Stay tuned: Presenters for the 2018 Great Smoky Mountain Food Days will be posted soon.

We welcomed these wonderful presenters at the 2017 event:

Keynote Speaker

Photo of Sheri Castle holding a basket of fruits and veggiesSheri Castle, Award winning professional food writer, cook, and raconteur
Sheri Castle hails from Watauga County, but came down off the mountain to go to Carolina and now lives in Fearrington Village. She is a writer, recipe developer, cooking teacher, and popular public speaker. She is fueled by mountains, excellent bourbon, farmers’ markets, and searching for the right word. Sheri believes that stories happen only to those who can tell them.


Photo of Sue Conley

Sue Conley, Co-Founder of Cowgirl Creamery
Petaluma, CA
Sue met Ellen Straus, matriarch of the Straus Family Creamery, her husband Bill, and their kids Albert and Vivien. Inspired by the Strauses, Sue found herself a place in West Marin’s growing dairy and organic farm community. Having shared interests and kitchens throughout the years, Sue’s dear friend Peggy decided to join in these efforts. They’ve been making friends and cheese ever since.

Photo of Peggy SmithPeggy Smith, Co-Founder of Cowgirl Creamery
Petaluma, CA
Over the years, Peggy learned the philosophies the family used in selecting and caring for artisanal cheeses. Then the folks from Neal’s Yard Dairy in London brought fine English farmhouse cheeses for the chefs to taste, and Peggy was hooked. When Sue asked her to consider starting a cheese company in Point Reyes, she agreed.

Chris Osborne, Cheese maker at Blackberry Farm
Walland, TN
Purchased by the Beal family in 1975, Blackberry highlights local meat, produce and shares southern hospitality and a true sense of place with guests from around the world. Working as a chef in a restaurant kitchen that used natural and organic foods, Chris became passionate about quality and taste, gaining a new appreciation for farmers and small producers along the way. This eventually led him to Blackberry Farm in 2015, where he assumed responsibility for cheese production on the farm.

Helen Feete, Co-founder Meadow Creek Farm
Galax, Virginia
Meadow Creek Dairy is perched in the misty, cool reaches of the Appalachian Mountains at an elevation of 2,800 feet, where the water is pure, the air is clean, and the soils are rich and untainted. Using raw milk from their herd of Jersey cows, the Feete Family makes cheese only when the cows are eating the fresh grasses of open pasture. As the business has grown, the Feetes have realized a need for additional space. In 2014, they acquired a second farm, Chestnut Creek, that is just down the road from their original farm and will allow them plenty of room to grow.

Nathan Arnold
Cheesemaker and co-founder , Sequatchie Cove Creamery
Sequatchie Cove, Tennessee
Nestled in the Tennessee wilderness, the 300-acre Sequatchie Cove Farm is home to more than 50 Jersey and Jersey-Holstein cows who spend their days on lush pasture that is carefully managed to ensure the animals’ health. The herd provides the milk for the creamery’s array of raw milk cheeses, which take their cue from cheeses made in the Savoie region of France.

Amy Campbell, portrait artist and producer of the podcast & broadcast Tennessee Farm Table
Maryville, TN
Amy Campbell is creator and producer of the Tennessee Farm Table Podcast & Broadcast Show. Her show highlights the people, foods and culture of the Appalachian region.


Eric McNew and Stanton Webster, Owners of Post Modern Spirits
Knoxville, TN
Learn about the art of fermentation and sample their special potables.


Jeff Ross
Knoxville, TN
Local gardening expert and chef Jeff Ross will be speaking about wild (and not so wild) edible plants. Learn the history and ways to incorporate free food into your menus!



Steve Kaufman
Maryville, TN
Steve Kaufman is a Three Time Winner of the National Flatpicking Championships. His various kamps are visited by students from around the world. In addition to his teaching, touring, writing books, recording videos and CDs, he owns The Palace Theater in downtown Maryville, TN. We are very excited to have him be a part of our event!