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June 1, 2008

Reinventing the Barn

Every builder wants projects that leave everyone else wondering how you did it. The Barn at Blackberry Farm is exactly that. Hickory’s staff succeeded in reinventing an early 1800’s Pennsylvania barn as a first-class culinary center tucked in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee.

The Barn has made a quantum leap into the present day from nearly two centuries serving a farm in Pennsylvania. After being reassembled on the grounds of the Blackberry Farm 5-star resort in Walland, Tennessee, the barn has a new purpose. While it serves as an alternative dining facility for Blackberry Farm clientele, it also does duty as a cooking school for world-renowned chefs and vintners from around the globe.

While the original barn is everywhere in the new version, modern building codes dictate the necessities such as plumbing, electricity, HVAC and insulation. In effect, Hickory had to build the barn in layers to ensure its safety and functionality while maintaining the look of a barn on the outside and inside.

Today, this 200+year-old barn is home to three kitchens equipped with the most modern gourmet commercial cooking equipment, a brick wood-burning pizza oven, an extensive wine cellar with tasting room, a bakery and a chocolate room. The dining room includes a French built 4-sided cooking surface that enables chefs to create in full-view of guests.

The Barn is a far cry from its quiet days on the farm field in Pennsylvania. But it continues to serve as a monument to graceful living at its new home in Tennessee.

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