When I moved to Texas in the early 1980s, Justin Wilson was popular in the region. With his new cooking program on PBS, his popularity was spreading nationwide.
Justin Wilson was a safety engineer in his earlier years and decided to add humor to his script to loosen up the audience when he lectured, and keep them awake. His career developed as a story-teller of local tales of the bayou, and he published several comedy record albums. Eventually, it was discovered that Mr. Wilson was one heck of a cook, hence, the PBS TV cooking show, Louisiana Cookin’.
It was always a joy to watch Justin. He would always sit at the table with the red and white checked tablecoth, pour himself a glass of wine and perform quality assurance on the dish that he had just prepared for the audience. His phrase “I gar-on-tee” was his trademark.
Though I worked in restaurants throughout my school days, watching a couple of episodes of Wilson served as an inspiration for me. I felt free to experiment in my own kitchen and started building an impressive collection of recipes, many based on memory after watching the “Cookin’ Cajun”.