Chef Garrett Scanlan explores Tennessee’s thriving and inventive food culture.
Food-lovers’ travelogue, “A Fork in the Road with Chef Garrett,” features the charismatic Irishman exploring East Tennessee’s culinary landscape. A production of East Tennessee PBS based in Knoxville, the program made its broadcast debut in April 2013.
The show’s first six episodes, made with support from Visit Knoxville, document Tennessee’s thriving and inventive food culture as Chef Garrett Scanlan chats with restaurant chefs while they prepare their signature dishes. Each episode concludes with Garrett returning to his home kitchen to whip up a dish that his travels have inspired.
Scanlan has more than 30 years of experience cooking in some of the world’s finest kitchens. Born in Dublin into a family of restaurateurs, Scanlan began working in his father’s restaurant while still in grade school. This early taste of the chef’s life led to a formal apprenticeship in the culinary arts in Ireland, England, Spain, Switzerland and France. He has lived in the United States since 1978.
Highlights from “A Fork in the Road” include downtown Knoxville’s historic Bistro at the Bijou, South Knoxville’s legendary Ye Olde Steakhouse, new farm-to-table eateries The Plaid Apron and Knox Mason, Farragut fixture The Irish Times, Sevierville’s catch-your-own English Mountain Trout Farm and Townsend’s gourmet Dancing Bear Lodge. An episode featuring Bristol, Tennessee, and Virginia is in production. The show airs at 8:30 p.m. on Thursdays on East Tennessee PBS and at 6 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays on the Tennessee Channel.
- 1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans (chick peas)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 Serrano pepper, minced
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
- 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup good olive oil
- Salt, pepper
In food processor, chop the garlic. Add beans and Serrano pepper. Continue blending to a pulp, adding lemon juice as you go. Drizzle oil in a little at a time, allowing the bean paste to absorb the oil. Season with salt, pepper and the fresh herbs. Serve with pita chips, carrot and celery sticks.
Savory Corn Cakes
- 4 ears fresh yellow corn, kernels removed (or 8 oz frozen corn kernels)
- 1 large egg
- 3 tbsp self-rising flour
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Pinch each of black pepper, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder.
Place half the corn kernels in a food processor and blend to a pulp. Add flour, egg, milk, baking powder and seasonings. Pulse until a thick batter forms. Fold in the remaining whole kernels. Allow batter to sit at least one hour. Stir to reincorporate all ingredients before cooking. If batter is too thin, add a touch more flour to reach a pourable but not runny consistency. Use a soup spoon to portion batter into tiny, appetizer size pancakes on a lightly oiled skillet heated to medium-high. Cook 2-3 minutes on first side; flip and cook another minute. Cool cakes 2-3 minutes before topping with sour cream and pico de gallo. Optional: top with grilled shrimp.
Pico de Gallo
Finely dice 1/3 cup each red onion, green and red bell pepper, ripe tomato. Stir in one small, diced Serrano pepper, 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, juice of 1 lime. Add salt and pepper to taste.