Black Men Cooking

by Betty Wrenn Day - Posted on Feb 27, 2019 - 01:30 PM

Photo: Tyrone White prepared liver and onions with gravy. Photo by Betty Wrenn Day

Tyrone White prepared liver and onions with gravy. Photo by Betty Wrenn Day

Photo: Ricky Pierce  dished up macaroni and cheese. Photo by Betty Wrenn Day

Ricky Pierce dished up macaroni and cheese. Photo by Betty Wrenn Day

Photo: Smothered cabbage was Leslie Hearn’s dish. Photo by Betty Wrenn Day

Smothered cabbage was Leslie Hearn’s dish. Photo by Betty Wrenn Day

Photo: George Farrow prepared and served Hoppin’ John. Photo by Betty Wrenn Day

George Farrow prepared and served Hoppin’ John. Photo by Betty Wrenn Day

Twenty-four dedicated men stood, prepared and served their special dishes for the eighth annual Black Men Cooking celebration, a fundraiser held Feb. 16 by the Epsilon Eta Chapter of the Iota Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc., of Gloucester.

Supporting the chapter’s projects, these men served their dishes to all ticket-holders for the event held at the T.C. Walker Educational Center.

Among this large number of chefs, five of them were making their debut: George Farrow, Leslie Hearn, Ricky Pierce, Tyrone White and Justin Waters (not present, but his dish, Cheesy Ground Beef Pasta was there being served by Marcus Ridley).

Chef White, who lives and works in Mathews, said, “I like to eat so I cook. But I learned at an early age. I like to experiment with foods. I’m always trying to make my mom’s meat loaf but can’t fix it yet just as she does.” He cooked liver and onions with gravy.

Chef Pierce from Newport News is a Gloucester High School sports coach. He said, “I started cooking because I like to eat but I really learned from my mother. I was the taster. I’ll cook Sunday dinner for mom now.” His Mac and Cheese proved that Ricky is a star in the kitchen, as well as on the athletic turf.

Chef Hearn, a retired Navy man and a graduate of Stratford School of Culinary Arts, says, “I learned from my mother and grandmother. I grew up with good cooks. I just do a recipe on my own and do all the cooking at home. You might say I’m the ‘house husband.’” He served Smothered Cabbage with “some good old corn bread to go with it.”

Chef Farrow, known as Chef G., works with family outreach efforts since retiring from 17 years of professional work experience in education. “I enjoy using cooking as a way of introducing people to the diverse cultures of the African Diaspora.” His Hoppin’ John proved he knows his stuff. 

The 19 remaining chefs included some who have been there from five to eight years: Duke Simmons, Roland Foster, Nelson Foster, Terry Dixon, Willie Dickerson, George Larrimore Sr., John L. Perrin, James Stokes, Ricky Liverman, and Vincent Pryor.

And the line of cooks went on, including Trevor Foster serving Harold Dean Corbin’s dish, Ward Warren Jr., Ronald Williams Jr., Rodney Cooke, Kevin Smith, Reggie Morris, Ronald Graham, Deshaun Marshall and Marcus Jennings.

The hard work and the generosity displayed by this group of gentleman chefs insure that the great contributions made to the community by the Epsilon Eta Chapter will continue. Soror (sister) Marilyn Morris, who is the chapter president, says, “With God’s grace and mercy we shall continue to serve His people in our community.”