Waking up this morning to the news that Chef Gary Williams passed just didn’t seem real. He recently made a Facebook post that I left a laughing emoji on. There are so many other things I could and should have said instead of just an emoji.
The photo above is the first time I met Chef. It was at the an anniversary event for Pink Diva Cupcakery. The space on Florida St. was actually his older spot that he was leasing out so that someone could chase their own culinary dream. He had recently moved to the newer location on Main St. I introduced myself and told him I was new to blogging and he was so excited. He’s a guy that’s never met me a day in his life and he’s genuinely happy for me. He told me to chase my dreams always and never stop. He told me to come by his restaurant and do a review for him. We exchanged numbers. I didn’t think he would remember me, but when I called him a few days later he said Hey Mike! He asked when I was coming and he had something for me to try.
I went and had some of the best New Orleans food I have ever had in my life. Let me just say that the Arkansas Outlaw was basically something Jesus created.
After the meal, Gary talked to me for about 2 hours about Memphis, his family, leaving New Orleans and sports. I would drop in the restaurant every so often and we would have these long talks each time. He really loved to see people doing good things and really wanted other Blacks to succeed. He would always give me a plate of something to try and would refuse every time I wanted to pay for it.
He was just a great person and so supportive of others. I never heard a bad thing come out his mouth about anyone else. Well, he did say his chili was way better than Phillip Ashley and Brian Sanders. He did win the chili contest so I guess he really never did say a bad thing. I will always remember the smile and that laugh. Memphis lost an amazing chef, a great person and I lost a friend. Chef, I don’t want to say goodbye but I want to say see you later.
Life is for Living,