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Blackberry Farm is a treasured spot for Reese and her whole family. And it’s no wonder: Located in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee about 45 minutes from Knoxville, this family-owned resort epitomizes contemporary Southern hospitality at its most luxurious.

The 4,200-acre property offers the opportunity for countless activities, from hiking to fly fishing to carriage rides. You can spa or work out in the immaculate facilities, or relish the views from the well-appointed rooms. The Farm also puts on dozens of events throughout the year featuring headline-making chefs, musicians, athletes, winemakers, and more. (You can find the 2017 schedule here.)

But the real draw is the land’s bounty—from the vegetables that come from the gardens, to the meat from the livestock, to the cheese from the dairy. The resort’s renowned cuisine is sourced from the Farm itself and the nearby region.

Cassidee Dabney, Executive Chef at The Barn restaurant at Blackberry Farm, helps spearhead the innovative food program. Just in time for Christmas and New Year’s, she shared Blackberry Farm’s recipe for Shaved Ham and Honey Poached Apples with us. “It’s a perfect entertaining salad for the end to the busy holiday season,” she says.

To make the salad, Chef Cassidee and her team use ham from Benton’s, a Tennessee-based purveyor specializing in slow cured country hams. You can purchase the ham on the Blackberry Farm website or simply use high quality ham purchased from your local butcher.

Blackberry Farm recipe

Blackberry Farm’s Shaved Ham & Honey Poached Apples. It’s pictured on pottery that is specially made for The Barn by a local potter (and is also available on the Blackberry Farm website). “The ashes from the fireplace in The Barn are used to create a beautiful glaze,” says Chef Cassidee. (All images by beall + thomas photography and courtesy Blackberry Farm.)

Blackberry Farm’s Recipe for Shaved Ham & Honey Poached Apples


  • 6 thin slices of Benton’s aged country ham (or use country ham from your local butcher)
  • 3 heirloom apples
  • ¼ cup good quality apple cider vinegar, with the “mother”
  • ½ cup local wildflower honey
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • Spicy winter greens like arugula, mizuna or baby kale


Cut the apples in half and remove the core. Mix the honey, water and apple cider vinegar together to make a thick dressing. Slice the apples thinly and toss in the vinaigrette. Top with the shaved ham and spicy greens.


Below, images of Blackberry Farm.

Blackberry Farm team members carry a Christmas tree across the Main House Lawn.

The Christmas tree in the James Beard Award winning The Barn at Blackberry Farm.

Dinner at The Barn at Blackberry Farm.


The Boathouse decorated for Christmas.

The Christmas tree in the James Beard Award winning The Barn at Blackberry Farm.

The Guest House at Blackberry Farm.

Wreaths hung on the outside of The Barn at Blackberry Farm to welcome dinner guests.








Welcome to the Draper James blog. My little slice of space to share the things I love most about life: people, parties, food, and fun!  It’s everything Draper James  stands for. and I hope you like it. 

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