Three Cooking Schools to be Held at the Swag in 2016

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Provided by Werner Public Relations

the swag

The Swag, an award-winning 14-room hideaway tucked high above the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina will offer three mountaintop Cooking Schools in 2016.  Under the direction of The Swag’s Executive Chef Ernest Bledsoe, the two day (two or three night) Cooking Schools will feature favorite dishes served at The Swag.

Taking place from May 22-25, July 17-20 and November 6-9, each Cooking School will feature four sessions each devoted to a soup, salad, main course and dessert preparation.  The featured dishes will change seasonally.

The Cooking School begins with a Sunday evening social hour on the dog trot, The Swag’s front porch.  The following morning after a hearty breakfast, guests will learn how to prepare the salad course.  The afternoon’s session will feature the soup course.  The second day will start with a morning hike and two afternoon classes devoted to the main course and dessert. The Cooking School concludes the following day with a morning hike leading to The Swag’s weekly Wednesday picnic on top of Gooseberry Knob, with inspiring distant views.

Dishes highlighted in the May 22-25 Cooking School include citrus scented lobster salad with tomato salsa, avocado purée, maple pepper bacon; Indonesian chicken and squash soup with turmeric and ginger broth; sous vide filet mignon with grilled asparagus, roasted fingerling potatoes and for dessert pâté a choux profiteroles. 

Renowned North Carolina Storyteller Donald David will be the hiking leader during the May session and will lead hikes and tell stories after dinner.  Davis is a guest host of
NPR’s Good Evening and has recorded more than 25 storytelling albums.

Executive Chef Ernest Bledsoe, who joined The Swag in 2015, has more than 20 years culinary experience. Chef Ernest has developed menus for The Swag that blend traditional foods and preparation techniques of southern Appalachia with healthful ingredients from around the world.

Each three-night program features an evening social hour with a selection of hors d’oeuvres, two cooking classes daily and a farewell picnic lunch overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Swag’s 2016 Cooking School package is priced from $495 to $1,250 per guestroom, per night plus tax. Price also includes a hearty breakfast, daily lunch, afternoon refreshments, a four-course dinner and welcome gifts.  Please mention this package at the time of booking.  Suite and Cabin rates are also available.  Single rate less $50 per night.   For reservations or more information visit or call 800.789.7672.

Now in its 35th season, The Swag is owned by Dan and Deener Matthews.  A 14-room luxury hideaway bordering Great Smoky Mountains National Park, The Swag sits on 250 acres of private property at an elevation of 5,000 feet.  Just 50 minutes from Asheville, North Carolina, guests enjoy inspired dining, luxury level accommodations, world-class hiking and a rotating schedule of talented hiking leaders and programs.

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