Executive Chef At The Barn
Gardening, canning, and cooking were an ever-constant happening for Cassidee Dabney growing up. As the daughter of a wildlife biologist in the Forest Service, Dabney moved from National Forest to National Forest. Spending her summers in the family garden, Cassidee anchored her palate with the fresh flavors of seasonal ingredients harvested at their most expressive moments. Her passion for food led Dabney to a career in the culinary field. A graduate of the New England Culinary Institute, Dabney’s diverse background includes stops in Germany, Boston, Atlanta, Hawaii, Arkansas and Wyoming, most of which was spent working for the Four Seasons. Dabney came to Blackberry Farm in 2010 as a Sous Chef before working her way up to Executive Sous Chef. In 2015, Dabney was named the Executive Chef of the Barn. Dabney’s team prepares beautifully served multicourse menus of the farm’s signature Foothills Cuisine®, inspired by seasonal, farm-fresh products and produce grown in a garden a short walk away from the Barn. The Barn has been recognized as one of the top restaurants in the South and hosts the 2014 James Beard award for Outstanding Wine Program.
Executive Chef At The Dogwood
From line cook to pastry chef to sous chef, Sarah Steffan has held just about every title in the kitchen along the way to becoming the Chef de Cuisine of the Main House at Blackberry Farm. With more than 10 years of experience, Steffan opened the Main House at Blackberry Farm for dinner in April 2015. Steffan grew up on a farm milking goats, planting gardens, and cooking. She learned how to cook using fresh, local, and sustainable ingredients. Steffan’s philosophy of cooking marries perfectly with Blackberry Farm’s Foothills Cuisine®. Prior to Blackberry Farm, Steffan spent many years working in other Relais & Chateaux kitchens including The Point and Fearrington House. A graduate of Paul Smith’s College in New York, Steffan also studied abroad at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.
It all comes down to the details. The perfect placement for the final piece of fennel on an afternoon masterpiece or the flawless purity of a simple Bartlett Pear, Blackberry Farm Corporate Chef Josh Feathers understands the importance of details in world-class cuisine. An East Tennessee native who grew up with an appreciation for the region and its land, Chef Feathers understands and appreciates the flavors that the South has to offer, while adding touches of elegance he learned through his world-wide travels. Finding his culinary inspiration and initial training in Naples, Italy, Chef Feathers discovered his passion for culinary arts while stationed overseas with the United States Navy. As sous chef for the Commander in Chief of Southern Forces in Europe, Chef Feathers prepared formal dinners and ceremonies for numerous dignitaries. He found inspiration in the culture and cuisine of Italy and its passion for food.
From Naples to the Pentagon, Chef Feathers moved back to the United States to begin his next assignment with the Secretary of the Navy. Heads of State, Senators, Foreign Ambassadors and the Navy’s distinguished guests have all experienced the gastronomic talents of Chef Feathers. Chef Feathers joined the Blackberry Farm culinary team twelve years ago, serving as Pastry Chef, Sous Chef and Executive Sous Chef, rising to Corporate Chef in 2007. As Corporate Chef, Josh oversees the operations of both the Larder, to include the operations of the preservation kitchen, cheese room and butcher shop, as well as the Main House Dining Rooms, creating the breakfast and lunch portion of the guest experience.
Sommelier and Food & Beverage Director
Andy has always had an interest in how things taste. After working his way through local restaurants, Andy headed straight for the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) to round out his education in the culinary arts and restaurant management. After a stint at Little Nell, Andy found his true interest in the front of house. He graduated from the CIA in 2002, moved to Walland, Tenn., and began his career with Blackberry Farm in 2002. He soon became involved in the young wine program. In less than 6 years, Blackberry's wine cellar grew from 17,000 bottles to 166,000. With Andy Chabot's talent on the floor, the wine program has become synonymous with the success of Blackberry Farm. In 2007 Andy took on the role of Director of Dining and Beverages running all aspect of the service and beverage departments at Blackberry Farm. In 2014 The Barn at Blackberry Farm, under the direction of Andy, received the James Beard Award for Outstanding Wine Program. Andy’s media features include Imbibe Magazine, Wine Spectator Magazine, Food and Wine Magazine, The TODAY Show and more.
Andy has proceeded past the advanced level of the Court of Master Sommeliers Exam and was the recipient of the Michael Bonaccorsi Scholarship. Today, Andy is responsible for all aspects of managing Blackberry Farm's Grand Award winning wine program as well as all aspects of the Food and Beverage programs.