Cassidee Dabney talks about Appalachia, grief, and the power of positive screaming.

By Kat Kinsman
Updated January 24, 2020

Chefs and restaurant workers take great care of everyone else, but often they need a little help themselves. Each week, Food & Wine senior editor Kat Kinsman talks with hospitality pros about they manage their business, brain, and body for the long haul. Is there a topic you'd like to know more about or a guest you'd love to hear from? Tell us at or tweet to Kat @kittenwithawhip, and subscribe to the weekly Food & Wine Pro newsletter. Subscribe to the new Communal Table YouTube page and never miss an episode. Catch up on previous episodes here.

Episode 47: Cassidee Dabney

At Blackberry Farm in Walland, TN, many, many hands go into crafting magical moments for guests—many of whom return year after year, and plenty for whom this is a bucket-list trip. As executive chef at The Barn, Cassidee Dabney is responsible for a major part of that experience, and while there's nothing else she would rather be doing, the position comes with a lot of pressure. This past summer, Dabney sat down on the porch of the farm's Pencil Cob cottage to talk about the region's cuisine; cooking for people with high expectations; the tragic loss of Blackberry's proprietor, Sam Beall; and why she leads a group scream in the dining room.

p.s. She got the dog.

Learn more about Cassidee:

Follow Cassidee (and her puppy!) on Instagram: @cassidee

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Previous episode: Trish Nelson