How long have you been at Mr. B’s?
**** This May 17, it’ll be 33 years.
How did you start cooking?
I was in high school and got a job working at a country club as a dishwasher. They put me on pots, and I’d come in after school and wash them. I did such a good job that the manager said they were the cleanest pots he’d ever seen! One night when it was really busy, someone needed a sizzle platter, so I ran to get it, and the chef said, “How did you know I needed these? And how did you know what a sizzle platter was?” And I said, “I know what a male spoon is, a female spoon, a China cap,” because when I got through with my pots I’d go watch the cooks.
**** A bit later the Chef came to me and said, “I want you here at 11 o’clock on Tuesday. I’m gonna make a prep cook outta you.” I stayed at the country club for 10 years, and was the sous chef when I left.
What are you responsible for at Mr. B’s?
**** I started as the sous chef, but that meant I had to work every weekend and didn’t get any time to spend with my daughter. I talked to my boss and he gave me daytime shifts and now I have every weekend off. Three items come off my station: barbecue shrimp, pasta jambalaya, and catfish.
What’s your favorite to cook?
**** The barbecue shrimp. I put them in a bowl with cracked black pepper, garlic, and Creole seasoning we make in-house. Then I dump my shrimps into a hot skillet, squeeze a handful of lemon on them, and when they start to turn a light pink, I fold in a lot of butter. I can do it in my sleep. I’ve been making it since 1985.
Are you sick and tired of it?
**** No! You’d be surprised, when people see how good the barbecue shrimp is, they want to come in and take their pictures with me!
What’s the secret?
**** I’m consistent, I love what I’m doing, and I have the patience for it.
How many shrimp do you go through a day?
**** We get up to 120 pounds delivered for the weekends, fresh, heads on and everything. That makes…whoo!…you’re lookin’ at probably 200 orders right there, easy.
Does your daughter come in often?
**** She came in once.
What was her verdict on the shrimp?
**** I think she had the pasta jambalaya.