By Erin Durkin
Volunteers at Thrive D.C. spend their days serving over 200 meals to people who are facing homelessness in the community. Tucked away in the kitchen quietly making omelets for the morning meal is one of the top chefs of the D.C. area.
Terrence Brown, the executive chef at Thrive D.C, was named one of the top 75 chefs in Washington D.C. when he was working at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in 1982. In his office he has an album full of pictures with celebrities and even Mayor Adrian Fenty when he catered for their events. However, this was not what he enjoyed the most.
“I really enjoyed serving the homeless and eventually I made that my full time job. I just enjoy seeing smiles on the clients’ faces,” said Brown.
Brown not only makes sure he cooks good food for the people who come to the shelter, but he also gets to know who they are and what food they like. He gets to know who is diabetic and who needs food with low cholesterol.
“They appreciate it so much and I enjoy talking to them,” he said.
Recently, Brown portrayed his culinary skills at the 8th Annual Blue Jeans Ball held at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. The event earned over $300,000 for the Capital Area Food Bank, where Brown said the shelter receives most of its food.
Right now, the biggest challenge Brown faces is cooking dishes that he does not personally like.
“My favorite dish to make is lasagna. I love lasagna. However, a lot of people here like liver and onions. I can’t stand liver and onions. But every Thursday I make it for them,” he said.