French Restaurant to open in Knoxville – And you may know of its owners
Aaron Thompson and Jessica King, the proprietors of Brother Wolf and Osteria Stella in the Old City, have divulged details about their forthcoming French brasserie, Lilou, which will be situated at 428 South Gay Street, the former location of their bar, Sapphire.
Spearheading the culinary brigade will be Chef Benjamin, whose menu will showcase dishes “inspired by culinary visionaries like Chef Bernard Loiseau, Chef Hélène Darroze, Chef Michel Sarran and Chef Pierre Gagnaire.” Having spent his formative years between Gascony and the Basque region in France, Chef Benjamin’s creations will not only encompass classic French fare but also incorporate recipes derived from his grandmother’s cooking, a testament to the fresh, farm-to-table cuisine he experienced as a child.
A profound appreciation for French gastronomy and wine culture has long been at the heart of the couple’s culinary endeavors. King’s initial exposure to France during her teenage years ignited a passion for its culinary traditions, while Thompson’s immersion into the world of wine was sparked by Kermit Lynch’s renowned work, Adventures on the Wine Route. His certifications from the Court of Master Sommeliers and the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, coupled with firsthand experiences in Champagne, Burgundy, and Provence, further solidify his expertise.
Lilou’s comprehensive and exclusively French wine list will feature approximately 2,000 bottles representing each of France’s 19 wine-producing regions. Additionally, the establishment will offer a carefully curated selection of 12 to 16 cocktails, including seasonally inspired signature creations.
Guests can anticipate the restaurant’s grand opening in January.