Craig Blondis and Roger Sapp met on the BBQ circuit in the mid-80s. After competing in Memphis in May’s World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest and many other local and regional BBQ competitions. Their passion for BBQ and their love of all thing Memphis Tigers quickly allowed them to make the leap from friends to business partners. Craig’s experience started as a busboy at TGI Friday’s and continued to work through many local restaurants and bars throughout Memphis.
The pit at the first Central BBQ on Central Avenue was fired up in 2002 and from day one has been a success thanks to their wonderful customers and continual strive for excellence.
Chef Ryan Trimm was in born in Pittsburgh, PA and spent the majority of his early childhood in Southern California. He moved to Memphis at the age of twelve and stayed here through graduation from Christian Brothers High School in 1998.
Ryan went on to study English and Business at Ole Miss. During college he discovered his love for cooking. He worked in his first fine dining restaurant the summer after his freshman year. Ryan worked at The Carlton Restaurant in Pittsburgh, PA. He enjoyed the summer so much that he started working for a new restaurant in Oxford, 208 South Lamar.
Upon graduation Ryan moved to Charleston, South Carolina where he attended Johnson and Wales University and more importantly found a job working under Chef Frank Lee at Slightly North of Broad. He considers his years spent at S.N.O.B. the most influential in his career, crediting Lee’s direction as the basis for his broad kitchen skills and development of his palate.
Ryan moved back to Memphis in 2005 and started working at the Grove Grill. He spent over four years there as the Chef de Cuisine, until he opened Sweet Grass in April 2010. The following year they opened Sweet Grass Next Door, a casual sports restaurant and bar. In the two years that it has been open, Sweet Grass has won such accolades as Best New Restaurant and Best Bar in multiple Memphis publications. In addition, Ryan was nominated for Food and Wine’s Peoples’ Best New Chef 2011.
Ryan has been invited to cook in several festivals and showcases from Portland to Boston. And in 2014, Ryan was asked to participate in a Friends of James Beard benefit dinner with seven other local chefs; they prepared a six-course “Made in Memphis” dinner at the exalted James Beard House New York City.
In 2017, Ryan Trimm partnered with Craig Blondis and Roger Sapp of Central BBQ to open Sunrise Memphis, an eclectic diner specializing in classic breakfast favorites and house prepared artisan meats. The trio have plans to widen their already strong restaurant portfolio in the near future.
937 S. Cooper St.
Memphis, TN 38104
Sweet Grass is a neighborhood bistro offering Low Country style cuisine with local ingredients. It is important that our guests feel at home in our dining room. We hope they feel they can stop by for a cocktail or snack, and also feel like they can celebrate important memories with us.
937 S. Cooper St.
Memphis, TN 38104
Sharing a chef and a kitchen, Next Door is the casual sister to Sweet Grass. The perfect place to grab a drink after work, catch the game, or have a Friday night dinner where you don’t need a reservation (in fact, we don’t take them!). We pride ourselves on our local and craft beer menu and our premier bourbon selections.
670 Jefferson Ave.
Memphis, TN 38105
The brain child of Craig Blondis, Roger Sapp of Central BBQ and Ryan Trimm of Sweet Grass and Next Door. Each of their love for breakfast and southern hospitality created enough chatter to finally push them to open their own vision of what a breakfast by grandma should taste like. Ryan’s experience with charcuterie and Craig’s knowledge of smoke also allows them to get creative with an array of sausages and artisan meats. Sunrise is open to everyone; the quick moving executive needing a cup of coffee and biscuit sandwich on their way to work, the casual breakfast meeting of the minds before a presentation, or classic lunch to satisfy all midday appetites.
Elizabeth Blondis has been catering Memphis events from 10 to 4500 guests since 2007. Now she has added David Johnson to her team to bring even more creative southern flavors and the ability to offer more varieties of cuisine. David has taken the catering for Sweet Grass, Next Door, and Sunrise, as well as his own catering menu under his wing. We are excited about all of the possibilities we can offer that have never been able to before.