Chef Neville Forsythe was a popular personality in our community for many years because of both his skill in the kitchen and his way with people, so it was a huge loss when he died in a car accident last year.

There will be a celebration of his life on Saturday, Feb. 1, at 7:30 p.m. at Barking Legs Theater, and it should be a great time and a great way to honor a man who loved music and entertaining almost as much as he loved food. It is being hosted by his family and friends, and designed as a fundraiser for two of his passions — cooking and Scouting.

"Chef Neville Forsythe: An Eclectic Celebration" will include many of his favorite things such as performances from Fresh Mind and The 4th Ward Afro-Klezmer Orchestra. Both groups had long histories with Chef Neville over the years.

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Neville Forsythe / Staff photo by Doug Strickland

Chef Neville came here in 1986 to work at the Fairyland Club after graduating from the Culinary Institute of America. Members of The 4th Ward Afro-Klesmer Orchestra used to play at Chef's Underground, where Forsythe first made his presence known to many in the community.

Similarly, Fresh Mind got its start at Mrs. B's Reggae Cafe, providing reggae beats to go with the chef's Jamaican cuisine. DJ Hubbs will provide dance music to close out the evening.

Guests will also get to sample Forsythe's favorite signature cocktail, the Voodoo Rhum Punch, while listening to reggae, rock, jazz and pop throughout the night.

Smoked jerk wings will be provided by the River Street Deli and Bruce Weiss, who was an apprentice with Forsythe. Tickets for this event are $20 per person and are available here. Proceeds will benefit The Neville Osmond Forsythe Sr. Scholarship. 

The Neville Osmond Forsythe Sr. Scholarship was created to provide help for aspiring culinary students and provide assistance to deserving local Boy Scouts, both of which were passions of Forsythe.

Corporate support for the scholarship fund has been provided by the Scenic City Angels and Townsend Atelier. If you can't make it to the event, you can donate online here.

Contact Barry Courter at or 423-757-6354.


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