Chefs' Thanksgiving Memories: Charles Clark
This week, we asked several prominent Houston chefs what Thanksgiving memories they recall fondly. Former Iron Chef competitor and half of the restaurant group known as Clark Cooper Concepts (Coppa Osteria, Ibiza, Brasserie 19, Coppa Ristorante and Punk's Simple Southern food), Charles Clark told us about the traditions and dishes of his childhood.
Every year Clark's family would gather in the town of Singer, Louisiana in the 1,100-square-foot home of his Grandma Bessie. Each Thanksgiving, he looked forward to her chicken 'n' dumplings, which were made from chickens she raised, vegetables from her own garden and of course, a little "extra love." She also made sweet potato pies - though they only accounted for two of the 15 total pies she made each year - so Clark made sure to grab a piece "before anyone else could get their hands on it." Gathering at his Grandma Bessie's was a tradition from the time he was six through age 48 and Clark carries on the memories of that small town Thanksgiving by making sweet potato pie for family and friends.