Around the world with food

Are you a foodie? Have your tastebuds been cultured? Do you want to travel the world at a fraction of the cost?

On Feb. 28, Chef James Allen will host a gourmet food session at Olive Oil Divine. The class will teach attendees how to make dishes from around the world.

Plates include South American steak tacos, Asian short rib, European wild mushrooms and goat cheese strudel, and cherry chess pie from America. All plates feature products from Olive Oil Divine.

All ingredients will be supplied, and attendees are allowed to take home leftovers from the meal.

Chef Allen is the Executive Chef at Blackthorn Club. He graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Minnesota and has been a sous chef in Alabama and a executive chef for a Mississippi country club.

The class will be held at Olive Oil Divine (2517 N Roan Street, Johnson City,) and it begins at 6:30 p.m. and ends around 8:30 p.m.

Tickets for the class are $35 per person and may be purchased online or at Olive Oil Divine. Space in the class is limited.


ETSU food focus groups


East Tennessee State University students, do you have opinions about the food your campus serves? Do you want to voice those opinions?

Sodexo campus dining services want to hear your thoughts.

On Feb. 27 and 28, four focus group meetings will be held for ETSU students to let Sodexo know what changes and additions should be made to the newly renovated Marketplace.

The focus groups are open to everyone. Just show up for the meeting without a registration or RSVP.

Food will be available for participants, and there is a chance to win door prizes.

Meeting times on Monday, Feb. 27 are 11:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. in Dining Room 3 of the Culp Center. Meeting times on Tuesday, Feb. 28, are 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. in Meeting Room 1 of the Culp Center.

Attend one of these meetings to let ETSU and Sodexo know what students want from the cafeteria.


Fizz Soda Bar, business feature

Fizz Soda Bar window. Photo by Raina Wiseman.

Fizz Soda Bar Offers Unique Drinks and Charity for East Tennessee

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn.— If you’re looking for a sweet treat that benefits your health and your community, Fizz Soda Bar has you covered. This locally-owned business offers floats, soda and ice cream that cater to different dietary needs and wants while helping a local animal shelter.

“We wanted to make sure that we had lots of options that were really indulgent and really exciting but were also not full of terrible things,” said Catelyn Pate, general manager of Fizz Soda Bar.

The soda bar uses homemade, small-batch ice cream from The Hop Ice Cream Café in Asheville, North Carolina. Fizz always has at least one vegan ice cream option to better cater to customers’ dietary needs and wants.

Sodas come from the Boylan Bottling company in New York City. The soda syrups use natural-flavors, no high-fructose sugar and pure sugar cane.

“There are people that are very health conscious that come in and they don’t feel as bad about indulging in something like this because it doesn’t have all of the artificial sugars and sweeteners,” said Pate.

Fizz Soda Bar also gives back to the community. The shop has a “Fursday Thursday.”  All tips and donations on Thursdays are donated to the Unicoi County Animal Shelter.

Fizz hosted a “Cookie Extravaganza” fundraiser in conjunction with the shelter in December 2016. Baked goods and specialty floats were available to raise money for the shelter.

“We are big animal lovers, and we love to help out with local pets as much as we can,” said Pate.

Fizz Soda Bar has 15 custom floats featured on its menu, but customers can make any drink combination as long as Fizz has the ingredients. There is a secret menu as well with favorite pre-made recipes.

“If there is something that we don’t have that you want, we’re more than happy to make it for you,” said Pate.

New, customer-created and featured floats and drinks are posted on Fizz Soda Bar’s Instagram and Facebook accounts.

Fizz Soda Bar is located at 207 East Main Street, Suite 1-D in downtown Johnson City. It is on the first level of Fountain Place building. The soda bar is open Wednesday though Sunday. Hours can be found on its website.

To learn more about Fizz Soda Bar, its drinks and how they are helping the community, visit its websiteFacebook or Instagram.

Buccaneer float at Fizz. Photo by Raina Wiseman.

Black history program and taste of the community

February is Black History month, and Carver Recreation Center is celebrating.

On Feb. 23 from 4-5 p.m., the Carver Recreation Center will host a black history presentation and a “taste of the community” to raise money for children at the parks and recreation center to go to Washington D.C.

The “taste of the community” will feature foods from the Johnson City community. Food will be provided by parents of children going on the D.C. trip. This is a great way to try locally made dishes while helping others. A “tasting ticket” is required to partake in the food.

The black history presentation will honor Johnson City community members. The center is presenting awards to people who have made donations to the recreation center and made a difference in the area. Herb Greenlee, event organizer, said people will receive plaques for their efforts, service and accomplishments.

The program is free, and the tasting requires a $10 ticket. The ticket will go toward the Washington D.C. trip.

The event will be held at the Carver Recreation Center, 322 West Watauga Ave.,
Johnson City.

For more information, contact Greenlee by calling 423-461-8830 or email at

You can also check out the event on Facebook.

Tupelo Honey’s new brunch menu


In case you missed it, Tupelo Honey in downtown Johnson City has a new brunch menu on Sundays and Saturdays.

The brunch menu was introduced a few weeks ago, and offers several new dishes in addition to Tupelo Honey favorites.

Brunch features appetizers as well as breakfast and lunch entrees. Cocktails are also found on the menu.

I tried the southern fried chicken BLT and had a taste of the pork confit grilled cheese. I would recommend both sandwiches, and make sure to get the BLT “wicked” style if you like spicy foods. The confit grilled cheese is a strange yet wonderful take on a normal grilled cheese with the addition of pork.

Tupelo Honey’s regular lunch and dinner items are still available.

Check out their online menu where you can see images of almost every dish and view their hours of operation.

Also, download the Shoo Mercy app by Tupelo Honey to earn rewards, get free items, make reservations and more!