To whom can we attribute the remarkably ambitious vision to create the first garden-to-table restaurant in Yorktown, Virginia? If you were to “pull back the curtain” of Grunow’s Kitchen it would reveal the mother of two and grandmother of five, Mrs. Patricia Grunow. Originally from Gulfport, Mississippi, she has lived here on the peninsula for thirty-five years. She taught chemistry and algebra at York High School for five years full time, and five years part-time while she helped care for her sister who was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease. After this difficult chapter in her life, Ms. Patricia as we call her, continued her education. She enrolled in environmental studies at Christopher Newport, after which she was able to build an environmental science program at one of Virginia’s fine governor’s schools. She taught there for a couple of years before deciding she needed to take some time off. Ms. Patricia traveled around the country visiting family for a while, but her leisure did not last long.
In 2012 she graduated from the Culinary Institute of Virginia. She helped cook for her parents who required a low sodium diet. She helped cook for her sister who required a low potassium diet. A friend with Celiac’s disease inspired the focus on gluten-free foods, as well as foods that tend to be allergens. Ms. Patricia felt that low processed food should be easier to obtain for the general public regardless of restrictive diets or allergies. The idea for a gluten-free, tree nut-free, and low-processed restaurant was born. Her keen interest in gardening fueled the original concept to use her produce and herbs in the creation of the menu. Soon she will be a certified dietary manager or CDM (yes, she is still in school) further enhancing her dream to bring her wealth of knowledge to our community. This means she will be able to assist customers who need help planning restrictive diets, or just want information on good healthy living practices. Our mission is to educate our community on the benefits of organic, fresh ingredients, and the importance of healthy choices to better our lifestyles, improve our health, and sharpen our minds.