Chef John Bryant | Bistro by the Tracks



Chef John Bryant trained at Johnson and Wales University in Charleston, South Carolina. He ran a catering business in Johnson City for eight years then joined Bistro By the Tracks Catering two years ago. Last year, Bryant took the helm of the new Bistro by the Tracks, bringing his culinary prowess to Bearden.

Behind the bar, Will Oakes, corporate beverage manager for Burleson Brands, poured sparkling juniper wine over grapefruit-aperitif granita in champagne glasses for The Phoenix, a welcoming cocktail named for the upstairs room that burned and, like the mythical bird, rose from the ashes. Oakes originally developed the recipe at Café Boulud in New York City.

Former quarterback/congressman Heath Shuler enjoyed the festive atmosphere. His son Navy got some downs at QB in the fall. “It was so exciting,” said Heath. “At one point I could see him and our daughter, who’s a freshman on the dance team, at the same time.” He noted that his niece Zoie has signed with the Lady Vols softball team, the eighth member of the family to be a UT athlete.

Top Chefs | Bistro Bearden Appetizer

The appetizer was an Appalachian Tabbouleh Bowl with Anson Mills farro verde grain, fermented honey-roasted local root veggies, Brussels sprouts leaves, Harissa pepper paste, lime, and benne seed flatbread—paired with Eroica 2022 Reisling to give a hint of sweetness offsetting the spicy aspects of the Tabbouleh bowl.

Top Chefs | Bistro Bearden Entree

The entree was aged Duck Breast served with local parsnip puree, Brussels sprouts, hakurei turnips, pickled mustard seed, and preserved South Carolina persimmon jam. “We aged the duck with koji, a soybean-based marinade, for seven days,” said Chef John Bryant. “That intensifies and concentrates the flavor. It brings out everything duck that makes it a duck.” It was paired with a Brothers Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 from the Rodney Strong Vineyards in Sonoma County.

Top Chefs | Bistro Bearden Dessert

The dessert was a Smokey Pecan Chocolate “Bar” atop a thin “soil” of cocoa powder with layers of spiced pecan, breakfast cocoa, and Nutella ice cream. It was paired nicely with a 10-year-old wood-aged Taylor Fladgate Tawny Port.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.