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 blueberry muffins. I have to admit, they smell divine. As I am shutting the oven, our publisher Nathan Sparks calls: “I’ve got an idea.”

This can only mean one thing: we’ve got a new project. And quite frankly, I’m always delighted to flesh out new concepts together. “We can’t meet in person for Top Chefs,” he tells me, “but what if we could still support our culinary friends this year?” My son’s eyes widen at the sight of his muffin cooling down. My toddler, Rylie, glances from him to the muffin and back again before reaching out yelling, “Eat!” I’m reminded of just how powerful an experience food can be, even at a young age. And as Nathan paints an image for me of his Top Chefs idea, I can almost taste the culinary masterpieces to come.

In a matter of days, we invite chefs across the community to send us their submissions for innovative entrees and decadent desserts. We then spend time in their restaurant kitchens, watching their artistry unfold as they craft culinary works from scratch.

The eight chefs and restaurants you see in this section gave it their all to showcase the best that Knoxville has to offer. In just six weeks, more than 1,000 Top Chefs specials were served, as you, our readers, dined and cast your ballots for your favorites. Our panel of celebrity judges also joined in on the fun, helping us spread the word by sharing their experiences through their platforms and casting their ballots alongside you. In addition, they were asked to rate their experiences in each restaurant.

Top Chefs has long been an opportunity to gather around the table, indulge in exceptional food, and celebrate our community. This year, while distinct in format, has been no different. I dare say, it has been more impactful. Thank you for joining us in support of this important local industry, as Cityview presents Top Chefs 2021: Restaurant Edition. If you enjoyed this year, you’ll be super excited to hear what we have planned next.

Entree Winners:

  1. Seasons
  2. Walnut Kitchen
  3. Kefi

Dessert Winners:

  1. Cazzy’s
  2. Seasons
  3. Vida

Experience Winners:

  1. Seasons
  2. Dancing Bear
  3. Bistro by the Tracks

2021 Chefs

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
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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.
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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.
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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