Road Trip: Blackberry Farm

Tennessee’s most admired ranch is a foodie’s nirvana.

Editor’s Note, May 7, 2014: Blackberry Farm just won a James Beard Foundation Award in the category of Outstanding Wine Program.

The barn at Blackberry Farm is no ordinary outbuilding. Tucked into Tennessee’s Smoky Mountain foothills, the dinner-only destination restaurant features James Beard Award–winning chef Joseph Lenn, luscious goods from on-site cheesemaker Ryan Burger (right), heirloom ingredients sourced from the 4,200-acre working farm/resort, and a strict dress code: jackets for men and the equivalent dress for women.

The menu changes daily, with past courses involving such rustic high cuisine as roasted guinea hen with cornbread pudding and slow-cooked farm egg in mushroom broth. But for true foodies, a visit to Blackberry Farm is like a Disney weekend, with overnight stays and an itinerary of onsite epicurean adventures just six hours from Indy. In addition to garden tours led by John Coykendall, an expert in heirloom bean–collecting, and wine-and-cheese pairings with sommelier Andy Chabot, there are Black Perigord Truffle fields to explore (alongside the farm’s own Lagotto Romagnolo truffle-hunting dogs), cooking seminars to attend, and the occasional fox hunt.

Such full immersion comes at a price, though. Two-night packages start at about $800 and top out in the thousands, with additional fees for events such as this month’s themed dinner, Tennessee: West Comes East (April 13–16) and the Foraged and Found seminar (July 20–23). On the upside, you won’t need to pick up any truck-stop snacks on the way there.

1471 W. Millers Cove Rd., Walland, Tennessee, 800-648-2348,

Photos by Beall + Thomas Photography

This article appeared in the April 2014 issue.