Best of Memphis, Gonerfest, 2 Girls and Whip and more!

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Best of Memphis 2017 party. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Best of Memphis 2017 party.

Second place wasn’t good enough for Calvin Bell, a server at the Rendezvous.

He came in No. 2 last year in the Memphis Flyer’s Best of Memphis contest.

This year he came in No. 1.

“This year when I was nominated, I gave it all I had,” Bell said. “I really lobbied for it.”

His strategy? After taking care of his regular customers, he’d say, “By the way, I got nominated for Best Server.”

He calls his good customers his “local loyalties.’ “I felt comfortable talking to them about it.”

Bell, who has been with Rendezvous for 27 years, and his fiance, Kimberly Farmer, attended the Best of Memphis 2017 party Sept. 27 at Graceland.

About 2,500 attended the event, which featured food (including duck legs from third place Best Chef winner Michael Patrick of Rizzo’s) and music by John Paul Keith and The Subtractions.


Gonerfest14. East patio at Murphy's. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Gonerfest14. East patio at Murphy's.

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Andrew Anderson, who is in the Shakes and Proto Idiot, is a fan of Gonerfest.

What sets it apart from other festivals is it’s “open and welcoming and unpretentious,” Anderson said.

Other festivals are populated by “people who try to be cool and try to impress you.”

And Gonerfest? “Everyone is open and friendly and nice.”

Anderson, whose bands played during the festival, was among the 400 or so at Gonerfest14 Saturday Afternoon Blowout at Murphy’s, held Sept. 30.

Rob Blake, from London, Ontario, Canada, is in the band, Klazo, which didn’t perform at Gonerfest. He described the festival as “this gigantic melting pot of people from all over the world. Everyone is an equal.”


About “2,500 plus” .attended this year’s Gonerfest, which featured 36 bands in four days, said Zac Ives, who owns Goner Records with Eric Friedl.

Nick Longmire, who is in Burning Itch, a Knoxville group that didn’t perform at this year’s festival, summed up the attraction of Gonerfest in four words: “All the bands, dude.”


Two Girls and a Whip soft opening. With whisks. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Two Girls and a Whip soft opening. With whisks.

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The new bakery, Two Girls and a Whip, held a soft opening Sept. 29 at 363 South Front. The bakery is slated to open to the public Oct. 9.

A “whip” is another word for a “whisk,” which probably was used to beat the from-scratch batter to make the 300 plus cupcakes for the opening event.

The owners are Caroline Dean, Mary Katherine Dunston and Courtney Lollar. Dunston and Lollar are the bakers a.k.a. the two girls with the whip.

The bakery featured their regular cupcakes - strawberry, lemon, chocolate, white cake and yellow cake - at the soft opening.

They also served other cupcakes, including “chipotle chocolate,” one of their specialty flavors.
Dean described the cupcake as “a dark chocolate batter that has just a little bit of chipotle - a very finely-ground chipotle - added to the icing. Also a special dark chocolate icing.”

They also sell “Boozy Batter” cupcakes - “Ones that actually have alcohol in them,” Dean said.

Guests could tri “White Russian” cupcakes at the event. They’re made with vodka and Kahlua.

So, who came up with the name “Two Girls and a Whip?” “Aldo did,” said Dean, whose husband is Aldo Dean, owner of Bar Dog, Aldo’s Pizza Pies and Slider Inn.

“Aldo has all sorts of Aldo has all sorts of random knowledge in his head,” Caroline said. “I’m sure he was thinking about the whisk being called a ‘whip.’”


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Musa Banat, Mark Winder, Thomas Strickland, John Elmore at Mark Winder reception. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Musa Banat, Mark Winder, Thomas Strickland, John Elmore at Mark Winder reception.

Memphis Blues Rugby Club players gathered Sept. 30, but they didn’t wear cleats or sideburns. They already played rugby, so they changed shoes. And the Elvis 7s rugby tournament/homage to the King with its “Mr. Sideburns” contest is held in August.

The event, hosted by attorney Larry Magdovitz and his wife, Nouth, was a reception for Mark Winder, who was Larry’s rugby coach at Boston University. Winder now is head coach of the Mandurah Pirates in Mandurah, West Australia, near Perth.

“I invited him to come to Memphis and he took me up on it,” Magdovitz said.

Area restaurants provided food, which included crepes from Crepe Maker, lamb from Owen Brennan’s, pasta from Ciao Bella and key lime pie from Houston’s. Nouth also prepared some of the food.

The event also served as an “after inner squad match” held that day at McBride Field, said Spencer Hansen, one of the players whose likeness was captured by caricaturist Kevin Reuter, who kept a line in front of his easel as he drew portraits of guests.


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