This Sunday: Celebrating Super Dads at Providence

This Sunday: Celebrating Super Dads at Providence

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On a recent visit to Providence Restaurant, a home grown enterprise of Second Harvest Food Bank’s Triad Community Kitchen program, we were greeted by the wide, warm smile of Gordon Simpson.

Simpson is a part of the Hospitality Residency at Providence. Restaurants aren’t new to Simpson. Since landing his first job as a dishwasher in 1976 in the newly built World Trade Center, Simpson has worked in restaurants up and down the east coast, including in Atlanta during the 1996 Olympics. At Providence, however, his journey is taking a turn for the better.

Cooking is more than a job to Simpson, it’s a passion: his eyes light up and dance when he describes making fried flounder and grits.

“My love for cooking comes from my moms and grandma, they always filled our house with food.”

But as a father, Gordon Simpson has to make a living. Despite 40 years of consistent and hard restaurant work, Simpson has struggled. A lay off three years ago let him know that he needed to figure out a way to improve his ability to earn a decent living, especially with a young daughter at home. That is when he learned about Triad Community Kitchen.

“I was a rough cook– a good cook, but a rough cook. Working with Triad Community Kitchen and Chef Bacon has made me a finer cook,” he says, smoothing down his Providence uniform.

After he completed the Triad Community Kitchen program, the opportunity came to join the team at Providence and Simpson took it immediately. The Hospitality Residency at Providence is helping Simpson continue his training, providing him a living wage while he is preparing for his future.

Gordon Simpson’s dream is to open his own business.

“I want to open a catering truck to cater events, but I also want it to give back.”

Simpson says he especially wants to be able to feed folks who are elderly or experiencing homelessness, giving them both food and support.

“I was homeless once. I know what it is like. I have walked in those shoes.”

Simpson’s wife is five months pregnant with his third child.  Simpson says as much as he loves cooking, over the years his career has really become about his kids.

“The love that is being a dad is so great. They look to you and you provide for them, lead them, and love them. Being able to support your family is everything.”

Sunday is Father’s Day and Providence is holding a special brunch for Super-Dads. Gordon Simpson is clearly one, but he has the day off and plans to go fishing with his family. So, when you bring your dad to brunch at Providence this weekend, know that you aren’t only paying tribute to him, but also to Gordon Simpson, a super-dad in his own right.

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#Providence #fathersday #internship #ForsythCounty #WinstonSalem #GordonSimpson #father #TriadCommunityKitchen

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