“All restaurants are farm to table, really. The food has to come from some farm somewhere,” says Seth Clemence, manager of Graft restaurant. “But to be truly local is a much bigger commitment.”
A commitment to quality, naturally, but also community. Clemence runs Graft with his wife, Ashley. They restored the historic home in downtown Grayson, outfitting it with reclaimed wood, copper bar tops, and exposed bulb light fixtures. Next, they found their suppliers. Ashley and Seth can list all of them by name. They know their kids names, too. “I’ve made lifelong friendships with these farmers,”
Seth says. “I hear about their struggles and their crop losses.”
The grits, for example: they’re stone ground by Tim and Alice, farmers in Athens, GA, “The mill is powered by their red mule named Luke,” Seth adds. And the tomatoes: a local firefighter named Mike Moon grows them in his backyard hot house specifically for Graft. It’s a similar story for the pork. Seth and Ashley buy 35 hogs from Darby Farms in Rutledge, GA. “They raise them for us all year. It takes a lot to invest all that money up front, but we trust each other, and we’re invested in each other.”
Home to some of the best homemade sourdough and jalapeno jam in the county, Graft’s menu changes weekly, often daily, according to which ingredients are most flavorful and in season. Here they share an easy recipe with spring vegetables.