Fun with Figs


Chef Sherri Parker Lee gives a taste of her fig-filled cookbook for Knoxville’s Interior Design Society

“We both have colorful personalities,” says Steve Stilts (right) of Sherri Parker Lee (left). | Photography by Mark Patterson

It’s not every day an appliance store hosts a VIP dinner, let alone a dinner all about figs. Yet figs were what you’d find at Patterson’s Appliance’s Luxury Design Center downtown recently, cooked up by local chef and author of the “Under the Fig Leaf” cookbook Sherri Parker Lee.

“It was an honor to meet Sherri Parker Lee and to find out her history,” says event organizer Steve Stilts. Stilts put together the event to bring together Patterson’s with Knoxville’s Interior Design Society, and help the two organizations make important connections within the community.

Stilts remembers how excited Lee was to lend her skills to the event; she’d missed getting to share her cooking and stories these past few years, he says. “Sherri Lee’s appetizer offerings were spectacular,” says Interior Design Society president Judy Gooch, though she admits she did have a favorite: the fig cake.

While she certainly brought good eats to the table, for Knoxville locals, Lee may be more than just a chef; she’s the namesake of the University of Tennessee’s softball stadium, and her stories span more than just the pages of her cookbook.

All in all, figs made for a surprising Tuesday evening, but all the surprises, it seems, were welcome.

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