Finger lickin' good

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Posted Thu, Oct 28, 2010

By Vanessa A. Mays

Smokey ribs that fall off the bone and melt in your mouth, mustard greens with hot sauce, and cheesy Mac and cheese that are all home made.

 “Everybody says they can cook, but that doesn’t mean that their food may taste good,” says Kenny Mays. Mays has been cooking for as long as he can remember and didn’t go to culinary art school to learn how to cook. When Mays was young his mother Joethel worked three jobs to provide for her four boys, she worked every day and night except Sundays  because she had  church. Meanwhile  her then husband worked as a police officer.

 Mays would have to cook for his brothers because that was his job. He learned to cook with basic food in the beginning like meatloaf, sloppy joes and chicken and dumplings. The first couple of times, he burned a few things; but he got more and more experienced with practice.

Mays wanted to make his mother’s life a little easier so he would make sure that when she got home food would be ready that way she didn’t have to worry about cooking. Joethel would give him pointers on certain foods and how to make them taste better. Mays also learned how to barbeque from his father which Mays loves to do.

The older Mays got the more he enjoyed cooking and learned secret techniques. When cooking Mays never writes down what he does he remembers it, and each time he makes an item he always try’s to do something a little different to it to see if it taste better.

 “ I add different ingredients to things to see if they enhance the flavor of an item for example I got an idea of adding crispy bacon to the top of my Mac and Cheese,” says Mays.

These techniques are what make Mays a good cook. Mays can cook anything that you ask for, and if he has never cooked that item before then he will learn how to cook that item until it is perfect.

Mays likes to watch the Food Network channel to get ideas about ways to cook and or to learn how to make new things. To him cooking is something he loves to do and is a hobby. His favorite types of food to cook is southern food. Some of his specialties are mustard greens, Mac’ and cheese, fried turkey, BBQ ribs, pulled pork and more the list goes on and on.

 “You can’t live with Mays because you will get fat because of all the wonderful food he makes you just eat so much of it,” says Alisha a friend of Mays. Mays always has food at his house and if he doesn’t he will whip something up easily.

Mays usually likes to have a couple get togethers’ throughout  the year and sometimes during football season he has a Sunday feast.

“You’ll always get full at Mays’s house and there is always plenty of food to eat,” says Mike Mays,  Kenny’s brother.

Mays receives such  gratification out of cooking, he decided to start his own little business on the side of his other career, (Mays is a manager at Chili’s) his company A’Mays’ing Catering.*  Mays can cater for any event, a small party for 15 to 30 people, or for a wedding which can have 100 to 250 people. Whatever it is Mays can cook no matter how many people it is and his schedule is open even if it is a last minute deal.

 “Cooking is happiness to me and being able to see people enjoy my food makes me smile,” Mays says.

 Mays who is now 50 is not the chef that cooks small portions of chicken or fish, but Mays is the man who makes good old home cooking meals that are comforting and taste outstanding.

*For more information about A’Mays’ing Catering please contact Vanessa at vmays@mscd.edu

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One Response to “Finger lickin' good”

  1. Glenn Wright Says:

    I’ve attended many of these feasts over the years and have been a part of the family for over forty years as well, and when they say you’ll leave fat and happy that’s for real! Good job on this article Nessa you’ve done us all proud, by the way when is the next smorgasbord you know I’ll be there.

    Sincerely G

    Reply

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