'Community Table' episode 2: Winning Big, Falling Hard, and Composting Loss
For the second episode of "Community Table" we take a look at a Dickensian week for the local dining-sphere and discuss how winning doesn't come without setbacks with chef Corey Harris of Off the Hook Seafood & More. Corey and his family recently appeared on Food Network's "Family Food Showdown" and took home $10,000.
Corey talks about the trials and tribulations he experienced on the way to the winner's circle and explains how the celebration that followed created plenty of new problems.
We also talked to Sean and Cathy Cummings about handling adversity. Sean's shares the story of how closing one restaurant and turning it a new one almost cost him is marriage plus how things when you really do have things crashing inside your restaurant.
Finally, chefs Kurt Fleischfresser and Kevin Lee shared their feelings in the aftermath of losing their colleague, friend and brother-in-arms Chad Epley, who was killed in a hit-and-run incident on March 21.
It's been a while since we dropped episode one, and I cover some of the reasons for that in the postscript. In that, I allude to a photo that included Chad and my son Luke, who died in 2017 at the age of 19.
Thanks to chef Taylor Desjarlais for sharing the photo.
And finally, thanks to Harry Ledgerwood for sending me the following email on March 1:
I am a 74-year-old man and I have a personal message to share with you. I’m a long-time reader of The Oklahoman. I keep remembering your column soon after the loss of your son, Luke. I’m very sorry for your loss, and the continuing sadness.
An instance you wrote about continues to stick in my mind. You told us all that when Luke was a younger boy and was interested in helping you in the kitchen, you’d put him to work peeling garlic.
I do lots of things in the kitchen, including smoking meat (outside on ceramic egg smoker) like pork butt, ribs, turkey and beef brisket. Additionally, I cook a lot of pinto beans. I eat pinto beans almost every day for lunch. When the pot is empty, I cook another batch of beans.
I use fresh garlic in my preparation for all food mentioned above. When I get out the cutting board, knife and garlic, I ALWAYS think of Luke Cathey. All the time I’m peeling and chopping the garlic, I’m thinking of Luke Cathey. I am sure I will think of Luke Cathey every time I touch fresh garlic for the rest of my life.
You have created a fitting tribute and significant memorial to your son. For me, I know it will last as long as I’m alive.
Harry L. Ledgerwood,