Gray's Journal

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Meet Jay Sherrill, the Graylyn Scholar for the WFU class of 2020

When you host your meeting at the Graylyn International Conference Center, you become part of a Gray Family tradition of supporting local schools, investing in aspiring young people, and promoting historical preservation.

A portion of Graylyn’s business success is donated back to Wake Forest University to support  scholarships and research grants. Each year, Wake Forest awards the Graylyn Scholarship to an incoming student of outstanding academic quality who would otherwise be financially unable to attend the university.

Jay Sherrill, class of 2020, is one of the recent Graylyn Scholars. He is a first generation college student from Statesville, North Carolina majoring in Politics and International Affairs. Sherrill says he is profoundly grateful to attend Wake Forest, and utilize all the resources the University has to offer.

“I would not have been able to attend a university like Wake Forest, a school of this caliber, without the opportunity that the Graylyn Scholarship provided,” said Sherrill.
“Without this scholarship, my future would have looked completely different. What I see as legitimately possible has changed. I cannot express how thankful I am for that.”

Sherrill has taken advantage of every opportunity the scholarship has afforded him. Through the research grant, he has traveled to New Zealand to conduct political science research, Washington D.C. to intern with a political think tank, and is currently studying at Cambridge University in England. Sherrill is involved in many activities on campus including serving with Wake the Vote and Campus Kitchen. He is also a Wake Forest tour guide, a news writer for The Old Gold & Black campus newspaper, and part of the CHARGE Emerging Leaders program.

The money you invest when hosting your company’s meeting at Graylyn will, in part, support Jay’s education and the education of the other Graylyn Scholars. Book your meeting or conference today and know that your event will have a positive impact on the greater community.

Remember – at Graylyn, your meeting matters!


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

UNCSA Students Experience Graylyn While Developing Their Craft

John Coyne's plein air watercolor painting of the Manor House.
Over the years, the Graylyn Estate has served Winston-Salem in many capacities, but this past Saturday, it provided a setting for a plein air painting session for University of North Carolina School of the Arts students. John Coyne, Director of Scene Design in the School of Design and Production, has been bringing his students to Graylyn for the past several years.

 A Plein Air Session is an outdoor painting session derived from the French expression “en plein air” meaning “in the open air.” In Coyne’s class, scenic design and scenic painting students work in watercolor to learn to observe light and quickly capture its ever-changing and ephemeral qualities on buildings and landscapes.

 “With it’s beautiful trees, lawns and architecture, we love coming to Graylyn as there are wonderful scenes to paint in almost every direction you look,” says Coyne.

 As a part of this course, Coyne takes his students to other locations around town like Reynolda House and Old Salem. In addition to honing their scenic painting skills, these students are also learning about the rich history of Winston-Salem

UNCSA Scenic Design and Scenic Painting Students


Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Chef Rollins Named Fan Favorite at Spring House's Luv Luv Culinary Festival

Graylyn’s Executive Chef, Greg Rollins was named the “fan favorite”  in the 9th annual Dr. Brownstone’s Sweet Summer Luv Luv Festival presented by Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen & Bar last Tuesday, August 15.

Nearly 100 people attended and voted on the cuisines that were presented during the “culinary walkabout.” Chef’s Summer Vegetable Curry Stew, Green Tomato Chutney, Caribbean Rice and Peas, and Hibiscus Jerk BBQ Pork Shanks were enjoyed by many guests.

Touted as Winston-Salem’s most creative culinary event, Dr. Brownstone’s Sweet Summer Luv Luv Festival was originally launched in St. Louis Missouri during the summer of 2010 by Chef Timothy Grandinetti, now Chef/Partner of Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen & Bar. His original goal was to bring friends together - Chefs, Farmers, and Artisan Producers - to create, to cook, and to celebrate the bonds of “culinary brotherhood.”

The festival was a collaborative chefs dinner featuring Jeff Bacon of Providence Restaurant, Chris Fulk of Quanto Basta, Mark Grohman of Meridian Restaurant, Tina Hodges of Quanto Basta, Mark Little of Bib’s Downtown, Shane Moore of Foothills Brewing, Travis Myers of Willow’s Bistro, Jared Tipton of Spring House, John Wilson of Sophie’s Cork & Ale, and our very own Chef Greg Rollins.


Thursday, August 16, 2018

Chef's Bacon Wrapped Butternut Squash Bites

Fall is just around the corner, and Chef Rollins has created a seasonal appetizer that will satisfy most any palate. The best part? Chef has shared the recipe with us so you can make them for your next party, dinner, or just a night in.

  • 2 medium size butternut squash
  • 1 lb. raw thick bacon 
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder or ancho powder
  • 1 Tbsp. sea salt
  • 4 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • Garnish with chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 350F. Peel the butternut squash, cut the heads off with seeds and use later for soup. Cut the long solid squash lengthwise into half, and then half into quarters. Then cut each quarter in half and then half again. You’ll wind up with 32 bites.
Melt butter over low-heat and stir in chipotle powder and sea salt. Toss the squash in the spiced, melted butter to coat.
Cut the bacon slices in half, so you have 32 mini-slices of bacon. Wrap each butternut squash bite with a half slice of bacon, and use a toothpick to hold the bacon in place.
Place on a baking sheet pan and bake for 45 minutes, turning once about halfway through.
You know they are done when the bacon is crispy and the squash is fork-tender. Remove from heat, drizzle with maple syrup, and let cool before serving.
These bites can also be served with honey mustard dipping sauce instead of maple syrup.


Friday, August 10, 2018

A Graylyn Signature Cocktail: The Bee's Knees

This late-summer, early-fall cocktail was inspired by the prohibition era, during which the Graylyn Estate was built. It's a little-known secret that there is a hidden beverage compartment in the Library, where the Gray's frequently entertained.

In keeping with the Gray's commitment to supporting local business, we set out to create a seasonal cocktail that stars a local spirit. Featuring Sutlers Gin and Golding Farms Honey, this beverage will refresh and delight any palate.


2 ounces Sutlers Gin
3/4 ounce Chamomile Golding Farms Syrup*
Juice of 1 Lemon


1. Pour all ingredients into a shaker.
2. Pack with ice.
3. Shake until shaker is frosted over.
4. Strain into a Martini glass.
5. Garnish with an orange peel. (optional)

*Chamomile Golding Farms Syrup

1 cup chamomile tea
1 cup Golding Farms honey


1. Place ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
3. Transfer to container and place in refrigerator to chill.

Friday, July 20, 2018

A look inside the Chef's Garden

Graylyn is committed to incorporating sustainability practices into its daily operations. One of the features of the Estate that supports this initiative is the Chef's Garden. Chef Greg Rollins and his staff harvest fresh herbs year-round and use them in many of Graylyn's signature dishes and beverages. 

When you step into the garden, your senses are immediately heightened. Each planter is rich in color, from many shades of green, to red, yellow, and purple. Then comes the aroma of the fresh herbs: lemon sage, chocolate mint, rosemary, and marjoram - just to name a few.  

When walking around the garden with Chef, I asked him what makes the Graylyn dining experience unique. His response?

"Our food is fresh. We purposely source sustainable products because we care about the environment and the welfare of animals. Our menus are a blend of Southern, European and Caribbean cuisines, and each course is sure to exceed expectations.”

A tour of the Garden would not be complete without noting Chef’s favorite herb, marjoram. This savory herb has a sweet pine and citrus scent, and it's so aromatic, it’ll make your mouth water. According to Chef, you can use marjoram with most everything, vegetables, chicken, fish, etc.  

Many of the herbs and edible flowers are also used in the presentation of each dish. Those garnishes you see next to your appetizer or on top of your entrée, they’re from just outside the house!


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Graylyn Welcomes New Account Manager Allison Shore

We are pleased to announce Allison Shore as the newest Account Manager for the sales team. Allison will be responsible for promoting the use of Graylyn Conference Center for corporate meetings, events, and retreats. She will maintain and enhance relationships with established clients and build new relationships within the community.

Allison joins us from print and advertising sales at O. Henry Magazine, SEASONS Style & Design Magazine, and as sales manager at She has over 15 years of experience in sales and account management with a specialty in business-to-business sales.

Having previously worked at companies such as Berkshire Hathaway Media/Winston-Salem Journal, Our State Magazine, and the Triad Business Journal, Allison has a proven sales ability with a large network of contacts. For the past six years, she has consistently led new business sales in her companies, and has been nationally recognized for her achievements.

“I am thrilled to join the sales team at Graylyn. My goal is to utilize my sales experience to its fullest potential and exceed expectations.  I look forward to learning as much as I can about this unique and special place and translating it into success for the sales team!”

Director of Sales, Shelley Brown states, “We are delighted to welcome Ms. Shore to our sales team. From our first meeting, I was impressed by her enthusiasm for Graylyn, Winston-Salem, and her successful career in sales. She will be a tremendous asset to our team.”