Chef: Opening own business has been rewarding

Friends and co-workers gather for lunch at the Grand Cafe, a new restaurant in downtown Jefferson City. Clockwise from left, Jill Hancock, Melissa Robinson, Elisa Pellham, Brenda Kaden and Scott Penman enjoy their freshly prepared sandwiches and salads.

Friends and co-workers gather for lunch at the Grand Cafe, a new restaurant in downtown Jefferson City. Clockwise from left, Jill Hancock, Melissa Robinson, Elisa Pellham, Brenda Kaden and Scott Penman enjoy their freshly prepared sandwiches and salads. Photo by Julie Smith.

Despite a stagnant economy and widespread personal and family frugality, The Grand Cafe, the latest local establishment offering upscale, casual dining has blossomed, according to owner Ben Huhman.

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Formerly the chef at Meadow Lake Acres Country Club and a graduate of a culinary school in San Francisco, Huhman is serving meals he has prepared for several years, including more epicurean dishes such as duck and lamb.

The Grand Cafe also offers an assorted list of wines, which has been exceedingly popular, said Huhman.

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