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Griffin Selects Samantha’s Tap Room & Wood Grill to Represent Arkansas in Louisiana’s 13th Annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off

June 23, 2016

Says Samantha’s team, ‘will be a fierce competitor in the cook-off’

LITTLE ROCK – Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin announced today that he has selected head chef John Munday and sous chef Marshall Smith of Samantha’s Tap Room & Wood Grill in Little Rock to represent Arkansas in Louisiana’s 13th Annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off. Regarding his selection, Lieutenant Governor Griffin issued the following statement:

“I would like to thank Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser for giving Arkansas the opportunity to participate in the cook-off and share our world-class culinary talent. Arkansas has some excellent chefs, which made the selection process difficult. The chefs at Samantha’s stand out because of their ability to create unique dishes with freshwater fish and seafood. I have no doubt the team will be a fierce competitor in the cook-off. I hope some Arkansans can join me in New Orleans to cheer them on.”

Chris and Samantha Tanner, owners of Samantha’s Tap Room & Wood Grill, issued the following statement:

“We are thrilled that Samantha’s will represent our state in the cook-off. We are looking forward to showing off new recipes and bringing the winning title to Arkansas.”

Chris and Samantha Tanner also own the Little Rock restaurant Cheers in the Heights.

The 13th Annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off will take place on August 6, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is hosted by the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board and the Louisiana Restaurant Association and will feature top executive-level chefs from across the country. A panel of nationally recognized chefs and media members will judge the cook-off and declare the winner “King or Queen of American Seafood 2016.” 

No Arkansas taxpayer dollars will be spent toward Arkansas’s participation in the cook-off. The selected chefs will be responsible for their own expenses, including travel, accommodations, and the cost of ingredients. Additionally, Lieutenant Governor Griffin will personally pay for any costs associated with his attendance at the cook-off or related events. For more information about the 13th Annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off, click the following link:

For Arkansans who are planning to attend the event, please contact Katie Grygar in the Office of Lieutenant Governor at (501) 682-2144 for more information.

About Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin

Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin was elected on November 4, 2014. From 2011-2015, Griffin served as the 24th representative of Arkansas’s Second Congressional District. For the 113th Congress, he was a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means while also serving as a Deputy Whip for the Majority. In the 112th Congress, he served as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the House Committee on the Judiciary.

Griffin is a graduate of Magnolia High School, Hendrix College in Conway and Tulane Law School in New Orleans, and attended graduate school at Oxford University. He has served in the U.S. Army Reserve for 20 years, was deployed to Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Lieutenant Colonel Griffin is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. He also served as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas and Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Political Affairs for President George W. Bush. Griffin lives in Little Rock with his wife Elizabeth, a Camden native, and their two children.


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