In The Kitchen: Café Le Reve is tasty dream for patrons, students, teacher

My visit to Cafe Le Reve on Wednesday, April 2, was a great experience. My best friend, Addie Jo, and I were greeted with a quiet, relaxing atmosphere when we entered the building nestled behind Maryville High School. Soft violin music was playing in the background. We knew immediately that this was going to be a nice break in the middle of the day.

Cafe Le Reve has been existence since 2001 and is only open for lunch. The vision of Maryville teacher Sandra Elder, the Café is a student-run enterprise and offers students an opportunity to experience “real work” in an actual workplace environment.

The name Le Reve is a French term meaning The Dream.

The community response has been great, said the teachers and staff. When Cafe Le Reve first started, Ruby Tuesday came in and designed their kitchen, Blount Memorial Hospital, as part of their Adopt-a-School that year, bought some of the furnishings and designed the flag out front. Master Gardeners of Maryville helped with the design of the landscaping last spring. Blackberry Farms has given the group technical and financial advisor for Cafe Le Reve. They are assisting in setting up a scholarship fund for a culinary arts program for the students.

The menus change from week to week. The day Addie and I dined, we were treated to a choice of Chicken with Pistachio Orange Sauce or Grilled Vegetable Focaccia, tossed salad or Weight Watcher Fruit Salad and a sugar-free Jell-O or other dessert. A drink is also included.

After we placed our order for the Chicken with Pistachio Orange Sauce, we got to sample an excellent homemade three-cheese Pimento cheese spread appetizer. Our meal arrived and was prepared to perfection. After we finished, our complimentary dessert was brought out on a tray and featured a choice of a Cream Cheese Cherry Puff Pastry, Angel Food Cake with Fruit Topping or a Tiramisu.

Addie chose the Puff Pastry, which she said was wonderful, and I had chosen the Tiramisu, and it was simply delicious.

The servers were courteous and attentive, looking very professional in their white jackets. Cafe Le Reve is truly Sandra Elder’s dream come true.

Cafe Le Reve is open only when Maryville High School is in session. It is closed during the summer, school vacations and semester exams.

Operating hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays from noon to 1:30 p.m. Reservations are recommended. All reservations must be made by 10:30 a.m. on the day of the visit.

In addition to a sit-down menu, there are “to go” orders that can be called in or emailed by 11 a.m. and picked up at the Café. Phone is 865-982-1132 and email is

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