Relais & Châteaux Property Spotlight: Blackberry Farm
Situated on 4,200 acres with access to an additional 5,000 acres of private wilderness, Blackberry Farm is nestled into the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in Eastern Tennessee. The renowned resort is an elegant 58-room Relais & Chateaux resort that brings together a time-honored belief in not only enjoying the beautiful land on which it sits, but utilizing it to provide every guest an unforgettable experience. Voted the #1 resort in North America for 2011 by Travel + Leisure's readers in the World's Best awards, and the recipient of numerous other prestigious accolades, Blackberry Farm is a luxurious getaway offering both world-class accommodations and activities and is the home of a celebrated culinary program headed by acclaimed chefs Joseph Lenn and Josh Feathers that both defines the essence of farm-to-table cuisine and takes it to a level all its own.
This unique getaway earned its name in 1939, when Mrs. Florida Lasier of Chicago snagged her silk stockings on a wild blackberry bramble while exploring the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. She and her husband soon built their country home retreat in the idyllic spot. Over 30 years later, Kreis and Sandy Beall were equally enthralled by the location and settled in at Blackberry Farm. As a new mother of 4-monthold Sam, Kreis made Blackberry the family's home and opened the beautiful property to the public as a sixroom country inn. Sam Beall's love for Blackberry Farm therefore began at an early age as he ate chocolate mousse, crêpes, and followed his mom around the kitchen as she prepared and served meals and welcomed Blackberry's first guests.
Today as proprietor, Sam Beall continues the family tradition of offering Southern hospitality and service, gourmet cuisine, and cherished experiences to all who set foot on the farm. After attending the University of Tennessee and the California Culinary Academy, Beall had the good fortune to apprentice at the French Laundry, where he worked in the dining room, the kitchen and the garden. Also, working at the Ritz-Carlton, Cowgirl Creamery, and California wineries, he fell in love with heirloom ingredients, artisanal food products, and wine. Returning to the Farm, Beall has been responsible for the accumulation of one of the nation's best wine cellars-with a Wine Spectator Grand Award-winning wine list-as well as the development of Blackberry's Farmstead, with its heirloom gardens, dairy, creamery, salumeria, honey house, and preservation kitchen. Along with his wife, Mary Celeste, and their five children, Sam lives and cooks fromthe farm. Blackberry Farm is, to him, not simply a business, but his life. "Blackberry Farm was founded on the idea of creating a home with good friends, family and good food."
For reservations and information, please call 800.993.7824 or visit www.blackberryfarm.com.