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The Legacy of Margi Smith Hemingway



The work and resources of the late Margi Smith Hemingway, an important figure in Memphis' culinary world, will find a home at the Margi Smith Hemingway Culinary Arts Reference Center at the Dunklin County Library in Kennett, Missouri, slated to open in 2007.

Hemingway, who passed away late last year, had a long career in public relations with an equally long and varied client list that included The Plaza hotel, Bert Greene, and Panola Hot Sauce, as well as many Memphis-based clients such as Sekisui, Erling Jensen, and Molly's La Casita.

The new reference center will house Hemingway's 2,000-piece collection of 19th- and 20th-century cookbooks, reference books, photographs, menus, brochures, press releases for chefs and restaurants from around the world, handwritten recipes, and other culinary items. The collection includes many rare and first-edition works, such as Miss Parloa's Appledore Cookbook from 1872 and a 1918 edition of a Fannie Farmer Boston Cooking School cookbook. There are plans to eventually put the entire collection online, providing access to foodies worldwide. Thank you, Margi!

Contributions to the Margi Smith Hemingway Culinary Arts Reference Center can be made to the Friends of the Library, c/o Stephen Sokoloff, POB 721, Kennett, MO 63857.

If you are on your way downtown to catch a show at The Orpheum or a ballgame but don't want to miss out on dinner, try Capriccio Grill's new sunset menu. Throughout the summer Capriccio Grill, located in The Peabody hotel, will offer a special three-course menu for $35 per person plus tax and gratuity. The first course is soup or salad followed by three entrée choices. For dessert, diners can choose between chocolate bread pudding and an assortment of sorbets. The sunset menu is available every day from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Capriccio Grill, 149 Union (529-4199)

Dominican Republic meets Scotland during a scotch and cigar tasting at The Peabody's Corner Bar. The tasting features three Bruichladdich scotches and the Davidoff No. 2 cigar from the Classic Series.

The menu for the occasion includes fried ravioli with marinara sauce and calamari fritti with tomato basil sauce.The tasting is on Wednesday, May 31st from 6 to 8 p.m. Cost per person is $60. For reservations, call 529-4128.

There are new chefs for two Memphis restaurants this month. The Madison Hotel's Grill 83 welcomes Wesley Turnage as its new executive chef, and at Garlands restaurant, Michael Grogan will take over in the kitchen.

Turnage earned his culinary degree from the New England Culinary Institute and has worked at Chez Philippe, the Oxford University Club, and the Tournament Players Club at Southwind. At Grill 83, Turnage has set out to incorporate regional foods in culinary classics, which on the menu translates into Delta grindstone polenta frites, blue-corn-meal-dusted calamari, sugar-cane-skewered grilled salmon, and lobster 'n' grits.

Grogan is a Memphis boy who learned the ropes in the kitchen from his mother and grandmother. Working in Memphis kitchens since he was 18 -- Boscos, Wally Joe, and Washington Street Bistro, among them -- Grogan now feels at home at Garlands, where his food reflects different culinary influences with an emphasis on fresh, organic ingredients. The eclectic menu features grilled Arkansas quail with fennel and citrus salad, scallops with wontons, lamb shank with chanterelle mushrooms and pearl onions, Tile fish with sautéed spinach, and baby artichokes on a blood-orange fish stock.

Grill 83, 83 Madison (333-1224)

Garlands, 712 West Brookhaven Circle (682-5202)

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