How long has the restaurant been in your family?
My grandparents and I started the business 13 years ago.
Will the business be passed on to your children as well?
Most certainly. I already have everyone in training. My 20-year-old is great at delegating, the 16-year-old is learning the art of cooking, the 19-year-old is chipping in where she fits in and the 8-year-old (Jamie’s friend Rayla) is trying to take over and be the boss now. I have my grandson sweeping – when he feels like it that is!
What are some of your favourite soul foods?
My favourite dish is okra gumbo with beef short ribs.
Are there other types of food that you like?
Yes, I love a variety of different food from other cultures, such as Italian, Mexican, Japanese, Chinese, and European.
Does anyone ever get to cook for you?
Yes, and I like being served from time to time.
Do you have customers that have been coming in for a long time?
We still have customers that have been with us from the beginning.
How did you feel when Jamie mixed the grits with the greens?
All I could say when he did it was WOW.I think the expression on my face was priceless. I didn't know if it would work. But Jamie did it and it was really good. My dad also enjoyed it. My grandmother wasn't sure about it but when she tasted it she wanted more. Jamie asked me what we should name it and I told him “Rich Grits”. He laughed and said he liked that name.
Would you serve this at the restaurant in the future?
I would, I’m thinking about serving it on St. Patrick’s Day.
Had you heard about Jamie before?
Sad to say, I hadn't heard of him until he visited me.
What did you think about his cooking?
He is great and so talented. He’s wonderful at his craft. Jamie can jump right in. I really like the fact that he can learn from others and incorporate it into what he does.
How was the barbecue competition?
The competition was great. I enjoyed everything about it.
Had you ever been to something like this before?
No I hadn't, but it gave me a new mind set on the art and craft behind it. The people in the competition see it as a serious business and they have fun with it.
How did you feel about winning second prize?
I felt great. I had faith that we would place, we had God and Jamie and I both have a great passion for what we do when it comes to cooking. When Jamie told me what he wanted to name the dish I knew it was going to be good. We were in sync. Jamie trusted me, and as this was the first time we had both entered a barbecue competition, I wanted us to win. I remember Jamie joking in the RV saying since you’ve got connections with the big guy upstairs, could I call in a favour, and then we placed. It was great and I was very excited.
Anything else to add?
We are presently closed but we're looking for a new location and hopefully we'll be reopening soon. I must say I would love the opportunity to work with Jamie again. He’s really wonderful. He’s real, down to earth, warm and loves life. He’s a people person. He and the crew made my family, my customers and me feel as though he'd known us for some time. You don't see that often and it truly meant a lot. Just the way they were as people and as a team made me eager to England and experience it first-hand. In my book, Jamie and his staff are phenomenal and they will always have friends in Savannah. Be blessed.