VOL. 133 | NO. 78 | Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Amanda Dunham Talks Changes At East Memphis’ Grove Grill
By Kate Simone
Twenty years after The Grove Grill opened in Laurelwood Shopping Center, the restaurant is reinventing itself with modernized decor and the recently launched Third Thursday monthly tasting series. Helping drive the changes are chef Chip Dunham – the son of Grove Grill owners Jeff and Tracey Dunham – and his wife, beverage director Amanda Dunham, who both joined the restaurant after moving to Memphis last July.
Amanda Dunham walks us through some of the changes underway at the family venture.
Hometown: Staten Island, NY
Experience: The Culinary Institute of America, 2014; Fig Restaurant (Charleston, South Carolina), 2014-2017.
What’s the short version of your role at The Grove Grill? As for day to day, I am responsible for floor management, development of our service and wine training program. I handle all wine, liquor and beer menus and recipe development. I also oversee all of our in-house marketing and social media.
What talent do you wish you had? I have always wanted to be fluent in multiple languages. The three languages that interest me most are Italian, Spanish and sign language.
Who has had the greatest influence on you and why? My greatest influence has been my mom. She is my go-to for pretty much every situation; she always leads me down the right path.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? Completing both the level one and two certification for the Court of Master Sommeliers before I turned 22.
What’s new at The Grove Grill for diners who maybe haven’t visited in a while? The first thing they’ll notice is the tables and menus. We are pushing a casual spin on The Grove Grill. Secondly, Chip and I are continuously acquiring the best products we can find. Being a small family business, we love to support other local small businesses, such as Cris and Sandy Watson from Renaissance Farms, and wineries like Cambria Estate, who we will be featuring in our April Third Thursday event (April 19).
Tell us a little about the menu updates. Currently our food menus are changing at least once a week, highlighting some of the best farmers and producers around. On the beverage side of things, I am always looking to bring in interesting wines and spirits. Some that have a hint of familiarity but may help you expand your normal beverage order. As far as the wine list, it’s easier to navigate – we are sorting wines by flavor profile instead of by grape or country.
What’s driving the changes throughout the restaurant? I believe Chip and I have brought a new energy to the restaurant. We are pulling inspiration not only from where we’ve worked, but also the places we’ve traveled. In a way, I would say we are focusing on a “Country Side Cuisine,” which is giving us the opportunity to pull inspiration from any country side we want.
What do you most enjoy about your work? I would have to say it is a toss-up between having the opportunity to taste new wines and the camaraderie with the staff.
If you could give one piece of advice to young people, what would it be? The best advice I have is don’t be afraid to try something new, whether it be traveling, moving or cuisine; there is so much to explore.
George T. “Buck” Lewis, a shareholder in Baker Donelson’s Memphis office, has been named to the Legal Services Corp.’s Disaster Taskforce. LSC, the nation’s largest funder of civil legal aid for low-income people, created the task force to address the legal rights of and issues faced by disaster survivors and the particular needs of low-income communities in the aftermath of disaster. Lewis was chosen for his efforts and experience toward ensuring access to legal services.
Christina Babu has been promoted to account manager at Obsidian Public Relations. Babu joined Obsidian in March 2017 as an account executive. In her new role, she will manage and assist with strategy development and planning for her client accounts, which range from business-to-business to hospitality to the arts, and will be responsible for executing and overseeing public relations tactics, project management and client relations.
Elvis Davis has been awarded the International Sign Association’s Kirk L. Brimley Distinguished Service Award for significant contributions to the sign, graphics and visual communications industry. Davis was honored for his work with ISA and the Mid-South Sign Association. He began his career in the industry in 1959.
Darrell Douglas, a private wealth adviser and certified financial planner with Guidingpoint Financial Group, an affiliate of Ameriprise Financial Services Inc., has been named to a list of “Best-in-State Wealth Advisors” published by Forbes Magazine. Douglas, who has 38 years’ experience in financial services, was chosen based on assets under management, industry experience, regulatory and compliance record, and revenue produced over a three-year period.
Olympus Corp. of the Americas, which recently opened a $12 million expansion of its Bartlett medical device manufacturing campus, has earned the 2018 Military Friendly Employer designation by Victory Media. The annual list is provided to service members and their families to help them discover the best post-military career opportunities. Companies and organizations were evaluated using public data from federal agencies, personal opinion data from veteran employees, and proprietary Military Friendly survey data from participating organizations.
Ducks Unlimited’s Memphis, Germantown-Cordova and Collierville chapters have been honored among the top fundraising chapters across the nation for 2017. Memphis and Germantown-Cordova were named President’s Elite chapters for raising between $100,000 and $249,999. Collierville was named a President’s Roll of Honor chapter for raising between $65,000 and $99,999.