Proceeds from this year’s BankPlus International Gumbo Festival benefit the Harold T. and Hal White Memorial Scholarship. Malcolm White, of Jackson’s Hal and Mal’s, tells us a little bit about his late father and brother and the scholarship established in their honor.
Tell us a little bit about your dad, Harold, and your brother, Hal.
My dad was a driven man who loved his work, his family and his community. He started at the very bottom of his profession (teaching and coaching co-ed sports in high school) and rose to the very top as President of Northeast Mississippi Community College. He created a Hotel, Motel Hospitality degree program at NE and my brother Hal (Harold T. White, Jr.) was in the first graduating class.
Hal was an affable, talented and lovable man who always took time to listen, share and care for people around. He was a great chef and especially the king of the “one pot” style of cooking--soups, gumbos, beans and rice, stews, etc. At this game, he was masterful.
What do you look for in recipients of the Harold T. and Hal White Memorial Scholarship?
We have unique scholarship program at Hinds Community College that comes both with a full scholarship and a job offer to work at Hal & Mal’s to gain real life, hands-on experience in the restaurant and hospitality business.
We also have a scholarship at Northeast Community College in the Hospitality Program where my dad was president and Hal and I have AA degrees.
We look for serious students who want a career in the hospitality industry and are eager to enter the workforce once they graduate.
What is your favorite recipe of Hal’s?
Aunt Myrtis’ Gumbo. This is a recipe that was inspired by our Aunt, worked and reworked by both Hal and I throughout our careers working in restaurants and hotels across the gulf south.
I like to call our gumbo, “Fish Camp Gumbo” as it was inspired by our time at Mary Walker Bayou Fish Camp over long summer days of gathering and cool evening of eating and fellowship with family and friends. Mary Walker Bayou is where our Aunt Myrtis and Uncle L.A. Krohn had a place and where Myrtis held court over a rickety old camp stove.
Malcolm would like to thank Bill Bissell and Arden Barnett for continuing to contribute to this effort through the Gumbo Festival.