GOUTER–The Remarkable Story of Chef Chris Wadsworth (Excerpt 1)

I recently learned of the remarkable story of Chef Chris Wadsworth one evening as my Hubbs came home sharing the story of his day’s lunch. My Hubbs’ friend, Dave, invited him to the “new place on Government Street.” He and Dave worked together ‘in town.’

And what I mean by ‘in town’ is the city of Baton Rouge, Lou’siana, which in decent traffic lies about thirty minutes south of my home in the rural void of any kind of social significance.

I miss being ‘in town.’ Four robberies and two shootings in our old neighborhood of eight years ‘in town’ provided the ammo for us and sent our family of five packin. I’ve spent the last four years trying to find a way back ‘in town.’ Living rural for four years and three months and two days this here September is a test of my endurance. Some like to say home is where your heart is. That’s all fine and good. But I like to believe home is where your people are. All of them. Even the ones you don’t like.

Evening talks in the deep south are simple. Afternoon coffee this far south begins at 2pm and goes on till 4pm. There’s an hour’s break before the whiskey and wine find their way into our glasses. At which point we offer ourselves to the drunken sun on the altar of a front porch somewhere. It doesn’t have to be our front porch. Chairs are optional. The drinks are not.

Knowing his Louisana wife well, my Hubbs began his story making sure I understood the food he enjoyed at “that new place on Government” was quite good. Possibly New Orleans good. Even better though, was the Hubbs account of the rare heart in which the experienced chef Chris served our community. From what I could gather between the sips of red and the hums of cicadas was that the chef’s entrepreneurial endeavors ran laps around his devotion to helping the underprivileged youth of our community. If the “new place on Government” and its potential were the earth, its sun had to be the faces and needs of those kids.

“Have you heard of Triumph Kitchen,” the Hubbs asks me.

“Of course not. How would I know about that?” I said that with a smile that faked the truer feelings resting on the brow of my eyes. Between motherhood and distance, that life of knowing the ins and outs of society had long forgotten to lay at my door. I may hold a grudge.