09.04.2017

September Chef of the Month: Chef Kelly Grady Hargroves of Wind Creek Casino & Hotel Montgomery

Name: Kelly Grady Hargroves

Name of Restaurant: Wind Creek Casino & Hotel Montgomery

Restaurant Phone Number: (866) 946-3360

 

Where were you born and raised?

I was born in Savannah, GA, then I moved to Prattville, AL where I lived for the next 20 + years.

What inspired you to become a chef?

I had been a jack of all trades, everything from military to construction. I started working in the industry as a pizza delivery driver, then a steak delivery manager, a server, and then a line cook. I fell in love with the kitchen life and started working to become a chef when I was 26 years old.

Where did you train to become a chef?

I graduated from Trenholm Technical College in Montgomery and worked for many of the best chefs in the city.

Who is the most notable person you’ve ever cooked for?

As far as famous, Sela Ward, Jim Neighbors, Randy Owens of Alabama, numerous politicians and governors, and a Middle Eastern prince and his entourage. Notably my late mother ate at one of my restaurants and told me her meal was absolutely wonderful, which was one of my proudest moments.

What’s the most unusual thing that’s ever happened to you on the job?

I had a baby water moccasin fall out of the ceiling on my way into a cooler and land on the box of tomatoes I was carrying. I dropped the box quickly. Later we found the rest of the nest containing around eight more little snakes.

If you won the lottery, how would you spend your winnings?

Building a house in the country for my family as well as traveling to many places throughout the world.

What’s your favorite seafood dish to serve up for yourself and your family?

Low country boil is probably the one my family enjoys the most, and homemade fish sticks for my seven-year-old and nine-year-old.

What are your favorite hobbies?

Hunting, fishing, and studying the Middle Ages with my living history group the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism).

If you could cook for with any celebrity of historical figure (living or dead), who would it be?

John Currence and Anthony Bourdain, and it would be a party.

What makes Alabama Gulf Seafood special?

Alabama has it all the best oysters, Snapper, Grouper, and so much more. It is a seafood lover’s paradise.