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David Rule
Chef/Owner

A native of Maryville, TN, David Rule found his passion for hospitality at a young age. David started working in a small family owned restaurant in his hometown at the age of 15. The restaurant scene quickly made a tremendous impact on David’s future. The hustle and bustle, the need for multi-tasking skills, and most importantly providing amazing experiences for guest are what drew him to this demanding profession. With over 18 years of experience in the hospitality industry he has honed his skills along side some of the top hospitality leaders in the region. These include stints with Aubrey's Restaurant Group, Dancing Bear Lodge, and Blackberry Farm. Through these experiences David has developed a unique style that is as calm, confident, relaxed, and as laid back as his demeanor. As the Chef and Proprietor of The Walnut Kitchen his vision is ingrained into the level of  hospitality and cuisine that is provided.

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Ashley Gaylor
Butcher

Ashley has spent most of his adult life working in a retail butcher shop.  He served as the meat manager from 1998 until 2015 at Butler and Bailey Market. As the Butcher at The Walnut Kitchen Ashley designs the meat program that includes dry aged beef and old world style cured meats like bacon and country ham. He maintains close relationships with the farmers that supply our proteins to ensure quality is always top notch.  Ashley's expertise is put on display throughout the menus in the dining room as well as at the retail butcher counter within the restaurant.

 
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Tommy Cooper

Tommy is also a Blount County native that has spent the last fifteen years of his career working in multiple roles at Blackberry Farm in Walland, TN. Starting as a dishwasher and working his way up the ranks Tommy served as a cook, server, captain, and ultimately manager of the prestigious Barn at Blackberry Farm. Under Tommy’s leadership, he and his team were awarded the 2014 James Beard Award for Outstanding Service. Tommy’s ability to be very detail oriented while fostering a team atmosphere is what results into incredible dining experiences under his watch.