Batey & Cohen, Exhibit & Reception (Maryville)

Robert Batey and Dana Cohen presented their artwork at The Tomato Head’s Knoxville location throughout February. The month of March brings their work to the Maryville location of The Tomato Head and to the Blount County community.

All are invited to attend a reception, to be held on Sunday, March 14, from 5pm-7pm, to celebrate the exhibits and to meet the artists.

We hope to see you here!

Tomato Head’s Strawberry Brownie Sundae

Mahasti appeared on WBIR this morning (March 6) and introduced how to make a delicious Strawberry Brownie Sundae. Step-by-step below:

Tomato Head’s Strawberry Brownie Sundae

For the brownie:
½ lb butter
6 oz bittersweet chocolate
2 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
1.5 cups all purpose flour
¼ cup cocoa powder

Line the bottom of a 8 x 11 baking dish with parchment paper. Grease the sides of the dish with butter.

On a double boiler melt butter and chocolate. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.

Sift together the flour and cocoa powder and set aside.

Beat the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand held mixer for 4 – 5 minutes on high speed until pale yellow. Reduce speed to low and add vanilla. Gradually add the melted chocolate. Gradually add the flour and mix just until all the flour is incorporated. Pour the brownie batter into the prepared baking dish.

Bake in a 325 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is shiny and the brownie is puffed up.

Allow brownie to cool for 1 hour. Remove from pan.

To assemble sundaes:

2 cups sliced strawberries
¼ cup sugar
Hershey’s Chocolate syrup
Whipped cream

In a medium bowl toss strawberries with sugar and set aside until the strawberries begin to give off some juice.

Cut 4 pieces out of the brownies you just made. Place each brownie on a plate or in a bowl. Divide the strawberries evenly amongst the brownies. Top with vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup. Top with whipped cream and nuts.

Julie Armbruster’s Doomed Mammals exhibit at The Tomato Head–March 6

(Knoxville, TN) – The strange narrative paintings of Julie Armbruster return to Knoxville this Spring, debuting at the Tomato Head Market Square location on Saturday, March 6th.

Drawing from three separate narratives, Julie Armbruster’s work exhibited in Doomed Mammals illustrates selections from the Potato Boy, Frog-Monkey, and DuckLips sagas. The three stories deal with volatile friendship, scientific mutation, and how to accept responsibility.

The show is a retrospective of the most recent events unfolding within these stories, revealing some interesting twists that are sure to peak your curiosity. The show will be on display at The Tomato Head in downtown Knoxville until April 3rd and will then move to the Maryville Tomato Head from April 4th- May 2nd. A closing reception will be held Saturday May 1st from 3-5pm at the Maryville Tomato Head restaurant. At the reception, Armbruster will have a limited edition book relating the story of Potato Boy and his pet duck Elmore entitled “Idealism Requires Patience.”

Julie Armbruster’s work has evolved to include much more intricate compositions and details. Her work is often realized through automatic drawing and then refined through layered rendering and delicate outlining. The landscapes seem oddly familiar and often directly reflect her surroundings in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. The world rendered in the paintings is set at a distance from the viewer with the addition of the resin surface and illustrative style. The shine and saturation of color give the work an inviting pull. The viewer is further entranced by the complexity of emotions conveyed by the characters that are often faced with some sort of weighty decision or traumatic occurrence. The narratives are realized through anthropomorphic characters that seem bewildered and internal. Her stories are both funny and dark and typically lack a straightforward resolution.

Julie Armbruster’s work can be seen on her website and in her hometown of Asheville, NC at the Woolworth Walk and Honeypot Boutique.

Julie Armbruster has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in galleries throughout the East Coast and Abroad, including the School of Architecture in Venice Italy, 80 Washington Square Gallery in New York, and Rebus Works in Raleigh, North Carolina. Often seeking shows in alternative spaces, her work has been exhibited in skate shops, bars, music venues, restaurants, and record shops. Julie Armbruster was born in Voorhees, NJ in 1979 and has lived in New York most of her life. She received a Masters in Painting from New York University in 2003 and has studied abroad in Italy and Germany. Following grad school, she moved to Asheville, NC and maintains an art studio in The Wedge in River Arts District.

7th Annual Leadership Summit

Friday morning and afternoon we’re serving up breakfast and lunch to the participants at the 7th Annual Leadership Summit in Blount County. It’s a special event, co-sponsored by two local organizations, Leadership Blount and the Center for Strong Communities at Maryville College.

The topic at this year’s summit is “Health Care—Redefined,” with a keynote address by Dr. John McKnight, co-founder of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute of Northwestern University.

We’re happy to be included in an event that addresses our community’s health and wellness and promise to keep making the healthiest, freshest food we can for our customers.

Breakfast Tacos

Mahasti’s in the kitchen at WBIR, Saturday, February 20, cookin’ up breakfast tacos with Benton’s bacon, scrambled eggs, cheddar, shredded lettuce, salsa and sour cream. Air time is roughly 8:15am, so tune in and watch if you get the chance. The tacos will be available for eats at both Maryville and Knoxville locations of The Tomato Head this Sunday, February 21. Get your yum on.

Love In a Box

I love to bake. In fact, I probably enjoy the act and craft of baking more now than ever before. In addition to experimenting with bread that uses mash from Scott’s forays into brewing, I’m spending a lot of time baking up sweet stuff.

Chocolate has an amazing power of making things right, especially when it is fresh and in cookie format. And nothing delivers a chocolate punch like the Chocolate Thunder—a chocolate cookie packed with melting white, milk and bittersweet chocolate chips. Mmm. These cookies dispel the rainy/cold day blues and when shared, they have a way of saying “I really like you” without ever uttering a word.

The Chocolate Thunders seemed like the perfect Valentine’s Day gift to offer in a cookie box–to give (or to give to yourself). Not too big, not too small, able to be enjoyed immediately as well as able to be shared.

We’re going to take reservations for these special Cookie Boxes (Love in a Box) up until the day before pick up. Deadline for Friday pick up is Thursday, deadline for Saturday pick up is Friday, deadline for Sunday pick up is Saturday. You get the idea.

Just call in a reservation to the restaurant where you plan on picking up. (865.637.4067-Knoxville, 865.981.1080-Maryville).


-ps-We make ‘em fresh so you can give ‘em fresh…so make sure to eat ‘em fresh!

Local Artists Robert Batey & Dana Cohen exhibit “Branching Out,” panoramic photographs of the Smoky Mountains


“Branching Out,” a group of panoramic Smoky Mountain photographs in hand-built rustic frames begins its Knoxville show on February 6 and runs through March 6. “Branching Out” will continue its exhibit at The Tomato Head Maryville location from March 7 through April 4.

Read about the exhibit from the full press release:


Local artists exhibit photographs of Smoky Mountains
January 18, 2010

“Branching Out”, a group of panoramic Smoky Mountain photographs in hand-built rustic frames by local artists Robert Batey and Dana Cohen, will be on exhibit at the Tomato Head Restaurant on Market Square in Knoxville, from February 6- March 6, 2010. A continuing exhibit will be held at the Tomato Head’s Maryville location from March 7-April 4, 2010.

The photographs were created by Sevierville photographer Robert Batey, for exhibits commemorating the recent 75th anniversary of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Photography was instrumental in forming the park 75 years ago. Batey has photographed the Smokies for fifteen years, returning frequently to experience familiar places in new ways. “Nature inspires my search for beauty and mystery”, says Batey. “Experiencing the world through the lens provides a meditative way to explore nature and share my discoveries with others.”

Robert and his wife Dana Cohen collaborate on building the rustic frames. Our “elegant rustic” designs are inspired by the Great Camps of the Adirondack Mountains, first popularized during the late 1800s. “Being a photographer,” adds Batey, “it seemed only natural to combine my original nature photographs with some of our designs for a unique blending of rustic and fine art.”

Each one-of-a-kind frame is hand crafted from traditional birch bark and native materials gathered here in the Smoky Mountains. “Our design process is simple”, says Batey. “Nothing is predetermined. We start with a pile of branches and twigs and then work out a pattern, an idea. It’s very much an intuitive, sculptural approach.”All of our branches are taken from fallen trees or thinned saplings from the edges of utilitycuts”, adds Cohen. “We even use Hemlock, cut from standing dead trees killed by the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid. It gives them a new life.”

The artists, both trained as architects, have studied the rustic style from many sources, yet emerge with something unique. “We may start with an idea from a historic piece, and by the time we bring in our own style and use materials available, it becomes our own design,” Cohen says. Every piece is selected for its unique character, and its contribution to the overall design.


The artists enjoy working with homeowners and designers to create a one of a kind picture, entry door or custom piece for your home or office.
More information is available on their website at Robert and Dana
can be contacted at 865-774-5955 or

Tomato Head’s Super Bowl Sunday 7 Layer Dip

Mahasti was up early this morning (heck, she’s up early every morning), sharing this recipe for 7-Layer Dip on WBIR. If you didn’t catch her on air, you can check out the recipe below. Plus, we’ll be serving it at the restaurant all day today.

Tomato Head’s Super Bowl Sunday 7-Layer Dip

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup chopped onion
¼ cup oil
1.5 Tbs ground cumin
¾ tsp. Salt
1 cup water

Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add ground cumin and salt. Sauté one minute longer. Add water and bring to boil. Remove from heat and mash with a potato masher until 50% of beans have broken up.

Can be made up to this point one day ahead.

To assemble dip:

1 cup shredded mozzarella or Monterey jack cheese

Place beans in a 1.5 to 2 quart baking dish. Cover with 1 cup of shredded cheese. Place the dish in a 350 degree oven just until cheese has melted. If you made your beans a day ahead leave the beans in the oven longer until they heat up and cheese melts.

1 cup shredded lettuce
½ cup diced onion
½ cup sliced black olives
½ cup diced tomatoes
½ cup sour cream
Your favorite hot sauce

Remove beans from oven – top with shredded lettuce, onion, tomatoes, black olives, sour cream and hot sauce. Serve with corn chips

Serves 4.

If you are expecting more of a crowd you can double the recipe.

© 2016 The Tomato Head Site by: Robin Easter Design