World-Champ Jambalaya Chefs Cook for Joplin Volunteers
JOPLIN - As volunteers continue traveling to Joplin for clean-up efforts, a team of chefs have made it their mission to feed everyone. Combining the taste and personality of southern cooking, "TeeWayne" Abshire and his busniess partners are keeping bellies full and spirits high.
Abshire runs a catering business in Gonzales Parish, Louisiana that specializes in jambalaya and barbeque. He and his business partners came to Joplin about three weeks after the tornado, when many other volunteers were just leaving.
"We try to gear up, get a crew together, come up and try to finish it out. Because really when a lot of people's resources start running out that's when we like to kind of get in on the scene," Abshire said.
Abshire's crew makes hundreds of pounds of food, which is necessary to feed the hundreds of hungry people stopping for lunch between breaks each weekday. On the weekends, the volunteers number several thousand.
In addition to his catering business, Abshire is a competitive jambalaya cook. He placed first in the Jambalaya Festival's International Competition and is now using that money to for fund the Joplin feast.
Joplin isn't the group's first disaster assistance. They also fed volunteers working after Hurricane Katrina and oil spill clean-up crews working in the Gulf of Mexico following the BP disaster.