A Newsletter for Quitters, Compulsives, and Creatives

June 19, 2024

Hello everyone! Welcome to “My Table”, the Summer edition. It’s been HOT here in East Tennessee lately. The pools are open, the produce is abounding, and my AC is definitely turned up!

This month I want to feature my summer dinner party menu and highlight a few flavor profiles. In addition, I have some exciting news regarding my entrepreneurial journey! I’ll be speaking on COURAGE as well. (Be sure to read all the way to the bottom. I’ve got a gift for you.)

Let’s Go!,

Chef Kevin

The Main Course

1st Course

Tomato & Cucumber Salad – cornbread crumble, tomato medley, marinated cucumber & onion, smoked buttermilk vinaigrette

Watermelon – red onion-cucumber-feta salad, mint, cashew, little gems lettuces, cumin-lime vinaigrette

Shrimp & Melon Salad – tomato confit, avocado, summer melon, chilled shrimp, citrus vinaigrette

Fried Green Tomato & Pimento Cheese – cornmeal breaded tomato, pimento cheese, cracker, andouille, ranch

Smoked Trout Caesar – warm wilted greens, kale, Caesar dressing, cornbread crumbs, parmesan, lemon oil

4th Course

Strawberry & Shortcake – strawberry compote, strawberry syrup, sweet biscuit, whipped vanilla mascarpone, lime

Blueberry Cornmeal Cake – peach-bacon jam, blueberry cornmeal cake, pecan crumble, whipped vanilla mascarpone

Chocolate Brownie – homemade brownie, espresso cremeux, luxardo cherries, smoked caramel, orange

Peaches & Cream – vanilla cake, ginger peaches, honey roasted peanuts, salted caramel, whipped mascarpone, biscoff

Summertime makes me think of produce and grilling. I love grilling and often defer to steaks any time I eat out. It’s a dry heat cooking method that imparts so much flavor because of the smoke and the char. I mean, think about it:

1) place item on grill

2) fat or marinades drip onto the wood, gas, or coals

3) smoke is created and flavor is imparted.

What’s not to love, right?

I’ve included a couple courses above from my summer menu. You’ll notice it’s about fresh produce! Personally, I think of tomatoes, cucumbers, peaches, and as already mentioned, the GRILL!

I’m curious to know which of these dishes would you pick? Send me an email or IG direct message letting me know! (You get 1 dish for each course, just like my dinner party clients.)

Side notes: Inspiration can strike from anywhere and at anytime. You just have to be ready. One night I was randomly thinking of a PayDay candy bar. The candy bar reminded me of these amazing scratchmade, honey roasted peanuts I used to making while working in Nashville at the Hermitage Hotel. I was like… I bet I can create something here. Insert “Peaches & Creme”! Peanuts, caramel, cake, peaches… Should I go on?


I mentioned in recent newsletters that I’ll be evolving in my entrepreneurial journey and expanding into the public speaking space. I’ve partnered with Next Level Speakers Academy out of Atlanta and am excited to begin this new phase.

Don’t worry. I’ll still be cooking as I lay the foundation for speaking. I’d like to take a moment to be transparent in hopes it will encourage you. I’ve been on tv, stood on stages in the spiritual environment, and lead small groups in addition to my five years as a public educator. In fact, being in front of “an audience” is one of the reasons I went into teaching. All that to say that this is one of those desires that has been simmering for quite sometime.

In fact, I’ve scrolled over NLSA on Instagram quite a bit over the past few years and would compulsively pause and think “is this for me?” If you recall, last year was quite a year for me. The adversity and challenges of last year taught me much but here’s the catch. Had last year not happened, this speaking platform would not have been birthed.

Yes, I said birth. Here’s why… sometimes a dream must be carried and the challenges that come with it must be endured and then, at the right time, variables comes into play, expected, planned, or not, and what’s meant to be, is.

I just got back from the annual conference. Three jam-packed days of encouragement and equipping. While I took pages of notes I just want to highlight one thing here for you. Courage.

Let’s pause for the cause and consider… How courageous are we? How does courage show up in our lives? On a scale of 1-10, how courageous do we consider ourselves?

Here’s what I know. Without courage, we don’t confront, we don’t handle conflict, we don’t change. We don’t get off the couch and run that 5k. We don’t craft speeches and share our message with the world. We don’t call that friend or family member to reconcile a riff in the relationship.

As I wind down this months newsletter may you be inspired to be a bit more courageous next month. Take just one step and let me know what it was.

Lastly, I am looking for opportunities to share my message and make an impact. The details are currently being discovered, but for now, know the I’ll be sharing the following message: resist the status quo and live life with purpose, passion, and potential – it’s my 3P’s. If you have a contact or a group who could benefit and would be willing to make a connection please let me know. You can email me at kevin@chefkevinculinary.com.

Take care and until next time,

Chef Kevin


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