Bacon at the Bear: Thank you for helping us “Bring Home the Bacon”

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New Hope’s Bacon at the Bear was a grand success!

This amazing first time event was headed up by the dynamic co-chair duo of
Sherri Gardner-Howell and Shane Hair.  They along with a team of wonderful
committee members and fantastic community partnerships with
Benton’s & Dancing Bear Lodge, Bacon at the Bear was born.  

The bourbon tasting was a great kick-off to fun evening of delicious food,
mingling with old friends, and enjoying the beautiful Dancing Bear Lodge.

Our many thanks to all of those who attended, sponsored the event,
prepared palate pleasing creations, and worked on the committee.
We are so fortunate to call you friends of New Hope.
Thank you for helping us make a difference in the lives of Blount County children! 


The New Hope Staff

Here are a few pictures from Bacon at the Bear that we thought you would enjoy.
Pictures provided by Brenda Sellers & Ed Young

           pic5                                                                        Shane Hair & Alan Benton

Diane Darby, Sherri Gardener-Howell, & Dr. Michelle L. Brewer

pic12Dave Lazar, Wes & Charity Thompson, & Beth Lazar

pic11Tabitha Damron & Amanda Painter

pic9  Amber & Chad Hampton

pic4    Inside the Dancing Bear Lodge during the bourbon tasting 

Bacon at the Bear 2016 Main Event Sponsors
Our many thanks for making this evening possible!



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Bacon at the Bear 2016 Sponsors 
Alcoa Inc.
Blount Gastroenterology
Brenda Sellers
Brookfield Renewable
Denso Manufacturing
John & Linda Hagemen
Mark & Maxine Williams
Newell Rubbermaid
Pinnacle Financial Services
Rick & Cindy Shepard


Meet the Chefs for this amazing event…………
Shelley Cooper Dancing Bear chefChef Shelley Cooper
Dancing Bear Lodge & Appalachian Bistro

Shelley Cooper was born in Memphis, Tennessee, into a family that
revolved around a bountiful table always filled with farm fresh Southern cuisine.

 Learn more about Shelley by clicking hereShelley’s Bio


Chef Jeff Carter
Chef Jeff Carter
Bistro by the Tracks
Knoxville, TN

Originally from Mobile, Ala., Carter first learned about his love for sourcing local
ingredients when he would frequent the many farmers’ markets in that area.
He was formally trained at Gulf Coast Culinary Institute at Faulkner State in Alabama,
and landed his first executive chef position at
Steelwood Country Club in Loxley, Ala.

Carter relocated to Tennessee to work as sous chef for Blackberry Farm in Walland,
sister property of Dancing Bear Lodge until 2013. He spent nearly four years
there, soaking up the nuances of this region.

 Learn more about Jeff by clicking here: Jeff’s Bio


Chef Ryan Kline
Chef Ryan Kine
Zambra Wine & Tapas Bar
Asheville, NC

Currently the executive sous chef at Zambra wine and tapas bar in Asheville,
Ryan began working in professional kitchens at the age of 14, and earned a degree in
criminal justice from the University of Pittsburgh, then immediately decided to
pursue a culinary degree.  After graduating with High Honors from
Indiana University of Culinary Arts in 2009, he accepted an
internship with the prestigious Biltmore Estate.  

 Learn more about Ryan by clicking hereRyan’s Bio


Chef Travis Milton
Chef Travis Milton
Shovel and Pick
Bistrol, TN

Hailing from rural Southwestern Virginia, Travis Milton learned first-hand
at a very young age what tradition and heritage meant in a
Southern Kitchen. With the culture of Appalachian food and a blue collar work ethic,
Travis set out to cook once he moved to Richmond in his early teens.

Learn more about Travis by clicking here: Travis’ Bio


Chef Renee MerrittChef Renee Merritt
Capital City Club
Montgomery, AL

Renee Merritt started her career as an artist, working as a graphic designer for
ten years, leading her to receive her BFA in Fine Arts and Sculpture where she graduated
Magna Cum Laude, Ole Miss, 1999.  In taking a mindful break before graduate school,
Renee began working as a sauté cook at a small local restaurant. She discovered food as
another medium of art and made the decision to attend Culinard,
The Culinary Institute of Virginia College, Birmingham, Alabama
to further
develop her passion for food and cooking where she graduated
with honors
as part of the 2002 inaugural class.

 Learn more about Renee by clicking here:Renee’s Bio


Justin StamperJustin Stamper, Food and Beverage Director
Chattanooga, TN

Justin is the hands-on, highly present general manager of Terra Mae and
Matilda Midnight. Occasionally, he can be found behind the bar, harkening back to his days
as a master mixologist. Justin possesses an intimate understanding of Chattanooga’s
evolving food culture, and his work has made Terra Mae and Matilda Midnight
an important part of the city’s vibrant scene.

Learn more about Justin by clicking here: Justin’s Bio