Blackberry Farm chef named to ‘40 Chefs Under 40’

Adam Cooke

Adam Cooke

The new environmental Website Mother Nature Network (www.mnn.com) has announced the top “40 Chefs under 40,” and Adam Cooke from Blackberry Farm made the list.

The chefs are chosen as ones who have made an effort to cook with sustainable ingredients yet make dining the ultimate eco-epicurean experience.

The judges said, “From Memphis to Montpelier and Providence to Peoria, these young chefs delight picky palates with a range of cuisines and concentrations - soul food, sushi, pub fare, molecular gastronomy, street-cart snacks and much more. Whether they work in four-star restaurants, private homes, events or even at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., they all have one thing in common: Whenever possible, they support the farmers who got us so excited - and hungry - in the first place.”

By working with locally produced, seasonal and sustainable ingredients in the kitchen, these chefs make dining a memorable, eco-epicurean experience. Some even transcend the “farm to fork” concept by focusing on sustainable seafood. And, like the farmers, these chefs aren’t just chefs: They’re educators, entrepreneurs, authors, activists, TV personalities and even farmers themselves.

Atlanta-based Mother Nature Network, founded by the celebrated eco activist and Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell, offers the latest in environmental news. MNN is intended to help the average person - whether they are going green or been there for years - figure out which choices to make, a one-stop guide to “greening” daily routines.

To view profiles of all 40 chefs, go to http://www.mnn.com/food/cooking-recipes/stories/40-chefs-under-40.

Here is the profile on Adam Cooke:

Adam Cooke

Age: 29

Chef de cuisine, the Barn at Blackberry Farm

Walland, Tenn.

Adam Cooke’s culinary interests began when his family moved from their home in Northern California to a valley farm in the Sierra Nevada, aiming to become a self-sustaining household. As a young boy on the farm, his memories of milking cows, gathering eggs and picking fruit from the cherry trees still influence him. After finding inspiration from his family, Cooke was drawn to enter the culinary world as a professional.

From Montana to Nantucket, Cooke moved through restaurants and the New England Culinary Institute, all the while identifying his own style. During this time, his work with chef Martha Beuser led him to find an early enthusiasm for the sourcing of local and sustainable foods. Passionate for the mountains and fishing of Appalachia, and for the resources of Blackberry Farm, he settled in Tennessee to plant his roots.

Cooke joined the Blackberry Farm team in 2005 and opened the newest restaurant at Blackberry, the Barn. He works directly with Blackberry’s team of artisans to create dishes using seasonal produce and herbs found in the Blackberry Farm gardens, fields and forests, ensuring a taste of East Tennessee in every course. During much of the year, 90 percent of all the produce Cooke uses will come from the Blackberry gardens. Encouraged by his surroundings, Cooke strives to create the most memorable dining experience for guests by ensuring each evening in the Barn provides a sense of this place.

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