PHOTO BY MICHAEL BARRETT
When did you start cooking?
I started cooking at 16 years old
What is your favorite thing to cook?
I love cooking greens, both turnips and mustards! They’re my favorite.
How did you get your start at Hal & Mal’s?
I got my job through my long time friend who worked there at the time, Slyvia Wilis. That was years ago. Now, I’m just an old country cook that has been blessed to have known an old country chef Hal White!
What are your earliest memories of cooking with your mom?
My memories are mostly of cooking with her during holidays when I was a kid.
Have you always wanted to cook?
Yes, I have.
Had Hal & Mal’s always felt like family?
Do y’all have a favorite thing to cook together?
We love cooking cornbread dressing together.
What are your family dinners like?
Our family dinners are traditional. They take place every Sunday, and always feel like a reunion.
If you could eat anything for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Flo: Absolutely seafood.
Lela: Definitely fried chicken.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
Flo: I love feeling needed and it’s always great when I prepare food and customers praise it.
Lela: My co-workers. Really just being in a kitchen, period. It humbles me! Experience is the best teacher