shown: Virgin Falls, Sparta Tennessee
Proprietor, Blackberry Farm
Sam grew up on Blackberry Farm, following his mother Kreis through the kitchen and falling in love with the woods and the fields. After graduating from the University of Tennessee, Sam attended the California Culinary Academy and 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, wine and a way of life.
Now the proprietor of the inn, Sam has been responsible for the accumulation of one of the nation's best wine cellars as well as the development of Blackberry's The FarmStead, with its heirloom gardens, dairy, cheese-making, salumaneria, honeyhouse and jammery. Along with his wife, Mary Celeste, and their three children, Sam lives -- and cooks -- from the farm. Blackberry Farm is, to him, not simply a business, but his life, and he brings equal measures of passion, celebration and knowledge to Blackberry Farm and the effort to continue to raise the level of service and experience to new heights.