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Seasons celebrates anniversary


This fall marks an exciting time for Seasons Café and its owner, Deron Little.

Not only did the restaurant celebrate its one-year anniversary Tuesday, Sept 18, but also there are plans for an expansion that should be complete in late October, as well as the opening of a second restaurant, Webster’s Deli, next door.

“It’s close so I can supervise both. The same attention to detail and quality will take place at that deli as it does here at Seasons,” Little said.

Quality is important to Little.

“The heart of this restaurant is the kitchen and we put a lot of time and effort into the quality of the food. We will not sacrifice quality in the kitchen for any reason. Period.

“We have probably the strongest culinary team in this city. I have 27 years experience; I am a certified executive chef through the American Culinary Federation. We have another gentleman, Paul Aplin, who is the chef of this restaurant, and he has the same experience as I have, 27 years. I have another chef, Seth Simmerman, who was the executive chef of Club LeConte for 29 years. He came out of retirement to cook here,” Little said.

“Between the three of us, we like to say that we have enough experience that we should have been cooking at the Last Supper,” he added.

Little, who is originally from Washington, moved to Knoxville to open Gettysvue Polo, Golf & Country Club.

“I was the club manager, in charge of all the food and beverage. I had a chef who worked under me so I was both front and back of the house.

“I worked there for three years, then I left and went to Fox Den Country Club and ran it for eight years,” he said.

Little said that he not planned to open a restaurant when he moved to Knoxville.

“We owned a restaurant in Greeneville, S.C. for five years and when we closed it, we said we would never do it again, and here we are.

“We felt like this development [Renaissance Office Park] here in Farragut offered such a great opportunity, and Knoxville itself needed something special as far as restaurants go, not just a normal restaurant. That is why we decided to take the plunge again.”

Little said the restaurant was designed to be small and very intimate.

“It gives me the opportunity to meet everyone who comes in and give them personal service,” he said.

The menu of Seasons Café is, just as its name suggests, based on the freshest ingredients of each season.

“I remember walking home from school in Washington and grabbing an apple from a tree and eating it and just how fresh that was, like God intended us to eat food.

“Everything [served in Seasons Café] is fresh. We make all fresh stocks, we have fresh seafood [delivered] from Hawaii and all of our deserts are hand-made. This small environment gives us the opportunity to do everything fresh.

“Not only do our dishes change each season, but the ingredients change as well, we use only things that lend themselves to that season.

“I am actually looking forward to going back to my very first menu, the menu that we opened with. We are using all squashes and fall vegetables, apples and nuts. We get the feeling and the smell of each season from the products that we serve,” Little said.

The expansion of Seasons Café will be in keeping with the uniqueness of the restaurant. Little plans to use the expansion as a banquet room and for overflow during the winter season when the patio cannot be used, but he has other plans for it as well.

“This is also what I call my fun room. We will be holding wine dinners, cooking classes, beer tastings and wild game nights.

“ I can only fit 36 people in this room, so these will be very special, intimate dinners,” Little said.

He plans to use the room to give back to the community as well.

“We have also talked about earmarking some events where the proceeds will go to a needy cause within the community. Events where we come together and fellowship to enjoy good wine and good food and hopefully a needy cause can benefit from that,” he said.

Webster’s Deli is slated to be just as unique as Seasons Café.

“We are going to redefine the deli,” Little said.

We will have fresh pastries every morning, it will be [like] a coffee house, and we will have very, very,very, and that is three very’s, unique sandwiches,” he added.

He said that he has been looking for other restaurants that are doing something similar to what he plans for Webster’s and has been unable to find anything close in Knoxville or Nashville.

“I am very passionate about what we do here,” he said. “I tell my employees this is just a building with walls, what matters is the people.

“There is a reason that Seasons is here. From the employees to the customers, it is a unique experience, not just a restaurant,” Little said.

For additional information on Seasons Cafe or Webster’s Deli, call 865-675-3824.

 

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