEDIC Donor Center – Knoxville, 1601 Ailor Ave. (8am-6:30pm)
MEDIC Donor Center – Farragut, 11000 Kingston Pk. (9am-7pm)
Walmart – Maryville, 2410 US Highway 441 South (11am-7pm)
Hallsdale-Powell Utility – Knoxville, 3745 Cunningham Rd. (9am-4pm)
Walmart – Alcoa, 1030 Hunters Crossing Drive (11am-7pm)
Parkwest Medical Center – Knoxville, 9352 Parkwest Blvd. (11am-7pm)

For more information, visit

Sustainable Chai Tea Pudding

Sustainable Cooking by Mary June Thompson, Contributing Writer. (Part III in an online series exclusively for One of my favorite things about practicing a sustainable cooking philosophy is how it forces the chef to get creative in the kitchen by finding new and different uses for the odds and ends that are left over from routine cooking. There are many basic ways to get a second life out a lot of food scraps, such as using leftover vegetable pieces to make stock or broth or turning stale bread into croutons for a salad. While both of those things are great uses for leftover bits, this column is meant to inspire both home cooks and professionals alike to think outside the box and have fun in the kitchen while being less wasteful with food.


When it’s cold outside, one of my favorite things is to brew a cup of hot and spicy chai tea. I am a huge fan of what I call “real” chai – the loose tea blended from dried whole tea leaves and chunks of spices including cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, and black pepper. This type of chai is not inexpensive, but the superior flavor it imparts is worth it. It seems like such a shame that you can only use those expensive tea leaves one time and have to throw them out. Or do you?

My cold weather obsession with brewing chai tea was the inspiration for a new recipe that gets a little extra mileage out of those post-brew leftovers. I let the tea mix cool completely in the tea ball after brewing and then stored the leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator until I collected enough to test my idea. The result of this grand experiment in sustainable cooking was a wonderfully flavorful chai tea pudding, a new twist on a classic comfort food that even the pickiest eater is sure to love. (photos by Mary June Thompson)


Chai Tea Pudding
½ cup (once-brewed) loose-leaf chai tea blend
2 cups milk
½ cup sugar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 large egg
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Lightly beat egg with a fork in a medium heat-proof bowl and set aside.
Combine sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan. Gradually whisk milk into sugar mixture until well blended. Add tea leaves and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from heat and pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a heat-proof bowl. Discard tea leaves.

Return pudding base to saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Continue to cook for another 7-8 minutes, whisking constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat.

Transfer some of the pudding base, a few drops at a time, into beaten egg, whisking constantly. Continue adding a few drops of pudding base at a time to the egg mixture and whisking until the egg bowl feels warm to the touch. (This is called tempering, and it keeps the egg from scrambling—and ruining the pudding—by gently heating it.) Return saucepan to heat and add egg mixture to pudding base, whisking constantly. Boil for 2-3 more minutes, continuing to whisk constantly, until the pudding is thick and bubbly. Remove pan from heat and stir in the butter, salt, and vanilla extract, whisking until butter is melted and well incorporated. Immediately transfer pudding to serving dish. Press plastic wrap over the entire surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Allow pudding to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate at least 3 hours until well chilled. Garnish with cinnamon, whipped cream, or both, and serve. (Makes 4 servings.)


Mary June Thompson has been cooking and entertaining for nearly two decades. During this time, her cooking style has expanded and evolved from typical American fare to encompass many different types of cuisines, including Italian, French, Greek, Asian, Mediterranean/North African, and Latin American. Focusing on obtaining the best available ingredients and preparing fresh, healthy dishes with bold flavor defines her cooking style, regardless of cuisine. 

South College graduates sixth class

Sixty-five physician assistant students – the sixth class to graduate from South College – received their master’s degrees over the weekend at the Tennessee Theatre in Knoxville.

A traditional white coat ceremony also honored 72 students in the Physician Assistant Studies class of 2015 who have completed instructional coursework and will move into the clinical study phase of the program.

“As educators, this is the day that matters the most when we celebrate the success of these 137 physician assistant students – 65 graduates and 72 rising members of the next class,” Steve South, president of South College, said. “The South College administration, faculty and staff are very proud of the accomplishments of each student.”

The curriculum for the Physician Assistant Studies program is modeled on a medical school curriculum, with a combination of classroom learning and more than 2,000 hours of clinical rotations. This profession has gained traction as health care leaders seek ways to make high-quality medical care more affordable, accessible and efficient.

At the commencement ceremony, graduates receive their Master of Health Science degree, qualifying them to take the national licensure exam through The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).

South College is a private institution accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to offer programs at the doctorate, masters, baccalaureate, and associate levels.

2014-12 South College PA white coat ceremony

Matthew Sorsby, Whitney Terry Teresa Starke, Sarah Stasiewicz and Tim Vance are five of the 72 students who were honored in the South College School of Physician Assistant Studies program’s white coat ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014 at the Tennessee Theatre. The ceremony was part of the program’s sixth commencement exercise. Photo submitted.

Sustainable Cooking by Mary June Thompson

Sustainable Cooking with Mary June Thompson, Celebrate Knoxville. (November 21, 2014) A hot trend in the food world is known as “nose to tail” eating, which makes for less food waste and contributes to sustainable agriculture by utilizing the entire animal in some way. While this is not necessarily practical (or appetizing) for home cooks, there are ways to be inspired by this movement in your own kitchen.

Americans in particular are prone to throwing out perfectly usable food items, like the pumpkins we use to decorate for autumn, bread that’s a little past its prime, and the other half of the onion that we didn’t need for a particular recipe.

One of my favorite ways to utilize some of the miscellaneous leftover items in the refrigerator is to make a hash. Hash is incredibly versatile in what ingredients it can be composed of, and this earthy dish works equally well for breakfast or dinner.

My latest version was based on the odds and ends I had left centered on a distinctively autumn theme: Sausage and Sweet Potato Hash. As this is more of a working model than a set recipe, I will outline the general steps and offer alternate ingredient suggestions so the hash can be tailored to ingredients that are on hand, as well as to suit different tastes.

Prepping the Ingredients

I had one small sweet potato in the pantry, so this was the basis for my hash. Cut the potato into approximately ½-inch cubes. Peel if desired. (I left the peeling on for the extra nutritional value it offers.) In a large skillet with a lid, heat a tablespoon or so of water over medium heat until it is very hot and bubbling. Add the potato cubes and cover with lid. Cook until the water has evaporated and the potato is tender, tossing once or twice during cooking to prevent sticking. Photos by Mary June Thompson.

In the refrigerator, I had some leftover (raw) breakfast sausage, some shallot pieces, and part of an Anaheim pepper. I chopped the shallot and pepper and added these to the pan, along with a splash of olive oil (to prevent sticking) and the crumbled sausage. I also added a pinch of cumin, smoked paprika, and ancho chili powder to the pan–to complement the southwestern component of the spicy pepper– along with salt and pepper to taste. At this point, cook until the sausage is browned and the vegetables are tender and beginning to brown. I served mine with fried eggs and toast on the side, and a generous splash of Cholula hot sauce. It was absolutely delicious.

There other food items that might commonly be odds and ends in the refrigerator that would work well in this hash. Part of a leftover onion would work just as well as a shallot, and any pepper—from sweet bell to hot jalapeño—can be used to suit individual tastes from mild to spicy. Have half of both a sweet and a hot pepper? Use both! Throw in a handful of leftover baby spinach for a heartier (and healthier) hash. Don’t know what to do with that one random slice of bacon left in the package? Add it to the hash, or chop it up and substitute it for the sausage. Baking a ham for the holidays? Diced ham would also be a tasty component of a hash.

The point is to be creative and use what you already have. I had a wonderful, healthy breakfast composed of items that might have otherwise gone to waste or been discarded had I not found a secondary use for them. And that’s a meal that you can really feel good about!

Hash for Breakfast

Mary June Thompson has been cooking and entertaining for nearly two decades. During this time, her cooking style has expanded and evolved from typical American fare to encompass many different types of cuisines, including Italian, French, Greek, Asian, Mediterranean/North African, and Latin American. Focusing on obtaining the best available ingredients and preparing fresh, healthy dishes with bold flavor defines her cooking style, regardless of cuisine.

Summit and Humana create partnership

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – November 19, 2014 – Improved health and more coordinated services for the growing number of Humana Medicare Advantage members in East Tennessee is the goal behind a new exclusive Accountable Care agreement between Summit Medical Group and Humana Inc.

Accountable care is a fast-growing model for health care service delivery and health care provider payment. The model focuses on creating health in addition to treating sickness, utilizes the primary care physician to coordinate care for the patient, offers treatment options based on proven standards of care, and better controls costs through integrated care and reimbursement based on adherence to standards of care.

“As a Medicare enrollee’s needs become more complex, the number of needed services and service providers increases,” said Tim Young, Summit Medical Group Chief Executive Officer. “This is when Summit’s Care Coordination staff can intervene and act as the facilitator for the patient, family and the physician, ultimately increasing quality of life and containing costs associated with aging.”

The new seven-year agreement becomes effective January 1, 2015

For more information, visit and

Sustainable Cooking column to launch

KNOXVILLE – (November 14, 2014) is pleased to announce that the site will launch a brand new online food and cooking series, “Sustainable Cooking,” by Knoxville’s own foodie Mary June Thompson, beginning next week.

“Sustainability is a hot topic, and a current trend in the food world is using what many of us consider to be the “throwaway” parts of the foods we consume,” says Celebrate Knoxville’s Laura Long Martin. “Contributing Food Writer Mary June Thompson will share her ideas on how to use some typically discarded items, such as fruit and vegetable scraps, stale bread, and tea leaves, to create delicious dishes that anyone can make and enjoy at home–and produce less food waste as a result.”


Mary June Thompson (pictured) has been cooking and entertaining for nearly two decades. During this time, her cooking style has expanded and evolved from typical American fare to encompass many different types of cuisines, including Italian, French, Greek, Asian, Mediterranean/North African, and Latin American. Focusing on obtaining the best available ingredients and preparing fresh, healthy dishes with bold flavor defines her cooking style, regardless of cuisine.

Mary June counts Ina Garten (the Barefoot Contessa), Sean Brock, of Husk and McCrady’s restaurants in Charleston, SC, and having visited 48 states and 7 countries among her greatest cooking influences.

“I am really inspired by this new cooking theme and look forward to sharing my Sustainable Cooking recipes with readers,” Thompson said.

Thompson is already a familiar face to Celebrate Knoxville readers, as her previous cooking columns utilizing fresh produce from the Market Square Farmers Market and other fresh food venues received lots of positive feedback and continues to show up in popular searches for the site.

Summit Medical joins Blue network

East Tennessee’s leading primary care organization, Summit Medical Group, has announced they will participate in BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee’s Blue Network SSM (Network S), effective Jan. 1, 2015. The inclusion in Network S increases Summit’s ability to provide primary care services to a total of more than 109,000 lives.

“This is significant for us given we have not been a part of this network for the past 12 years,” Summit Chief Executive Officer Tim Young said. “We’re pleased to reach a contractual agreement for 2015 and know that this arrangement will be beneficial for our customers who will now have additional access to Summit providers through BlueCross.”

Enrollment in commercial insurance plans for effective date Jan. 1, 2015 begins in October for many businesses. Those choosing Network S will now find Summit’s more than 215 providers listed as participating partners.

In addition to Network S, Summit also participates in BlueCross’ Blue Network PSM (Network P). BlueCross offers two distinct Blue networks, each with its own group of doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers. Network P includes a wide variety of credentialed doctors, hospitals and healthcare providers. Network S includes a narrower selection of credentialed providers, with a focus on affordability.

Diabetes walk at UT Gardens

Knoxville, TN, October 7, 2014 — This year, more than 500 area residents will come together to be part of the Stop Diabetes® movement at the Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes on Sunday, November 2, 2014 at UT Gardens in Knoxville, Tennessee, the city’s one-day fundraising walk benefiting the American Diabetes Association.

Every dollar raised through Step Out plays an important role in supporting the Association’s mission: to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.

To register, volunteer or find out more information, please call 1-888-DIABETES. Information is available in English and Spanish.

Covenant Health receives high rating

Covenant Health’s cardiac program has received the highest quality designation from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons, an organization dedicated to ensuring the best possible outcomes for surgeries of the heart, lung and esophagus, according to information released by the medical centers. The society represents nearly 7,000 surgeons, researchers and allied health care professionals worldwide.

Based on data submitted from Covenant Health’s elite heart hospitals – Parkwest, Fort Sanders Regional and Methodist medical centers – Covenant’s cardiac program received a three-star quality ranking in the STS Adult Cardiac Surgery Database, regarded as the world’s premier clinical registry for adult cardiac surgery.

About 95 percent of U.S. programs that perform adult cardiac surgery participate in the database, but only about 10-15 percent of participants receive the three-star designation.

Three Rivers Market offers fresh options

by Mary June Thompson, Contributing Food Writer.   As much as I love going to the Farmers’ Markets for fresh food, that isn’t always an option since they are only held on certain days of the week. To fill in the gaps, one of the places I like to visit is a little gem that isn’t widely known outside of North Knoxville: Three Rivers Market. Located in a new building on North Central Street at the corner of Baxter Avenue, Three Rivers carries a nice selection of local in-season produce, eggs, dairy products, meat, baked goods, garden plants, and sometimes even bouquets of flowers. In addition to locally produced products, they also have all the basics, a vast assortment of bulk-bin food items, toiletries, dry goods, and even natural pet food. They also offer a hot bar and deli, which offers a quick bite for folks on the go.

The recipe I have created for this week features several locally produced items that I purchased at Three Rivers Market (but are also widely available in various brands at many places for those not in reasonable proximity to this particular store), including the chicken, buttermilk, cream, garlic, and zucchini. The items I used to create this dish include West Wind Farms chicken breasts, Cruze Farm buttermilk, fresh local zucchini, Organic Valley Heavy Whipping Cream, imported Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, imported extra-virgin olive oil from The Tree and Vine, and sweet Italian basil from my own garden. This particular dish is quite a bit richer than most of the dishes I prepare, but the superior quality of the ingredients—and short ingredient list that allows all the flavors to shine— make it a worthwhile indulgence. Additionally, it’s a great alternative for anyone who has eliminated pasta from their diet, as it is low-carb and gluten-free. I am confident that if you take the time to prepare this dish, it will become one of your favorites, as it is most definitely now one of mine!


Grilled Chicken and Zucchini “Pasta”


1 pound chicken breast tenders, or breasts cut into strips

¾ cup buttermilk

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

2 medium to large zucchini

2 garlic cloves, minced

¼ cup New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc (optional)

½ cup heavy cream

½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

6 large basil leaves, julienned (cut into thin ribbons)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper



Combine chicken and buttermilk in a zip-top plastic bag and marinate in the refrigerator for about an hour.

Light grill and allow to reach 450-500°F. In the meantime, remove both ends from zucchini and using a mandolin (preferably) or a very sharp knife, slice zucchini long ways into 1/8-inch thick ribbons. Slice each ribbon into 4-5 pieces, around a ¼-inch in diameter. (See photograph for example).

When grill is hot, remove chicken from buttermilk and pat dry using paper towels. Toss with 1 Tablespoon olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Grill 3-5 minutes per side, until grill marks appear and chicken is cooked through. Tent with aluminum foil and keep warm.

Add remaining 1 Tablespoon olive oil to a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini ribbons and toss with oil. Cook for approximately 10 minutes, or until zucchini is tender and just cooked through. Add garlic and toss; cook 2 minutes. Add wine, if using, and cook 2 more minutes or until liquid is mostly absorbed. Add heavy cream and bring to a boil; cook 2-3 minutes or until cream has thickened. Add cheese and basil, stirring until cheese has melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide evenly among 2 pasta bowls and top with grilled chicken. (Enjoy with a glass of the Sauvignon Blanc, if using, and notice how drinking the same wine that the dish is prepared with enhances the flavor of both.) Serves 2.

—Mary June Thompson,