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Knoxville Convention Center names Jonathan Frye as executive chef

December 12, 2017

The Knoxville Convention Center has named Jonathan Frye as its new executive chef. Frye previously served as sous chef for the SMG-managed facility.

Chef Jonathan Frye

“Jonathan has been a great asset to our team and will thrive as executive chef, bringing a fresh vision and new delicious recipes to our catering menu,” said Mary Bogert, general manager of the Knoxville Convention Center.

As executive chef, Frye will lead the culinary vision for the Knoxville Convention Center and oversee menu planning and development of new dishes. He also will manage the staff and day-to-day kitchen operations, including ordering, inventory and quality of all food offerings.

“I love Knoxville and cooking for our community fills me with pride,” Frye said. “As executive chef, I look forward to bringing my creativity and experience to the table and leading a team that will create a wonderful dining experience for every Knoxville Convention Center client and guest.”

Frye has more than 15 years of experience in the culinary field. Prior to joining the Knoxville Convention Center in 2017, he served as park chef at Dollywood for six years, working in multiple restaurants within the facility, as well as at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort. He has worked in kitchens of all sizes, from the Holiday Inn in Pigeon Forge to a small pub in Sevierville. Frye also is ServSafe-certified and has completed extensive research on allergens in foods and meeting special dietary needs.

A Knoxville native, Frye earned his associate degree from Walters State Community College in Morristown, Tennessee.

Frye and his wife, Sarah, reside in Knoxville with their two children, Noble and Kalisee. In his free time, Frye enjoys sampling restaurants around Knoxville and cheering for University of Tennessee sports as an avid Vols fan.

About the Knoxville Convention Center

The Knoxville Convention Center, managed by SMG, is located in downtown Knoxville adjacent to the Sunsphere. It boasts a 120,000-square-foot exhibit hall, 30,000-square-foot divisible ballroom and 18 meeting rooms. For more information, visit

About SMG

Celebrating its 40th anniversary and founded in 1977, SMG provides management services to more than 230 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, theaters, performing arts centers, amphitheaters, equestrian facilities, science centers and a variety of other venues. With facilities across the globe, SMG manages more than 15 million square feet of exhibition space, and more than 1.5 million sports and entertainment seats. As the recognized global industry leader, SMG provides venue management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming; construction and design consulting; and pre-opening services for such landmark facilities as McCormick Place & Soldier Field in Chicago, Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Houston’s NRG Park and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. SMG also offers food and beverage operations through its concessions and catering companies, currently serving more than 140 accounts worldwide. For more information, visit