Karns Culinary Classes Prepare for the Fantasy of Trees


Taylor Hardy

Culinary students work together to bake panels for their gingerbread structure.

Taylor Hardy

Karns High School Culinary Program is getting ready for the Fantasy of Trees. Fantasy of Trees is a fundraiser set up for East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. There are lights, trees, music, gingerbread structures, and much more. They display the gingerbread structures so people not only can look, but they also buy the structures and all the money goes to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. Karns Culinary Class is making a gingerbread structure of the Empire State Building, a Ferris Wheel, a frozen pond, and a cathedral. Their classes’ goal is to make a big show stopper and have people’s jaws drop. Chef Jake Neblett, commonly referred to as “Neb” by his students, is the culinary instructor at Karns High School. For this big project, he has been helping the students work on this so it can be perfect.


Neb said the Fantasy of Trees is a, “Great thing to transfer over from Thanksgiving to Christmas time.”


Neb has always loved Fantasy of Trees and could not pass up the opportunity to participate, “Me and my family have been going to the Fantasy of Trees since I was a young child, so I have a connection to the Fantasy of Trees, and it’s an event that the community can see what my kids are doing.” 


Neb loves showing off his students’ work, “I’m really proud of the work my kids do and I know that they have a lot of ability, so to be able to brag in front of 27,000 people that to me is really cool. Raising money for Children’s Hospital is also a great cause.”


Additionally, constructing gingerbread structures allows for teaching moments that wouldn’t have been otherwise possible, “It also gives me a chance to teach my students these techniques so they can use them to carry on during the rest of their culinary careers.”


Karns Culinary Program is hoping to raise lots of money for East Tennessee Children’s Hospital and hope to do well in finishing their structure. This event will be held on November 24th through November 28th. This will be a great event for families to go together and look at all the lights and gingerbread houses there. If you’re wanting to go and help out,  you can purchase tickets ahead online on East Tennessee Children’s Hospital’s website.