Cooking for a cause: ‘Black Men Cooking’ raises money for local scholarships

Betty Wrenn Day - Posted on Feb 23, 2011 - 05:20 PM

Photo: It will be a family affair for three of the men participating in the annual Black Men Cooking celebration on Saturday; from left, are grandfather Vernon W. Ellis, grandson John T. Hefferon Jr., and son Anthony C. Ellis. Photo by Betty Wrenn Day

It will be a family affair for three of the men participating in the annual Black Men Cooking celebration on Saturday; from left, are grandfather Vernon W. Ellis, grandson John T. Hefferon Jr., and son Anthony C. Ellis. Photo by Betty Wrenn Day

Once again Gloucester is in for a special culinary treat. On Saturday from 1-4 p.m. at Page Middle School, 20 to 22 men will be cooking. In celebration of Black History Month, the Iota Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc., Epsilon Eta Chapter of Gloucester, is sponsoring its third Black Men Cooking celebration.

Among these outstanding cooks who will prepare enough of their recipe to serve 50 to 60 tastings will be three members of the Ellis family. Grandfather Vernon W. Ellis says, "I didn’t have any sisters so I learned to cook out of necessity. I don’t cook as much today as I once did, but still love to hunt. The dish that I’m making and serving is Smothered Venison Meatballs. I hunted for this venison and processed it from the woods to the table."

Anthony C. Ellis, pastor of Agape Vision Baptist Church at Foster, son of Vernon Ellis, also learned to cook, "out of necessity. I was in college when I couldn’t even boil water, but learned if I wanted something to eat, I had to fix it." However, later on in life, Anthony took cooking seriously and owned his own restaurant for three years. "I’m serving Corn and Seafood Chowder. We have what we call a movie night once a week at our church. At the last one, I made this dish and it was a resounding success."