Darryl E. Evans

November 24, 1961 – February 26, 2014

Another culinary star entered the celestial kitchen on February 26, 2014, when Chef Darryl Evans, passed away at age 52, after a protracted illness. Although slight in stature, Darryl Evans cast a giant shadow over Atlanta’s culinary landscape over the last 30 years with both his individual accomplishments and his mentoring of others whose contributions, in Atlanta and beyond, continue to grow.

Darryl E. Evans was born November 24, 1961 in Columbus, Georgia. He studied business administration at Chattahoochee Valley Community College, 1981-83; was enrolled in the National Apprenticeship Program, American Culinary Foundation, 1983-86; and became Certified Working Chef, 1991.

Evans began his culinary career as a chef’s apprentice in 1983 with the American Culinary Federation at the Cherokee Town and Country Club, which has been named the very best private club in America since 1997. Seven years later, he was appointed Executive Chef, a position he has held at several restaurants, country clubs and four Star-rated establishments including the prestigious City Club of Buckhead. ” I would recommend my job to anyone who has a passion for food. It’s a valuable and exciting career that I love and has taken me all over the world and now, I am honored to be at City Club of Buckhead,” said Evans. Evans was also a founding board member of The Edna Lewis Foundation, founded in 2012 after the famed chef, cookbook author, and teacher, it is dedicated to honoring, preserving and nurturing African Americans’ culinary heritage and culture.

Famed Savannah chef Joe Randall said that this quote from Evans’ appearance on his television show provides the best insight to the man:“I give a little bit of my personality”“But I don’t have to cover it up or add things to disguise it and make it something that it is not”.

Star chef Todd Richards fine-tuned his talents in the kitchen under the direction of Chef Darryl E. Evans of whom he studied under for seven years. From Evans, Richards learned the skill of transforming food into works of art, which he takes seriously with each plate that leaves the kitchen. “I look at each plate as a canvas to express myself to the guest.

Chef Duane Nutter , top toque at the award winning One Flew South, recalled Evens’ influence on his career: ..”I will never forget when he told Todd & I you two made me step my game up y’all was some bad mother’s in that kitchen.”
I’ve never met many men like him,” said Certified Master Chef Tom Catherall founder of Here to Serve Restaurants, a friend who gave him his first serious kitchen job at The Cherokee Town and Country Club .” He was a gentle soul whose smile could light up a room. “He cared about everyone.”
Evans leaves behind to cherish his memory a lovely wife Deborah, and 2 sons: Brandon and Branford-Michael.

By James Oxendine

There are many wonderful memories that I have of being In the Kitchen with my dear friend Darryl Evans, Darryl was always willing to help whenever I asked him to share his talent and expertise. 

Darryl live to cook and he was on my list of people to call when I needed him. He participated in Taste of Heritage dinner held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, DC. Darryl was one of the first chefs I contacted to contribute to A Taste of Heritage: New African-American Cuisine, a collection of foods and dishes that reflect both the family histories and training of the chefs that contributed to the timely book. In 2008 Darryl hosted me in his kitchen at the Verbe Lounge in Atlanta GA for the Taste of Ebony Culinary Extravaganza October 17, 2008 Mason Murer Fine Art Gallery
Atlanta, Georgia. In September 2010, Darryl came to Savannah to bless me and my guests with his presence to celebrate my 10th Anniversary He was my brother and dear friend. Darryl strived to uplift Southern cuisine to a stylish new level. He was an avid supporter and a founding member of board of trustees for the the Edna Lewis Foundation Inc, preparing a course for two of its fundraising dinners.

Chef Joe Randall 3/12/2014

Obituary for
Chef Darryl E. Evans
November 24, 1961 – February 26, 2014
Stone Mountain, GA.
Chef Darryl E. Evans, 52, of Stone Mountain, GA. formerly from Columbus, GA, passed Wednesday, February 26, 2014 in Atlanta, GA. The celebration of his home-going will be held on Saturday, March 8, 2014, at 1:00 p.m. in the sanctuary of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, 6400 Woodrow Road, Lithonia, GA. with Bishop Eddie L. Long, officiating. The repast will be held immediately following the service at New Birth. Interment will take place on Sunday, March 9, 2014, at 1:00 p.m. at Green Acres Cemetery in Columbus, GA.

Visitation and viewing will be held on Friday, March 7, 2014, from 12:00 noon – 8:00 p.m. at Gregory B. Levett and Sons Funeral Home, 914 Scenic Hwy, Lawrenceville, GA 30045.

Chef Evans was a graduate of Carver High School Class of 1979. A graduate of the American Culinary Federation (AFC) apprenticeship program at Georgia State University in 1986, he is a three-time recipient of the AFCs Chef of the Year award. He was the first African American to participate in the International Culinary Olympics, Frankfurt, Germany where he won three gold medals and one silver medal in 1988 and 1992. He was an extremely accomplished chef who mentored and trained generations of culinarians throughout his career. He won numerous awards and served as visiting Chef for functions held by the United States Congress and various State Governments. He was named Chef and Culinarian of the Year, Greater Atlanta Chef’s Association, 1991, 1993 and 1996. Numerous national and local publications have featured articles on Chef Evans over the years. He achieved national profile and was lauded as one of the very few executive chefs of color in a hospitality industry that is dominated by white males.

Chef Evans’ interest outside the culinary world included an avid interest in gardening. He also gave back to the community by participating in national and charitable organizations, such as The Culinary Masters, Prince Edward Island, Taste of the Nations (a nationwide organization to feed the homeless), Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the World Cooks Tour for Hunger (Johannesburg, South Africa in 1993) and Chaine des Rotisseurs.He was last employed as an Executive Chef at the City Club of Buckhead in Atlanta GA. He was a faithful member of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church where he served as the Chef for the church for numerous years.

Chef Evans is survived by his devoted and loving wife Deborah, two sons Brandon (Hilary) Wheeless of Fort Benning, GA, Branford-Michael Evans of Stone Mountain, GA, his parents Edward L. and Violet Averett Evans of Columbus, GA, a God-granddaughter, Emani Lockett “Evans”, one brother Anthony (Deborah) Evans of Fayetteville, GA, one niece, Christina Rae Evans and a host of relatives and friends. Chef Evans was predeceased by his brother Ray Garcia Evans.

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