Now a little about myself. I graduated from the Rel Maples Institute of Culinary Arts in Sevierville, TN.
The story of my Love Affair with all things Culinary is a rather cliche one. I spent a portion of my childhood being raised by my Grand and Great Grandmother. Thank God for my parents who were both full-time workers because if they weren’t ; I don’t know maybe I’d be a Waste Management employee or starving artist.
I can recollect working in the church kitchen preparing meals for church events and gatherings. One of my first jobs was working with my cousins in the Zeeke & Nell’s BBQ Truck where I learned the importance of low temperature
cooking, smoke rings and good sauce.
My mouth salivates thinking of all the joy that meal on wheels truck conjured. And now an homage to the ladies who helped rear me.
My Grandmothers had a true gift for creating ‘something from nothing.’
This is how I cultivated my cooking style of Rustic Southern Comfort Cuisine. I remember Nanny, my great-granmother, used to make these killer biscuit-like rolls stuffed with rice and ground beef with a mixture of fresh veggies from her garden. Might I add, we are talking about a 1.5 acre garden in the middle of suburbia.
Nanny also kept a rooster and several hens for eggs and fried chicken if needed. My sister and I were also
no strangers to walking to the coop to collect eggs as well as cringe over the occasional slabs of hanging cured pork. There would be days where we would get off the bus and be greeted by the stench of skinned squirrels, deer,
chickens or even boiling turtles on the porch (true story). And dare I begin to tell you of the many hogs head I’ve seen on the dinner table being prepared for hogshead cheese.
Funny enough, now I appreciate all this hard work and behind the scene detail that I was lucky enough to have a front row seat to. Gosh, if only I had paid more attention to the skill-set that was displayed in front of me. But no regrets, my passion for food still burns just as deep now as it did then.
I’ve spent so many years in the restaurant industry and always wanting to obtain more from it. Which is why I have decided to bring you all that is ‘Local Forkful’.