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Past Supper Club Events

Saturday May 11th ~ Mother's Day Bruncheon Tea Party

11:30 am at Sweetwater Escape Garden Venue

Featuring Sweetwater Supper Club
Executive Chef, Iona Jones 


Supper Club founder, Iona Jones, dons her apron to bring you her favorite kind of party ~ a Tea Party! 

Featuring a grand array of exquisite canapés, tarts, mini-quiches, artisan tea sandwiches, gourmet desserts,  charcuterie, scones and more, served with a variety of teas from around the world. 

Plus a mimosa bar of fresh pressed juices and creative garnishes ~ BYO champagne. 

Our afternoon will be serenaded by the fabulous violinist and international performer Timothy Kelly. This is a treat that will surely compete with all the tasty bites we have to serve you! 

Don your fancy hat and join us!  Bring your mother, daughter,  or come with a friend! 

*Children who can be responsible for a china tea cup are welcome*

Adult Tickets: $60

Children: $35


April 20th ~ Ramp It Up! 
7 Course Dinner Party and Wine Pairing 

* Limited to 20 guests * SOLD OUT

6:00 pm at Sweetwater Escape Garden Venue

Featuring Chef Derek Visser

Sweetwater Supper Club resumes our summer outdoor dinner parties, kicking off the season with Ramp It Up! ~ a delicious 7 course dinner celebrating the delicate and divine flavors of local wild ramps. 

To add even more flair to the occasion,  Sadie Fletcher of Watauga Lake Winery will be serving wine pairings with three of the courses to further highlight the unique flavor profiles of our Appalachian region. 

Live music by local Americana bluegrass musician Chuck Skarsuane rounds out this exquisite evening, heralding the dawning of spring!

Tickets: $150


Ramps: one of nature's most unsung delicacies.  Equal parts onion and garlic flavor with just a hint of umami, and only available in the woods for a few short weeks, ramps are truly one of the Earth's most unique offerings to us mere mortals.


Just as ramps need a perfect storm of environment, weather, altitude, and forest, I believe that a truly great dish needs a perfect storm of all the flavor profiles. This menu is designed to celebrate both ramps and balanced flavor profiles.


My hope is that each course brings the diner a renewed excitement for how food can make you feel inside, as well as an appreciation for the beauty that is all around us in the wilderness, even when we don't notice it.

 ~ Chef Derek Visser

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Gluten Free and/or Vegetarian alterations for this menu are available upon request

Meet Your Chef

My name is Derek, but I'm also known as "Dean's brother" or "Preston's brother" or "Holly's brother", and the list goes on for a while. I grew up with eight brothers and sisters and I was extremely fortunate that family meal times were heavily prioritized. I'm 36, and to this day, our entire family gets together for lunch every Sunday. This includes dozens of grandchildren nowadays, but the chaos brings a warmth that embodies the idea of fellowship and camaraderie, and the smell of good food is always in the air.

One of my earliest childhood core memories is my grandpa teaching me to make his "famous sausage gravy" and then watching with anticipation as the rest of the family tasted it, eager to see the delight on their faces. For years, I have obsessed over that feeling of bringing joy to people with food, and I never grow tired of it.


The more time I have spent learning in the kitchen, the more I have grown to love the idea of starting everything from scratch and watching every individual ingredient come together to create something wonderful, like a family. The more I learn about creating food, the more I want to feel that familial connection with anyone who wants to enjoy my food.

No matter who a person is or was, what background they come from, or even what language they speak, I have a very strong desire to connect to them with my food, because I genuinely believe that when we share a great meal together, we can all become family.

February 10th ~ Chocolate Making Class
* Limited to 12 participants *
Tickets $120

1:00 - 5:00 pm at Sweetwater Kitchen
Featuring Chef Meg Brown of Devorah Chocolate

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Join chocolate maker Meg Brown of Devorah Chocolate for a fun and festive day of chocolate making. 


This workshop will take you on a sensory journey as you taste, touch, and smell your way through the fascinating process from cacao plant to chocolate bar. 


During this workshop Meg will give you an inside glance into how she creates craft chocolate using ethically sourced wholesome ingredients. Together, you will learn how to temper chocolate creating your own custom chocolate bars and learn how to make dark chocolate truffles in your home kitchen. 

Possible discussion topics include : the ancient history of chocolate, the science of tempering, and contemporary issues and ethics in the chocolate industry. 


** You will leave this workshop with a belly full of chocolate, 2 handmade chocolate bars, recipes, and a box of handmade truffles. You will also have the opportunity to make beautiful custom packaging for your chocolates,  creating the perfect Valentines for your loved ones**


February 14th ~ Valentine's Day Romantic 5-course Chocolate Dinner
* Limited to 8 couples*
Tickets $275 per couple

6pm at The Valle Crucis Lavender House
Featuring Chef Meg Brown of Devorah Chocolate

This menu brings together Meg's love of Sicilian food, and her obsession with chocolate. A journey of sensory delights that will warm your belly and your heart. Each course will incorporate cacao or chocolate in various fun and creative ways. All chocolate and cacao utilized in the recipes are processed locally by Meg with organic and ethically sourced cacao beans.

  • Cacao Infused Signature Cocktail 

  • Charcuterie + House made Sourdough Focaccia 

featuring local cheeses, artisan chocolate, and cured meats

  • Blood Orange & Fennel Salad

over local greens with sicilian pistachios and bitter chocolate 

  • Delicata Bisque with Cacao Nibs + Pepitas

roasted local delicata squash, caramelized onion, roasted garlic, venison bone broth. Garnished with spiced pepitas, cacao nibs, cacao balsamic reduction

  • Tagliatelle al Ragù with Bitter Chocolate 

a chocolatey spin on the classic Italian dish of slow cooked  meat, vegetables, and wine served over tender egg pasta 

  • Drinking Chocolate + Cacao Buckwheat Sables

thick european style hot chocolate spiced with cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg. Served with a crisp buckwheat cookie perfect for dipping


This intimate dinner for couples will be held at the beautiful Valle Crucis Lavender House. Each couple will be seated at their own private table, accompanied by candles and a flower arrangement that you can take home. 

Professional wait-staff will serve you throughout the evening. Single servings of Meg's Cacao Infused Signature Cocktail will be offered, and you are welcome to BYO wine to enjoy throughout the evening. Pairing recommendations will be sent out to ticket holders before the event. 

Throughout the evening, the exquisite accompaniment of live Cello music will serenade you through your courses, played by Corinne Cassini, professor at ASU's Hayes School of Music. 

Join us for a Valentine's Dinner experience that you'll remember for years to come! 

January 28th ~ Cajun Cooking Class and Dinner Party
* Limited to 12 participants *
Tickets $120

4:00 - 8:00 pm at Sweetwater Kitchen
Featuring Chef Louisiana Johnny

The tradition of Cajun cooking goes back generations. It is a method that has been passed down over decades thru family lineages. More than just recipes ~ it is a culture of cooking.

A culture of gathering, connecting, and preparing food that absorbs the energy of community and nourishes both the body and the soul. 


Most Cajun dishes involve an hours-long process of simmering, stirring, and saturating flavors. 

Our January Supper Club event will be an extended gathering, where my very own Louisiana Johnny will guide us through the rich and rewarding process of traditional Cajun home cooking and fellowship, culminating in a 5 course feast! 


Bring an instrument if you have one! 


January Cajun Cooking Class Supper Club Featured Dishes:


  • Crabmeat Au Gratin  ~ Cream and cheese au gratin with crabmeat, baked to a thick dip consistency and seasoned with cajun spices

  • Crawfish Corn Maque Choux ~ Fresh cut sweet corn simmered down in a butter cream sauce with fresh tomatoes, the holy trinity and crawfish tails, stirred and simmered, to a creamed corn consistency and served with fresh green onions and parsley 

  • Shrimp Etouffee ~ Tomato and cream based sauce with the holy trinity, fresh mushrooms, tomatoes, and shrimp, simmered down and served over rice and paired with Maque Choux 

  • Chicken and Sausage Gumbo  ~ Roux based type of soup with the holy trinity onion bell pepper celery cooked down to a rich consistency with the addition of chicken and home-smoked pork sausage and spices. Served, according to tradition, with a scoop of cold potato salad and rice

  • Cornbread Couche Couche ~ Simple and delicious, a tasty traditional dessert


December 14th ~ Thai Cooking Class and Dinner Party
* Limited to 12 participants *
5:30 pm at Sweetwater Kitchen
Featuring Chef Sherri Pengjad of Thai Foodie

Sherri Pengjad is the Thai Cooking Class Instructor of Thai-Foodie. She is obsessed with Thai food, Thailand, her Thai Hubby and 4 Thai-American kids. She teaches Thai cooking classes in the Boone area, and also shares her Thai recipes on her Thai Cooking Blog:

December Thai Cooking Class Supper Club Featured Dishes:


  • Panang Curry: learn to make your own authentic homemade Thai red curry paste with beef and seasonal vegetables, served with jasmine rice 

  • Tom Kha Gai soup: discover the secrets to using unique Thai herbs when making this creamy coconut milk, oyster mushrooms and chicken soup, served with jasmine rice 

  • Mango Sticky Rice: finally learn how to make the tropical dessert you’ll dream about later, sweetened coconut sticky rice paired with juicy mangos, like rice pudding but a thousand times better!


November 18th -  Giving Thanks! 
4 pm at Sweetwater Escape Garden Venue
Featuring Chef Jay Meier of LeJayFilet

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October 21st -  Autumn Culinary Adventures 
6pm at Sweetwater Escape Garden Venue

Featuring Chef Sarah Long of Spade & Spoon

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September 17th  -  Al Fresco Soirée
7pm at Sweetwater Escape Garden Venue


Featuring Chef Iona Jones, Executive Chef of Sweetwater Supper Club

A magical and intimate evening under the stars! Tickets for this event will be limited to 12 guests. 

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August 26th  -  Succulent Southern Summer 
7pm at Sweetwater Escape Garden Venue

Highlighting the summer abundance here in the High Country. In this menu, Chef Jay showcases his favorite local ingredients with a distinctly southern flair!
Featuring Chef Jay Meier of LeJay Filet



Featured Guest Chefs

Sweetwater Supper Club features a rotating roster of guest Chefs de Cuisine for our monthly Dinner Party Events.

More Chef profiles coming soon! 

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Jay Meier of LeJayFilet

Drawing on his time spent in both the low and high country, Jay is a southern chef at heart. He cooks seasonally, and prefers dishes that that allows ingredients to stand on their own. He believes the best meals have much more to do with these ingredients than the chef, and works closely with local producers to find the best ingredients possible. This way, his meals tell the humble story of where we are, who we’re with, and why certain meals just need to be celebrated. 


Jay began cooking for large groups while working for a Conservation Corps in 2018, where he learned how food can bring about a true sense of togetherness. He began cooking in restaurants in 2020 and would host seasonal dinner parties for his friends in his free time. In 2023, Jay started a private chef and catering business, LeJayFilet LLC, that aims to celebrate his draw to southern food through locally sourced and seasonally inspired meals.

Chef Sarah Long of Spade & Spoon

Writing for Vogue magazine in 1956, journalist Harriet Van Horne, wrote that cooking was like love and should be “entered into with abandon or not at all.” That is my philosophy as a writer and cook. My “love” of cooking extends not just to those who eat my food, but to the Earth, my favorite sous chef, with whom I collaborate while cultivating many of the ingredients used in my dishes.  

When I prepare a menu, I try to meet three objectives: 

·      If I don’t grow the ingredients on my small hobby farm, then they should, preferably, be locally sourced and always in-season. 

·      While the dish can be technical, it must also be replicable and within reach of other serious home cooks. Food should be an equalizer, not elitist. 

·      And finally, the dish should have an element of surprise. I have been described as unconventional and I like my food to have just a dash of eccentricity too. Maybe that means using an exotic spice, or an avant-garde plating style, or maybe it’s featuring an ingredient with a problematic past. However I incorporate a little quirk into the meal, I want the flavor and its story to haunt you all the way home.


Chef Sherri Pengjad of Thai Foodie

Sherri fell head over heels in love with Thai food after her first bite of it in college, and from that point on, her life was changed forever. 


She eventually moved to Thailand after graduating college, mainly so she could eat cheap, perfect Thai food every day.


While there she unexpectedly fell in love with a Thai guy, and eventually they got married in Bangkok across the river from the sparkling Grand Palace. 


Later on, they moved to America, and the closest Thai restaurant was 45 minutes away and quadruple the price of Thai food in Thailand. Sherri was forced to learn to cook it if she wanted to eat it everyday.


So she learned! 


She applied the cooking skills her Thai grandma-in-law had taught her in Thailand, and Thai Hubby taught Sherri what Thai Grandma had taught him, and she cooked and cooked for years until she could make Thai food even her Thai mother-n-law asks seconds for!


She has had a Thai recipe blog for over a decade,, and has been teaching Thai cooking classes in Boone for the last 5 years. 


She loves sharing the secrets of how to make Thai food at home, so it’s more accessible for those who are Thai foodies, but aren’t Thai. 

Chef Lousiana Johnny

For me, cooking started when I was big enough to stand at the pot and hold a spoon. 


As a young boy I got encouragement and experience at the men’s gatherings, where men would get together and play cards, make music, and talk. And cook. 

As a young boy I got to go to these gatherings and stir the pot, then as I got older I was allowed to chop vegetables, and eventually progress to joining in on cooking the meal.


We had regular get togethers at grandma and grandpa’s house ~ I was the firstborn grandson, and my grandpa pretty much raised me.  Grandpa was a cook in the army and offshore on the gulf. He just loved to cook. And fish and hunt and cook off the land. He taught me respect, how to use it, nourish all of it, leave it like you found it. 


On Summer Sunday’s at grandpas the men would gather at the outdoor kitchen, cook, and talk, and play music. Most of the time the women and children would be off to the side. Once the meal was ready everybody would integrate, the children and women would eat, then the men would come in and join them. Everything centered around the food, the cooking process. 


As I grew older I held on to that. Cooking was a way to stay connected. So I make the same meals that my grandpa and great-grandpa made. 


I make them the same way today. All traditional Cajun cooking ~ what people make at home from what they have. The way they’ve been doing for 100s of years. Basic simple ingredients put together in a way that just makes you feel good. 


Food and cooking is more about connection and community. Doing it alone is not that much fun. But doing it with people, for people, together ~ that’s what makes it meaningful. 

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Chef Meg Brown of Devorah Chocolate

Meg's foray into the culinary arts began at the age of 8 when she began attempting to replicate the eastern European delicacies of her grandmother. Since then she has loved to discover food traditions and culture from her own corner of Appalachia and around the world.


As a young adult, Meg had the opportunity to live on the island of Sicily in southern Italy where she spent her days learning Italian home cooking from her adopted Sicilian grandma, and climbing trees picking citrus and olives.


Meg's time in Italy profoundly impacted the way she conceptualizes food. She sees it not as a mere necessity that must fit around our busy schedules, but as a reason to get up in the morning, to seek out fresh locally grown ingredients, prepare them with intention, and share with people we love.


While studying sustainable food systems at Appstate Meg began to go down the rabbit hole of understanding the unethical nature of the international chocolate industry. This led to a fortuitous encounter with a family operated Peruvian Cacao Farm in 2016, where, in the heart of the Amazon, she harvested, fermented, and dried what would become her first batch of homemade chocolate. This led to the creation of her own Bean-to-Bar chocolate company, Devorah Chocolate, focusing on ethically sourced cacao and simple wholesome ingredients.


Meg continues to explore and honor the rich traditions and customs around chocolate, from ancient cacao culture to present day methods, through teaching, advocating for ethical trade, and contributing her own innovations to the ever evolving world of chocolate.

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