MEMPHIS (March 14, 2018) – Three new chefs are heading up the culinary team at The Guest House at Graceland™. Memphis’ newest AAA Four Diamond hotel welcomes new Executive Chef Leland Spence, new Chef de Cuisine Seth Harris and new Executive Sous Chef Ken Griffith.
Spence brings more than a decade of executive chef experience to The Guest House to supervise all dining venues at the hotel, including the premiere restaurant, Delta’s Kitchen, E.P.’s Bar and Grill, Shake Rattle and Go coffee bar, Lobby Bar, catering and banquets. Prior to joining The Guest House, Spence served two years as both executive chef and food and beverage director at Marriott International’s Renaissance Charlotte SouthPark Hotel. Managing a team of 40 culinary and stewarding staff, he created and implemented seasonal menus and managed food, labor and equipment costs.
Although a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts, Chef Spence credits his grandmother for teaching him the basics of Southern cooking while he shadowed her in the kitchen since he was six years old. Today, he admits his favorite menu item to prepare is Parmesan Boursin Risotto with Truffle Corn Puree and Filet Mignon with Barbeque Foie Gras Demi and he plans to add it to the new menu this Spring.
Harris, who also started his culinary path at an early age, is Chef de Cuisine, overseeing Delta’s Kitchen, the premier restaurant at The Guest House, as well as E.P.’s Bar and Grill, a popular sports bar and grill. He credits his father, who was a professional baker, for teaching him baking techniques when he was eight years old.
Harris studied at the Laision Meridian Memphis Culinary Academy and was selected to work for Felicia Willett, chef and owner of Felicia Suzanne’s Restaurant in Memphis. After eight years of training there, Harris served in the kitchen at Memphis Country Club and Germantown Country Club. He also worked with Aramark, a top food service company as a kitchen supervisor. Prior to joining The Guest House, Harris oversaw the kitchens for Bourbon Street Steakhouse, winning several culinary awards, and 61 Grille Steakhouse.
Griffith started as a sous chef with The Guest House before it opened, and has been promoted to Executive Sous Chef, overseeing the hotel’s busy schedule of small meetings to events for 1,000 guests and room service for the 450-room property. Griffith began his culinary career by helping his brother-in-law open JB Spuds, where he served as kitchen supervisor. He moved on to a series of hotels with the same position before becoming banquet chef at the Regal Riverfront Hotel in St. Louis, MO. He also worked at Harrah’s Casino and Resort as the buffet chef, serving 2,500 guest each day, while changing all culinary selection to fresh-made. Prior to moving to Memphis and joining The Guest House, Griffith served as executive sous chef at the Millennium Hotel and Cardinals Nation.
“We are very pleased with our new culinary team and look forward to adding Chef Spence’s Southern specialties to the menus,” said Jerry Jensen, vice president of sales and marketing at the hotel. “Each chef brings a high level of professionalism, innovation and talent to their position, which translates to the dining experience at The Guest House.”
About The Guest House at Graceland
The Guest House at Graceland, along with the new Elvis Presley’s Memphis™ exhibit and entertainment complex, is the most significant enhancement to Graceland® since it opened to the public in 1982 and the largest hotel project in Memphis in over 90 years. The AAA Four-Diamond world-class resort, just steps away from Elvis Presley’s™ iconic mansion, features 430 spacious guest rooms and 20 luxury suites, two full-service restaurants, expansive meeting and special events space for conventions, meetings, weddings and gatherings for 1350 people, a 464-seat theater for live performances and movies, an expansive outdoor pool and a manicured lawn space with capabilities for a 400-person tent for special outdoor events. Reservations for The Guest House at Graceland may be made by calling 800-238-2000 or 901-443-3000, or online at www.GuestHouseGraceland.com.