Top Chefs 2022: Kings of the Kitchen

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Knoxville chefs raise the bar in culinary excellence

There is no question that all of us here at Cityview are thrilled with the outcome of this year’s Top Chefs competition. The times we live in called for some major changes in order for the event to not only go on, but also grow and so we ended up with a Top Chefs event celebrated across the city.  

Seven one-night-only events in each of the participating chefs’ facilities brought unforgetabble experiences to all in attendence as the chefs competed for several awards. Guests enjoyed exceptional food and wine, knowing proceeds from each event would support the great work at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.

The breakdown of the competition was a little different than in the past. Chefs were judged by the night’s attendees in four categories: Appetizer, Entree, Dessert, and Overall Experience. We then tabulated all of those votes, took the scores from each, and combined them to determine an Overall Winner. 

It was an absolute delight having the chefs perform in their own dining rooms. The quality and artistic plating were simply amazing. Equally as amazing was the spirit of the diners and the generosity they showed in matching pledges when our gracious emcee Marc Anthony called on them. Marc and Kim of Star 102.1 have hosted the radiothon for Children’s Hospital for the past 20 years, and Marc was thrilled to be part of an event to keep that support going. We’re grateful for his partnership.

When all the dust settled—and as a team we recovered from three-and-a-half weeks of dinners and tallying ballots and scores—we came out with three chefs who took those top spots. 

Oliver Royale Chef Darin Hoagland prepared a tuna sashimi appetizer that was a rousing success for guests that night. Chef Deron Little of Seasons Innovative Bar & Grille blew guests away with his veal loin en croute entree. And this year’s take on his Frangelico crème caramel dessert—a long-tiome favorite for restaurant goers—brought him a win in that category as well. And Bistro by the Tracks Chef Robert McDonald’s overall skill and showmanship landed him a win in the overall experience category.

 In the end, we did in fact have a Top Chefs Overall Winner. Congratulations to Deron for taking home this title. Deron has been a part of Top Chefs from the very beginning, each year bringing outstandingly intricate dishes to the table for guests. He has won mulitiple times in the dessert category, twice now in entree, and now, for the first time ever, as the overall winner for Top Chefs in Knoxville. 

While this year’s event started as a response to the world we live in, we now know that Top Chefs across the city is here to stay. And we hope you will join us next year in the chefs’ restaurants as they compete once again for the title of Top Chef.  

The 2022 Winners

APPETIZER
1ST PLACE – Darin Hoagland, Oliver Royale
2ND PLACE – Robert McDonald, Bistro by the Tracks
3RD PLACE – Deron Little, Seasons

ENTREE
1ST PLACE – Deron Little, Seasons
2ND PLACE – Robert McDonald, Bistro by the Tracks
3RD PLACE – Jeff Carter, Dancing Bear

DESSERT
1ST PLACE – Deron Little, Seasons
2ND PLACE – Darin Hoagland, Oliver Royale
3RD PLACE – Jeff Carter, Dancing Bear

EXPERIENCE
1ST PLACE – Robert McDonald, Bistro by the Tracks
2ND PLACE – Deron Little, Seasons
3RD PLACE – Darin Hoagland, Oliver Royale

2022 Top Chefs

Chef Deron Little | Seasons Innovative Bar & Grille

Cityview 2022 Top Chefs Champion Seasons Innovative Bar & Grille opened in 2013. Featuring American cuisine in a sophisticated yet casual atmosphere, Seasons is the
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Chef Robert McDonald | Bistro by the Tracks

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
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Chef Darin Hoagland | Oliver Royale

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
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Chef Jeff Carter | Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro

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
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Chef Jason Scott | Lonesome Dove

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
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Chef Danny Wilhoit | T-Prime Steak & Seafood

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
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Chef Matt Conti | The Press Room

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
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