Maryville's Walnut Kitchen offering dry-aged steaks and charcuterie in new retail area

Ashley Gaylor's standing as an exceptional butcher was built on experience and offering the finest cuts of meat.

He was 8 years old the first time he tried his hand at butchering. It was in the meat department at his great-grandfather's market — the memorable Cas Walker.

During his 17-year tenure with Butler & Bailey Market, he earned the reputation as the go-to butcher in West Knoxville.

After leaving there, Gaylor spent two years working for Southern Natural Farms in Lexington, Tennessee. The business has its own glowing reputation for growing and acquiring premiere beef and pork products. That's where Gaylor learned best practices for growing a top-of-the-line product.

Combine Gaylor's 17 years at Butler & Bailey with his two years at Southern Natural Farms, and you've got a master butcher who knows the beef business from hoof to table.

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Mary Constantine, USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee Published 10:00 a.m. ET Nov. 29, 2017


Inside the Walnut Kitchen


A small retail butcher counter will give Maryville residents the opportunity to take home the local beef, pork, poultry, lamb, and fish that The Walnut Kitchen plans to serve. Plus the location, on a route that leads to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, means that the retail operation, which will also offer burgers, steaks, chicken, and other meats, will fulfill national park visitors’ grilling needs.

Now, with a full staff that’s ready to open — hopefully by the end of the week — the community looks forward to the Walnut Kitchen becoming an everyday restaurant for the people of Maryville. “From a price point standpoint, we’ve managed to stay at a place where people shouldn’t be afraid to come in here on a regular Tuesday night,” chef says.

But given the staff’s fine-dining experience, for special occasions, The Walnut Kitchen offers a six-course tasting menu with an optional wine pairing served at seats by the open kitchen. But, chef reiterates, “day-to-day, if you want to come in, get a good steak, a good burger, good seasonal vegetables and not have to dress up to do it, we’re definitely that place.”

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by Monica Burton Aug 22, 2017, 12:34pm EDT

Photography by Heather Anne Thomas

The Walnut Kitchen to open in Maryville


The Walnut Kitchen also will include The Walnut Butcher, a retail area where customers can purchase fresh and preserved meats, breads and other items used at the restaurant. An exterior door at the back of the kitchen will be open for those who aren't dining but want to drop in and purchase a product.


Seasonal ingredients will be the mainstay of chef’s vegetable offerings. Chef also plans to have seafood on the menu but prefers to offer those as daily specials so that he can ensure the best product is flown in from the coast.”

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Knoxville News Sentinel