About Holly’s

Holly Hambright attended Baltimore’s Culinary Arts Institute graduating #1 in her class in 1983. She has held the positions of Executive Pastry Chef, Executive Sous Chef and Executive Chef in various luxury hotels in Baltimore, Washington, DC, Boston, and Bermuda feeding such notables as Presidents Ford and Clinton, Lamar Alexander, Her Majesty the Queen of Thailand, Mrs. Anwar Sadat, Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme and Barry Tuckwell.

She has learned over the past 25 years that one will never be “just a chef.” It’s not just the long hours spent cooking and being a technician; there is so much more. The opportunity to share her knowledge and experience, the vision to inspire and achieve common goals, to promote the profession by promoting her staff has brought Holly to the understanding that one “gets” what one “gives”.

Supporting Cast:

  • Chris Vaden – Catering Chef
  • Lisa McCoig – Events Coordinator

Recipes from Holly’s

Holly Hambright attended Baltimore’s Culinary Arts Institute graduating #1 in her class in 1983. She has held the positions of Executive Pastry Chef, Executive Sous Chef and Executive Chef in various luxury hotels in Baltimore, Washington, DC, Boston, and Bermuda feeding such notables as Presidents Ford and Clinton, Lamar Alexander, Her Majesty the Queen of Thailand, Mrs. Anwar Sadat, Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme and Barry Tuckwell.

Holly’s In the News

Top New Restaurant, Top Chef, and Top Catering from The Knoxville Mercury

Source: Knoxville Mercury


  • Top New Restaurant - Holly’s 135
    When Holly took over this cozy nook on the 100 block, she celebrated with a party that featured candied bacon and wacky cocktails. It was an omen. 135 is that rare meeting of pub and grub that keeps things casual, chill, and comely. The menu showcases Chef Holly’s sometimes quirky sammitches and shareables along with a singular Build-a-Bowl option with offerings like pork confit, lemon feta rice, and shawarma ’shrooms. The place is also loved for its daring drinks and plenty of distinctive draft selections. And did we mention candied bacon?
  • Top Chef - Holly Hambright
    There are many things you can say about Holly, but they’ve probably already been said. That’s because there are few chefs in our town who get around as much and with such a distinctive personal panache as she does. As a caterer, Holly brings a unique vision and style to events both large and small; as a restaurateur, she’s helped redefine casual dining as elegant eating for nearly all hours of the day. It’s really no surprise that voters have overwhelmingly crowned Holly—sometimes called the Holly Lama—as the queen of Top Knox nosh.
  • Top Catering - Holly’s Eventful Dining
    What else is there to say? Knoxville loves Holly Hambright. Whether it’s her domicile or yours, she really brings home the bacon. Holly’s catered food is always attractive and popular. In fact, party planners who worry about getting timely RSVPs just throw “Food By Holly” on the invite to insure a prompt response.
  • Runner Up

  • Top Happy Hour - Holly’s 135
  • Top Breakfast - Holly’s Gourmet Market

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Chef Holly Hambright catering to Knoxville food scene | Foodie Friday

Source: WVLT News

When a catering business turns into a restaurant serving breakfast and lunch daily, you get what many East Tennesseans now know as Holly's Gourmet's Market. Holly Hambright is a familiar face around town and her recipes are probably no stranger to local taste buds.

“It's the simple omelet, and sandwiches to the elaborate seven course dinners, they all have their joy that I get from it,” said Holly Hambright.

The South Knoxville native knows foods.

Hambright said, “We have internal competitions to be the best we can be and to give great service and great food every time you walk in the door.”

Her catering business turned into Holly's Corner. Earlier this year, Holly's 135 found a home in growing part of downtown Knoxville. Then last month, Hambright added her name to an iconic location in Bearden.

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Trust Fall Knox

Source: Trust Fall Knox

Chef Hambright attended Baltimore's Culinary Arts Institute, graduating at the top of her class in 1983. She has held the positions of Executive Pastry Chef, Executive Sous Chef and Executive Chef in various luxury hotels in Baltimore, DC, Boston and Bermuda. She's recently been busy with downtown Knoxville's newest addition, Holly's 135, in addition to her Holly's Homberg and Holly's Corner locations.

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Trust Fall With Holly Hambright

Source: Gather With Me

Trust Fall, the ‘secret’ dinner club and hottest ticket in town as far as food goes, recently handed over the reigns to Chef Holly Hambright (along with sous chef Anna Bogle) for the evening. And anyone out there that knows Holly knows she didn’t disappoint. Not only were the guests taking a trust fall, but so were the organizers of Trust Fall. The menu was kept a secret even from them. Under normal circumstances, the organizers approve the menu… but this is the Grand Dame of Knoxville Cuisine and you let her do what she wants! This included using her own family silver and dishes.

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11 Knoxville Restaurants You Can't Miss

Source: Travel Channel

Knoxville is a small, unsuspecting city, but don’t let that fool you. When it comes to eating out and drinking, locals will quickly tell you who is dishing up the best. From OliBea to Knox Mason, here’s where to eat and drink in Knoxville.

Like Knox Mason's Matt Gallaher, Holly Hambright is another Knoxville celebrity chef. Wherever she's cooking, her fans will be dining. What started off as a catering business in 2010 quickly broke the mold into 2 full-fledged restaurants. The first, Holly's Homberg, is known for Holly’s special melt-in-your-mouth quiche, including the Lurleen, which consists of Benton’s country ham and Sweetwater Valley Farms smoked cheddar. Other options include homemade soups, "sammitches" and sweets from local bakery Magpies. Holly’s Homberg is open for lunch Monday through Friday and dinner (starting at 5:30 p.m.) on Friday and Saturdays only. Her second restaurant, Holly's Corner — proud of its "Go to the Corner!" slogan — serves homemade soups, "sammitches" and "halfsies" (half sandwich and soup) and opens at 11 a.m. Monday through Saturday. Both locations are vegetarian- and vegan-friendly.

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Chef Holly Hambright obtains Gourmet's Market and Cafe

Source: Knoxville News Sentinel

Gourmet’s Market and Cafe, 5107 Kingston Pike, will be under new ownership effective Thursday, Oct. 1.

Chef Holly Hambright will be overseeing the new operation which includes a change in name to Holly's Gourmet's Market and Cafe.

“Eric (Nelson) and his family started this place 38 years ago when there was nothing like this around town so we want to maintain its legacy,” Hambright said.

In the early 2000s Hambright was employed at Gourmet’s Market and Cafe and many of the dishes she created are still on the menu.

“The menu will change but we will keep the top sellers. Our goal is to improve quality where appropriate and to maintain the legacy of the menu items that have been there for a while that work with our own personality. We certainly don't want to alienate our Homberg crowd,” she said.

Read more …

Travel: Knoxville, Tennessee

Source: Nashville Lifestyles

The Marble City’s ripe for the picking any month of the year—and we’ve got the lowdown on all the tastiest spots in town.

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Holly's Sunday Chicken Recipe

Source: WBIR

Holly Hambright from “Holly’s Eventful Dining” demonstrates how to prepare Holly's Sunday Chicken recipe.

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Grub Scout: Happy Holler lunch spot sits at the corner of fresh and yum

Source: Knoxville.com

Holly Hambright is at it again. The operator of Holly’s Eventful Dining in Bearden opened another eatery, Holly’s Corner, last fall, and that’s where the elder Grub Sprout and I met for lunch on a recent weekday. We found a nice, comfy booth inside the restaurant space, which is on North Central Avenue in the general Happy Holler neck of the woods.

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Glittering Glass Ball launches new era at museum

Source: The Blue Streak

When I tell folks the Glass Ball at the Knoxville Museum of Art was one of the best parties I’ve ever attended, many ask what made it so great. I think it was a combination of things.

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Pea and Potato Gnocchi recipe

Source: WBIR

Holly Hambright from “Holly’s Eventful Dining” demonstrates how to prepare Pea and Potato Gnocchi.

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Holly's Fall-themed Pissaladiere

Source: WBIR

Holly Hambright from “Holly’s Eventful Dining” demonstrates how to prepare artichoke, olive and caper pissaladiere and apple, bacon, cheddar pissaladiere.

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Holly's Candied Bacon

Source: WBIR

Holly Hambright from “Holly’s Eventful Dining” demonstrates how to prepare candied bacon.

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Peggy and Holly Hamright: Sibling Stars of the Knoxville Culinary Scene

Source: Metro Pulse [Scripps has removed the linked MetroPulse article]

Holly and Peggy Hambright are two of the busiest cooks in Knoxville, and may be the two most talked about. They both have a reputation not just for their exceptional skill in the kitchen, but for things harder to learn: imagination, inspiration, and an unconventional singularity.

Holly runs Holly’s Eventful Dining, the intuitive catering business she started about three years ago in one of the little capillaries that make up Bearden’s Homberg Place. In her own past in working for a high-end hotel in Baltimore, she has cooked for Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme, and the Queen of Thailand, among others. Even here in Knoxville, she has developed an enviable client list, including Pilot, Scripps Networks Interactive, Knoxville Opera, and perhaps most elusively for a caterer, Gastrointestinal Associates. This year, she expanded her Bearden operation to accommodate a fresh new restaurant, the only one in town that serves something called Blunch. (“It’s more lunch than breakfast,” Holly says, “but we’ll put an egg on anything.”)

Holly's Eventful Dining expands storefront operation

Source: Knox News

There's a new restaurant in Bearden located in the Homberg area at 5032 Whittaker Drive.

It's Holly's Eventful Dining.

If that name sounds familiar it's because owner Holly Hambright has been a successful chef in Knoxville for years and has operated the catering division of Holly's Eventful Dining since July 2010.

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Welcome to the Neighborhood: Holly's Corner

Source: Magpies

Since we moved from our previous location in Knoxville’s Old City to our current spot on North Central Avenue, we’ve seen lots of changes in our neighborhood. One great change we’re oh so excited about is the opening of Holly’s Corner, located adjacent to Magpies at 842 North Central Ave.

Holly Hambright, who happens to be the very sister of our own Peg Hambright, is the proprietor and chef extraordinaire behind Holly’s Corner. Holly also operates Holly’s Eventful Dining at 5032 Whittaker Drive in the Homberg area.

Holly’s Corner threw open its doors in early October with a special event for First Friday. The restaurant had its soft launch on October 14.

Read more …

Holly's Corner adds neighborhood flavor

Source:The Daily Beacon

Happy Holler, a sliver of commercial lots surrounded by a predominately industrial area, welcomed a new restaurant to the neighborhood on Oct. 4.

Holly Hambright extended her business from Bearden and opened a new location on Central Street. On the same block as her sister's bakery, Magpies Cakes, Hambright now occupies the space left vacant after Central Street Books relocated.

While "books" remains visible, the temporary sign reads "Holly's Corner" and the space is certainly hers.

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Former honky-tonk perfect for “Raise the Roots’

Source:The Blue Streak

One of our favorite caterers, Holly Hambright, has opened her new sandwich shop in one of our favorite former dives, the infamous Corner Lounge on Central Avenue. “The Corner,” of course, was home for many years to the legendary Con Hunley, one of our favorite entertainers.

With all these favorites in mind, Alan and I were pleased to receive an invitation to the most recent “Raise the Roots’ fundraising dinner benefiting Beardsley Community Farm. Appropriately renamed Holly’s Corner, the small eatery at 842 Central, was a great setting for the dinner that previously has been held at The Tomato Head on Market Square and The Plaid Apron in Sequoyah Hills.

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An Eventful Lunch

Source: What We’re Having

What a great idea--Holly posts a different menu every week. All we have to do is show up and enjoy.

But whatever the season, every day, every week, check out the lunch menu at Holly's Eventful Lunch. Make friends with Holly on Facebook and get the menu each week. She's making it pretty, too. Love the vintage tablecloths. And look at these tulips in a mason jar.

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Restaurant Report: Holly’s Eventful Dining

Source: Metro Pulse [Scripps has removed the linked MetroPulse article]

Opening a restaurant wasn’t the result of a burning passion that kept Holly Hambright awake at night. Like her successful catering career, it was a mix of circumstance and practicality. “I never intended to have my own restaurant. But then I never intended to be a caterer, either,” she says. “I had a secret desire to be a lounge singer.” But after taking a summertime cooking job, Hambright realized that not only was she comfortable in the kitchen, but “I really liked it.”

Our Friends and Clients


  • AAA
  • Aqua Chem
  • Beverage Control
  • Cherokee Distributing
  • Electric Power Research Institute
  • Foothills Land Conservancy
  • Gastrointestinal Associates
  • Great Smoky Mountain Institute at Tremont
  • Knoxville Beverage Company
  • Knoxville Botanical Gardens
  • Knoxville Garden Club
  • Knox Heritage
  • Knoxville News Sentinel
  • Knoxville Opera
  • NAI of Knoxville
  • Pepsi Bottling Group
  • Pilot Travel Corporation
  • Regions Bank
  • Scripps Networks
  • Siemans
  • Summit Medical Group
  • The Asthma, Allergy and Sinus Center
  • The Trust Company
  • University Physicians Associates (UPA)
  • University of Tennessee:
    • College of Law
    • Department of Development
    • MARCO Institute
    • McClung Museum
    • Men’s Basketball
    • School of Music
    • School of Architecture
  • WUOT