Arrival at Le Cordon Bleu is filled with anticipation of a meal prepared by top culinary students. To my surprise, I peruse the program and discover courses for this evening are being prepared by notable Chefs who gathered to pay tribute and honor the life of their friend Chef Darryl Evans (this was a last minute invite by Malika). The evening had just begun to be more special to me than I could have known.
Who is Chef Darryl Evans?
Chef Evans was born in Columbus, GA. He rose the culinary ladder to become executive chef at some of the top dining establishments in Georgia. Unfortunately, health issues plagued chef Evans and he passed away at just 52 years young in February of this year.
Chef Evans career includes many awards and high profile positions including:
- Executive Chef, Cherokee Town and Country
- Executive Chef, City Club of Buckhead
- Executive Chef, Four Seasons Hotel
- 1987 Atlanta Food Show (Gold Medal)
- International Culinary Olympics, Frankfurt, Germany. (3 Gold and 1 Silver Medal in 1988 and 1 Gold Medal in 1992)
- Chef’s Hall of Fame, 1989
- Culinarian of the Year, Greater Atlanta Chefs Association, 1991-92, 1992-93, and 1996.
The entire evening was filled with friends, colleagues and employees of Chef Darryl Evans who spoke of his calm nature, precision, encouragement and heart. I had the pleasure of working alongside Chef Evans and Certified Master Chef Thomas Catherall for a brief moment. These kind men opened up the kitchen at the Cherokee Town and Country Club and provided guidance to the Club Manager Association of America (CMAA) Student Chapter, who were to prepare a fundraiser dinner. I was in Chef Evans presence under a week, yet I completely understood how these men and women felt and spoke about Darryl. Chef Darryl left an unwavering impression on me.
The emotion in the room “got” to me. I was moved by the fond memories of Darryl, commitment to himself, his craft and those that surround him. Bruce Patterson, former owner of Spice Restaurant in Atlanta presented that evening and his words rang true in my heart: “Let tonight not be just a feel good evening that we get to do again next year.” I introduced myself to Darryl’s wife Deborah, told her how I knew her husband and what I was feeling. We hugged, cried and talked. I have never felt so appreciated by a stranger in my life.
And his legacy lives on with the Chef Darryl E. Evans Culinary Scholarship for aspiring culinary students who plan to further their education at a licensed or accredited culinary school. Announced at the dinner, students who desire to be awarded this scholarship will compete in a Cook-Off! Please spread the word to those in the Hospitality Industry who wish to apply, donate, volunteer or attend this yearly event. Restaurant owners along with purveyors of food and beverage are who wish to sponsor the event are welcomed. Thank you!
Now on to the dinner …
Chef Michelle Heusner-Wilkinson and L. Pepper Heusneer-Wilkinson
Time to Dine, Chefs & Caterers – Marietta, GA
Caramelized onion and goat cheese tart, smoked chicken roulade stuffed with sweet potatoes, brandied pear served on a corn cake with braised greens, low country risotto fritters with chicken sausage, shrimp and corn, caramelized apple wood bacon skewers.
Chef Daryl Shular
Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts – Tucker, GA
Citrus-cured breast of duck, pickled root vegetable slaw and truffle-sabayon and herb oil.
Chef Troy Singley
Royalty Private Catering – Burlington, NC
Herb crusted salmon on a bed of potato parsnip puree with shallot buttered asparagus and smoked tomato vin blanc.
Chef Bernard Carmouche
Emeril’s Restaurants – Orlando, FL
Prosciutto wrapped quail with sunchoke puree, gold beet gastrique and English pea essence.
Chef Timothy Dean
Timothy Dean Enterprises – Washington, D.C.
Butter poached Maine lobster with watermelon, mâche and citrus vinaigrette.
Chef Charlie Hatney
City Club of Buckhead – Atlanta, GA
Cumin & fennel spiced lamb with a fava bean succotash blackberry infused lamb jus topped with white pepper and goat cheese ice cream.
Chef Joani Trotochaud
Crust Bakery – Atlanta, GA
Mini French boules, caramelized onion focaccia and jalapeno-cheddar cornbread
Chef Heather Hurlbert
HHDesserts – Atlanta, GA
Toasted sour cream pound cake with Georgia strawberries, rhubarb, caramel cream and sour cream sorbet-tropical banana pudding.