Top Chefs 2024

Knoxville chefs raise the bar in culinary excellence Beginning with our first event in 2007, Top Chefs has been a way for Cityview to shine a light on some of the finest culinary talents in East Tennessee. I don’t think we had any idea

Chef Alex Gass | Fire & Salt

HIS STORY Chef Alex Gass grew up in Oak Ridge, inspired by his mother and aunt’s cooking for their church. He started at Big Ed’s Pizza and Aubrey’s. Gass (guitar), Associate Chef Billy Krebs (bass), and his son, Assistant Manager

Cheap Eats

8 restaurants all $20 and under Don’t want to cook at home, but also don’t want to break the bank dining out? We’ve got you covered. Even though eating in is usually considered the price-efficient option, eating out can be just as

Chef Darin Hoagland | Oliver Royale

HIS STORY Chef Darin Hoagland’s grandparents and mother ran a hunting restaurant in California. “The kitchen, with them, was my comfort spot,” he recalls. After culinary school at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, he

Chef Jared Martin | Fire + Smoke

HIS STORY Chef Jared Martin set foot in his first commercial kitchen at age 16, serving in an ice cream shop. Six months later he shifted to food. Martin spent time perfecting his craft in restaurants across the region, connecting with


Anaba offers welcoming authentic Japanese cuisine on Northshore Drive The moment you step inside the doors of Anaba, you’re greeted with a warm “Irasshai,” Japanese for welcome, from the team of chefs behind the sushi bar, led by

Date Night

Pick out a great outfit and brush up on your wine knowledge—we’re heading out for date night in East Tennessee For first dates, third dates, or sometimes only dates, East Tennessee has a variety of eateries that will help set the mood

Fire + Smoke

A high-end southern prime steakhouse fills a niche on Northshore Drive Tucson, Arizona, native Mandy Glenn was new to Knoxville when she tasted Fire + Smoke’s prime tenderloin tartare small plate, Japanese kuroge wagyu New York

Comfort Food

From cozy warm dishes to melt-in-your-mouth desserts, East Tennessee's food scene has become synonymous with comfort When was the last time you said the word comfort and not immediately said the word food right after it? As the cold and

Barbeque & You

From Knoxville classics to smalltown favorites, East Tennessee is chuck full of opportunities to eat the best BBQ around Barbeque is an American staple and a Knoxville favorite. While we’re not known specifically for a type of barbeque

New Eats

The year is far from over, but 2023 has brought fresh eateries for us all to indulge in To say I’m impressed with the 2023 additions would be an understatement. From a renovated church to a multi-level brew pub, East Tennessee

The Omakase Experience

Sit back and enjoy Koyo’s multi-course tasting menu At Koyo, on Clinch Avenue just off Market Square, Executive Chef Chris Bowman wants you to experience an evening of carefully curated courses and wines. “Omakase” refers to a

Lost in the View

Rooftop spaces in East Tennessee offer a unique environment to kick back, relax with a drink, and enjoy the view To see and be seen. A view from the top is a summertime fave in East Tennessee, but with only a handful of rooms with a

Top Chefs 2023

Every year, I think there is no way Top Chefs can get any better, but every year it does. That is due to the chefs who pull out all the stops to create innovative offerings that wow their guests. This year, three new restaurants joined the

Chef Darin Hoagland | Oliver Royale

Oliver Royale Executive Chef Darin Hoagland’s culinary lineage goes back to his Grandpa Joe Bettencourt, who gave up life as a Yellowstone-type cattleman to become owner and grill cook at Marty’s Inn, a hunter’s restaurant in Newman,

Chef Jason Scott | Lonesome Dove

Lonesome Dove Executive Chef Jason Scott once wrote in his personal notebook, “If you cook with passion in your heart, success will always follow.” No coincidence that he has “passion” tattooed in red on the inside of his right bicep and

Chef Alex Gass | Fire & Salt

Fire & Salt Chef and Proprietor Alex Gass grew up in Oak Ridge, helping his aunt, mother, and grandmother feed hundreds at the Kern United Methodist Church. He also cooked with his mother’s catering business and explored the art of

Old School

Knoxville’s old school restaurants are still here for a reason and we’re stepping in to taste their legacies If everything old is new again, then these Old School Knoxville restaurants are the trendy up-and-comers on the restaurant

[B]abylon Revisited

Point B is a little bit of Paris in Knoxville Owner Daniel Goss likes to tell both the long and the short versions of the founding story of Point B. The condensed version starts in the dark days of the pandemic lockdown in March 2020,

Mexican? Yes, I can!

From burritos and tamales to ceviche and everything in between, Knoxville’s Mexican cuisine is not to be missed. When an ethnic food becomes a staple of American cuisine, we all benefit from the world’s flavors and cultures. East

Famous Faces & Places

You know them, you love them, you can’t live without… their FOOD! Dolly, Guy, Trevor, Blake, Paula, Drew, and Peyton all have local eateries and hangouts that have been swarmed with customers all hoping to get a peak at the

The Brass Pearl

Oysters on the half shell and signature cocktails bring NOLA to Market Square The French poet Léon-Paul Fargue wrote, “Eating oysters is like kissing the sea on the lips.” Knoxville’s only raw bar, The Brass Pearl, opened on Market

New Eats

East Tennessee’s latest restaurants have us lining up for a spot at the table There are few things east Tennesseans love more than a new restaurant. And buddy, do we show up. Crowded foyers, loaded tables, and the fight to survive that

Tuscany Comes to Maryville

Bella offers authentic Italian cuisine—and the flaming Pasta in the Wheel! Bella occupies a building in downtown Maryville that was built in 1925 as a J.C. Penney, whose name is memorialized in a mosaic at the front door. For 20

Dinner And…

Local eateries boast both food and fun all in the same location. Date night anyone? Lots of places are just dinner. You eat, you go home. But if you want more than just a meal, East Tennessee has eateries offering all sorts of fun,

The Izakaya Way

Japanese-style pub Kaizen offers an informal, peaceful atmosphere When you walk into a restaurant and see one of Knoxville’s top chefs enjoying a birthday dinner with her family, you figure you’re in for a good meal. “I would come here

Dining Al Fresco

Get ready for an epic summer of food and fun on Knoxville’s outdoor patios The top three things you can do 10 months out of the year in East Tennessee are golf, ride motorcycles, and dine outside. Knoxville restaurant patios are open

Top Chefs 2022: Chef Matt Conti

Downtown Knoxville’s event center, The Press Room, provides a space for weddings, corporate events, and special occasions with in-house catering from Spaces in the City’s City Catering. In the culinary driver’s seat of this company is Chef

Top Chefs 2022: Jason Scott

Located in the heart of Knoxville’s Old City, Lonesome Dove provides upscale urban western cuisine to a historic part of the region. Inside the kitchen is Chef Jason Scott who works tirelessly to bring the menu—curated by chef and owner,

Top Chefs 2022: Chef Danny Wilhoit

Located inside the Avalon Country Club Clubhouse, T-Prime Steak and Seafood brings fine dining and exceptional views together under one roof. Chef Danny Wilhoit has reimagined the menu here, creating upscale American cuisine for

In Vino Veritas

Sipping on wine and munching on small plates in Knoxville’s wine bars A rapidly growing segment of the population has found wine bars a cozy and comfortable place to indulge in the fruits of the vine. From curious novice to established

Top Chefs 2022: Chef Jeff Carter

Located at the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro—part of the Oldham Hospitality family—brings the mountain air and southern flare into the lodge and onto the plates of locals and tourists. Chef Jeff

Top Chefs 2022: Chef Darin Hoagland

Cityview 2022 Top Chef 2nd Runner Up The Oliver Royale has been a staple part of Market Square dining offering guests American cuisine in an historic atmosphere. And crafting its menu is Chef Darin Hoagland, a California native who

Top Chefs 2022: Robert McDonald

Cityview 2022 Top Chefs 1st Runner Up Offering fine dining in Bearden, Burleson Brands’ Bistro by the Tracks offers a unique mix of French-inspired contemporary dishes and Southern fare. Heading up the kitchen and culinary artistry is

Top Chefs 2022: Chef Deron Little

Cityview 2022 Top Chefs Champion Seasons Innovative Bar & Grille opened in 2013. Featuring American cuisine in a sophisticated yet casual atmosphere, Seasons is the brainchild of Chef Deron Little, who has made a name of himself

Marble City Market

Food makes a triumphant return to the historic Regas Square Marble City Market is Knoxville’s first culinary marketplace. Emulating the European food hall concept, the market serves up everything from donuts and ramen to kimchi and

A Marbled Masterpiece

A winter’s feast by Chef Danny Wilhoit at the Avalon Country Club The Avalon Country Club has relaunched T-Prime Steak & Seafood, the formal dining room in the clubhouse, which is nestled in the Avalon subdivision off Hickory

First Meal

Whether sitting down or taking to go, you won’t be able to get enough of Knoxville’s breakfast scene You can debate if breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But what’s indisputable? Breakfast. Tastes. Good. From sweet to


“Life is a combination of magic and pasta.” – Frederico Fellini I am stating this at the outset: pasta is my favorite food. Nothing comes close. Growing up, spaghetti was the only meal that kept me and my brother quiet at the

Authentic Appalachia

Jeff Carter, the original Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro chef, has returned to his roots Before anything else, make a note to visit the Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro in Townsend and order Executive Chef Jeff Carter’s North Carolina

Sim Por Favor

At Brazeiros, fine dining meets a Brazilian tradition of generous offerings of carne If you get movie star treatment from owner Vilmar Zenzen at Brazeiros in Bearden, it’s because he’s had practice. After he launched a

Coffee Shops

Locally grown shops prove java and ambiance go hand in hand Coffee is in an era called the Third Wave. Mass-produced and nationwide coffee chains were so Second Wave. Production origins and methods that are fair and sustainable pervade

Old City Eats

Historic downtown character enhances a flavorful Knoxville experience Knoxville’s historic Old City has become a walkable foodie tour, where cultures and cuisines collide to bring a variety of tastes sure to please all palates. I’ve

Céad Míle Fáilte

Finn’s Restaurant & Tavern makes diners feel at home—even with the ghost With his light green eyes, close-cropped red hair and tall, trim frame, owner Jon Ferrie of Finn’s Restaurant & Tavern could fit easily into a Colin

Top Chefs 2021

A Celebration of Culinary Artistry The smell of fresh-baked muffins wafts out of the oven as I pull out a fresh batch. “Are they done, mama?” my four-year-old, Lincoln, asks as he patiently waits to taste his creation. Chocolate

Deron Little

Seasons Innovative Bar & Grille Chef Deron Little opened Seasons Innovative Bar and Grille in 2013 amidst a long career in the culinary arts. He combines seasonally inspired and classically prepared American cuisine. A

Annie Fletcher

Cazzy’s Corner Grill Cazzy’s Corner Grill has been part of the Knoxville community since 2012, serving up classic American cuisine set in a contemporary restaurant design. Inside Cazzy’s kitchen is Chef Annie Fletcher. Fletcher

Alex Gass

The Walnut Kitchen Down on High Street in Maryville, you will find The Walnut Kitchen, a farm-to-table restaurant serving up locally grown produce and Tennessee beef. There inside, building the menu with a musical flair, is Chef Alex

Jared Martin

Kefi Over on Jackson Avenue in downtown Knoxville, we find Kefi, Jim and Lori Klonaris's Mediterranean restaurant rooted in classic and creative Greek dishes. And inside Kefi’s kitchen you will find Athens, Tennessee, native Chef Jared

Jonathan Gatlin

Vida Vida is Jim and Lori Klonaris’s newest fine dining venture in Knoxville, offering Pan-Latin dishes with accents of Asian cuisine. The man behind this new space’s menu is Chef Jonathan Gatlin. A New Orleans, Louisiana,

Damon Smith

Dancing Bear Appalacian Bistro A drive to Townsend will bring you to Dancing Bear Appalachian Lodge, where the Bistro, set amongst the Smokies, serves up regionally inspired dishes in a rustic setting. Working behind the scenes here is

Robert McDonald

Bistro by the Tracks Bistro by the Tracks is a French-concept bistro combining contemporary and Southern fare. The restaurant is part of the Burelson Brands lineup of restaurants, and has Chef Robert McDonald III leading the culinary

Jeff Carter

Sunspot Nestled on Cumberland Avenue by the University of Tennessee is Sunspot. Part of the Burelson Brands team of restaurants, Sunspot offers up a combination of Southwestern, Caribbean, and Latin American cuisines. Behind the menu is

Burger Battle

Testing out some local takes on an American classic Burgers are my second favorite food ever. (Watch this space for a future food battle to find out my favorite). Few things are more American than the classic hamburger. Add cheese,

Good Vibes & Libations

Maryville’s Diamondjack Wine Bar evokes the spirit of speakeasies past    Tucked into a two-bedroom Craftsman house on the edge of downtown Maryville, Diamondjack Wine Bar combines the intimacy of its interior design, the bonhomie of

Delicious New Eats

Recent restaurant openings offer everything from whiskey to fried Oreos One wouldn’t think the past year was the ideal time to open a new restaurant, but that didn’t keep these six new enterprises from opening around town. With varied


Vida brings chic flavors and presentation downtown Stepping into Vida, Knoxville’s new Pan-Latin restaurant on Gay Street, it’s hard not be impressed. Owners Jim and Lori Klonaris, who have been working the restaurant lane for the last

Livin’ Lean

Looking for lighter fare at local restaurants? Look no further It’s January, and if 2020 had the impact on your waistline that it did on lots of others’, you may be ready to climb on the resolutions bandwagon with the rest of us. But

Taking stock

Seasons Innovative Bar & Grille chef pays attention to the details A formative moment in Deron Little’s development as a chef came on Page One of the 923-page Escoffier Cookbook. Under the heading “Basic Principles of Cookery,” M.

Traveling by Food Truck

Sample the world’s flavorsat Knox-area mobile eateries We’ve all been there: You want Mexican; he wants Asian. You want Hibachi; she wants crepes. With Knoxville’s fleet of food trucks offering international flavors, you can have the

Steaks & Style

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar offers a premium dining experience The Prime Tomahawk specialty cut makes a bold statement when it appears at your table. Where other steakhouses may offer prime rib cuts with the bone in, this

Fresh-baked goodness

Local bakeries tempt us with an array of breads and desserts You’ll know you’ve arrived at one of these diet-busting establishments before you ever enter the premises. The fragrances of sugar and cinnamon, of butter and yeast will greet

Neighborhood Spirit

Cazzy’s Corner Grill brings a lively take on classic American cuisine to Northshore Town Center Before the pandemic shutdown, Cazzy’s didn’t do much take-out. Rather, it made its name on relaxed business lunches, as an after-work

Comfort Classics

When the Porsche is next to the painter's van and the Mercedes pulls up beside the motorcycle in the parking lot, you know you've picked a great place to eat. It's common to see suits sitting near coveralls at Knoxville's favorite small

Memoirs of a food critic

“It’s a bad-ass feeling of peace in knowing the authenticity of that concept,” said Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro Executive Chef Shelley Cooper, talking about her commitment to true farm-to-table Appalachian cuisine with inventive

Knox Mason

Knox Mason in the downtown Embassy Suites maintains its culinary roots. Downtown Knoxville’s latest addition to the hotel scene gets your attention when the glass doors of the new Embassy Suites lobby on Gay Street whisk open to reveal

Dining Guide – Italian

So, you’ve decided you’re in the mood for Italian. Not just run-of-the-mill Italian but, Italian fare featuring authentic entrees loaded with fresh herbs, cheeses, spices, meats, vegetables, and of course, the aroma. Fortunately, Knoxville

East Meets Knox

The South has a glorious culinary tradition. Growing up, there were never too many days that went by without cornbread, black-eyed peas, or something else distinctly regional. While it’s hard to beat mom’s home cooking, Knoxville is lucky

Abre Tus Oídos

Soccer Taco Northshore Town Center wants patrons to “open their ears” to new dishes. You know you’ve walked into a restaurant that’s serious about soccer when you see Megan Buzzeo, charismatic former goalkeeper for Farragut High and UT

Delectable Donuts

As the holiday season closes in, many of us find our sweet tooth kicking into overdrive. With so many options, it’s always comforting to fall back on a great American staple, the donut. Simple in its conception, the challenge lies in its

Land, Sea, and Vine

Seasonal, local cuisine in Bearden’s Homberg area It can be a challenge keeping up with the many restaurants in the Homberg area, but the corner of Kingston Pike and Mohican is now the home of Harvest, right across from its cousin Nama

Farm-to-Table Treat

Walnut Kitchen combines a neighborhood feeling with farm fresh cuisine In its 100-year history, the two-story red brick building on High Street in Maryville has been a hotel, bawdy house, laundromat, and market. Thanks to

Eat. Drink. Play.

The bowling alleys and arcades of yesteryear have nothing on our picks for this issue. We found four establishments where Knoxvillians can let their hair down for some good old-fashioned fun and games with stellar grub to match, like the

Where Down Home Meets Chic

Rebel Kitchen brings an Appalachian approach to French cuisine on West Jackson Avenue For starters, the name Rebel Kitchen is a misnomer. Chef Preston Williams is all about farm-to-table Appalachian cuisine, but his food and atmosphere

Smoothie Bowls

The trend of turning a drinkable smoothie into an edible bowl has quickly grown in popularity. New to the idea? The difference is that these smoothies tend to be of a thicker consistency (a.k.a. more filling) and may include chia seeds,

Top Chefs 2019

It's About Thyme It was a magical evening. Seven great chefs, eight wonderful wines, a delightful three-piece jazz ensemble, and close to 300 happy guests sampling it all. Representatives of The Chairman’s Club, in their brightly colored…

Top Chefs 2019 – Anthony Ploof

Anthony Ploof – The Drawing Room at The Tennessean With 15 years of culinary excellence, Anthony Ploof is already setting the bar high in Knoxville.  His former position as chef de cuisine at a luxury resort and spa in Vermont prepared him…

Top Chefs 2019 – Warren Weiss

Warren Weiss – Knox Mason Warren Weiss, chef de cuisine for Knox Mason, grew up in Indiana. He’s been in the Southeast for about 14 years now and says he’s loved every minute of it. He made a stop for several years in Alabama learning…

Top Chefs 2019 – Jason Hayes

Jason Hayes – Kitchen 919 Chef Hayes’ formal education came from Sullivan University Culinary School.  Cooking, he says, has some commonalities to his favorite pastime of skateboarding. They’re both abstract art forms without a lot of…

Food Trucks

What was once a construction rental lot, is now a food truck community. Owners Alden and Scott Larrick moved to the area from Austin, Texas in 2016 and noticed that something was missing. In their hometown, food truck parks were common and


Chef Seisuke "Sei" Fukuoka brings his superb and authentic Japanese cuisine to Gay Street Emerging from his behind-the-bar kitchen area with a playful grin, Chef Seisuke Fukuoka, who goes by Sei, presents a chef’s special, Okonomiyaki

Top Chefs 2019 – Andrew Milne

Andrew Milne – Seasons Innovative Bar & Grille Andrew Milne, Executive Chef at Seasons Innovative Bar & Grille in Turkey Creek, says there are two things he tells people about his cooking. First, his heart and soul go onto every…

Top Chefs 2019 – Danny Wilhoit

Danny Wilhoit – Bistro by the Tracks Danny Wilhoit grew up with his hands in the dirt. A native of Campbell County, the family’s 47-acre farm had multiple gardens. They grew everything imaginable and canned and preserved what couldn’t be…

Top Chefs 2019 – Mark Davis

Mark Davis – Connor's Steak & Seafood Davis started working in the restaurant business when he was in college. He enjoyed his experience in the front of the house and says that enjoyment took him to the back of the house where the…

Top Chefs 2019 – Jeff Carter

Jeff Carter – Sunspot “I got my inspiration from my dad,” says Jeff Carter. “He loved to cook and thankfully took time to teach me. . He got off work earlier than my mom and we spent the afternoons cooking together. We lived in Mobile…