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The Weekly Dish
New CA columnist
February 28, 2007
By Jennifer Chandler

When asked why I got into the food business, I always quickly respond "because I love to eat!"

My love of good food has led me down an interesting road the past 15 years. After a life changing year in Paris attending Le Cordon Bleu culinary school, I cut my teeth in the food biz with a stint at a Washington, D.C. restaurant group as well as working in the pastry shop at one of the East Coast's top caterers.

After moving back home, I briefly considered getting a 9 to 5 career but soon found myself dreaming of the kitchen. For several years, I owned a little market in East Memphis called Cheffie's Market and More. With the birth of my second child though, I decided to turn my food career into a more family-friendly one and…because I couldn't leave the biz altogether… started food writing.

Many of you may know me as a contributing writer to several regional magazines or from hearing me in the grocery line gush about my soon to be released first cookbook, Simply Salads. For those I have yet to meet, I am looking forward to getting to know you.

So, here's to an appetizing adventure as together we explore and experience all the delicious food that the mid-South has to offer. This is a great town with so many culinary gems and I can't wait to introduce you to all my fabulous food finds.

Life-long Memphians will remember the great food and products at the original Squash Blossom down on Poplar Avenue. Well, Squash Blossom founder Jimmy Lewis is jumping back into the natural food business and opening Jimmy's Market in mid-November. "What will set our store apart from the large chains is our customer service," says Lewis, "Our business will be based on building relationships with our customers." Lewis' new endeavor will be located right across the street from the original at 1723 Poplar Avenue (the current Burke's Book Store).

Across town, Larkin Grisanti, GM of the Frank Grisanti fine dining restaurant at Embassy Suites, will be teaching a class at the Viking Cooking School featuring "Grisanti Favorites" such as Grilled Oysters Scampi Style, Grilled Caesar Salad, Sweet Sausage Ragu and Salmon Bruno. The March 1st class, which costs $59 per person, runs from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The Frank Grisanti family's cookbook, Frank Grisanti and Sons The Main Course, which Larkin co-authored, will be available for purchase during the demonstration.

And if you can't make the cooking class, you will soon be able to pick up a bottle of the Grisanti's signature Miss Mary's ® Italian salad dressing at your local Kroger, Schnuck's or Super-Lo market. Look for it during the next few weeks in the dressings section.

Searching for a new place to eat after church? The Grove Grill in Laurelwood isn't new but they have a new Sunday brunch menu featuring such goodies as Poached Eggs Sardou, Creole Eggs with Tasso Ham, Cinnamon Croissant French Toast and Sautéed Crab Cake Benedict. Bar Manager Terry Allen is also mixing up some Brunch Drink Specials (such as the Scarlet O'Hara, Chris' "Reveille" Bloody Mary and Blueberry Tea) to accompany the new menu. Bring in your Sunday church bulletin to receive 10% off your brunch order.

Could you be the next Rachel Ray or Mario Batali? Record a video and star in your own cooking show at RealMeals.tv (www.realmeals.tv), a new online cooking channel featuring short, high-quality videos of real people and real chefs sharing their recipes and tips with a worldwide audience. RealMeals.tv also dishes up recipes, cooking tips and the latest on kitchen products as well as hosting various cooking contests.

Please share your fabulous food finds and restaurant news with me at jennifer@cookwithjennifer.com.
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