Chef Walter started learning to cook when he was nine. It was not started for fun, but out of necessity. However, it did not take him long to discover that cooking was a lot more fun than hoeing corn.
Throughout the 35 years that Chef Walter worked at the University of Tennessee in a number of positions, ending as Associate Vice President for State and Federal Affairs, he maintained his interest in cooking. This was furthered when he married Anne Wayland about 40 years ago. She brought with her a collection of cookbooks that she started when she was twelve. In the intervening years, this collection has grown to something more than 2000. In the years Chef Walter was going off to Washington and to Nashville, Miss Anne was hard at work in a number of jobs on the UT campus.
Now that they have both retired, the division of labor at their house is well established: Chef Walter cooks and Miss Anne garnishes. Examples of her work are seen in the centerpieces that are part of every show.
Chef Walter and Miss Anne have served as co-chairs of the Gourmet Gala for The March of Dimes, cooked in the Elegant Dining program for the Knoxville Symphony and served on numerous committees around town.
In the old days, Chef Walter worried about how to get a bill through the legislature. Now, he worries about whether he is going to burn the biscuits. Now is more fun.
Chef Walter has published seven cookbooks. His first was Kinfolks and Custard Pie, and it was published by the University of Tennessee Press. He has also published Cooking with the Noonday Chef, Volumes 1, 2, and 3, Cooking with Chef Walter, and More Cooking with Chef Walter. His latest is Chef Walter Another Helping which you can find in Food City stores all around the area.
Chef Walter and Miss Anne have one son and one granddaughter. They also have a dog named Peyton, but they don't talk much about that.