Top Chefs: Movie Star Restaurant

Glenda Evans
Glenda is 38 years old and is the daughter of Earlene and Glen Evans. She was born in Covington County but grew up in Purvis. She currently lives in Hattiesburg and has one daughter, Diamond, who is 11. Before coming to work at Movie Star Restaurant, Glenda worked at the Ward’s in Purvis. She has worked at Movie Star for 19 years. When she first was employed at Movie Star she started out washing dishes. She has worked every position in the kitchen from prep, to buffet runner, to fry cook and is currently one of three main chefs at the restaurant.

Darian Thompson
Darian was born in New Orleans and lived there until 2004 when Hurricane Katrina hit. He then traveled numerous places and landed in Hattiesburg in 2013. He came to work at Movie Star Restaurant that same year. When he came in to fill out the application, he thought he was applying at a movie theater and when he realized it was a restaurant, always up for an adventure, decided to fill out the application anyway. Darian started out as a dishwasher. He has filled numerous positions from potatoes, to prep, to fry cook, to buffet runner. Darian is currently one of the three main chefs at the restaurant.

Amy Celik
Amy is 27 years old and was born in Port St. Lucia, Fla.  She lived in Florida for 17 years until she moved to Hattiesburg. She has been working at Movie Star Restaurant since 2009.  Amy met her husband  Matt, while working at Movie Star.  hey have been married for 6 years and have one son, Marcus. When Amy was first hired, she started out working as a dishwasher. She has worked in every position at the restaurant and is currently one of three main chefs.

The chefs are pictured from left to right (Evans, Thompson, and Celik).

What’s one ingredient that you can’t live without?
Amy: Onions.
Darian:  I am a huge fan of garlic.
Glenda: House seasoning (salt, pepper, garlic).

What’s your favorite type of music to listen to when cooking?
Amy, Darian: Any kind.  
Glenda: R&B and Hip Hop is my favorite.

What’s your favorite ethnic cuisine?
Amy: Mexican.
Darian: Mexican, but Chinese runs a close second.
Glenda: Close tie between Chinese and Italian.

What’s the best part about being a chef?
Amy: Knowing your food is making people happy and putting a smile on their face.
Darian: Providing a product that people love.
Glenda: To cook good food that’s good for the soul and puts a smile on people’s faces.

What’s the most challenging part of being a chef?
Amy: To make sure each customer is satisfied.
Darian:  Time management and multitasking.
Glenda:  To make sure everything I put on a plate will be extraordinary and satisfying to the customer.

What’s your favorite “guilty pleasure” food?
Amy:  Chicken wings or fried cheese.
Darian: I am a burger kind of guy. I could eat one every day.
Glenda: Seafood bowl: crab, shrimp, lobster, sausage, potato and corn.

What’s your favorite food to cook?
Amy: Mexican.
Darian:  My famous Movie Star Mashed Potatoes.
Glenda:  Hamburger steak smothered in gravy with a good homemade buttermilk biscuit. (Glenda makes delicious buttermilk biscuits, which she puts in every pan of dressing.)

Who is your food mentor?
Amy:  Roger Bickham
Darian: My friend, Andrew Adcock, and Roger Bickham. They taught me everything I know about cooking.
Glenda: My father.

If you could cook for anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
Amy:  My grand-father, Poppy.
Darian: Roger Bickham, I sure do miss that ole man.
Glenda: My grandmother – she would be so proud of me.

What’s the strangest request you’ve ever had from a diner?
Amy: Cheese on peach cobbler.
Darian: A steak without seasoning.
Glenda: To cook a Pittsburgh-style steak.

If not a chef in the Pine Belt, what city would you like to work in?
Amy: Chattanooga, Tenn.
Darian: New Orleans.
Glenda:  Atlanta.

Beer or Wine?
Amy: Wine.
Darian: Beer.
Glenda: Wine.

Sweet or spicy?
Amy: Spicy.
Darian: Spicy, all day every day.
Glenda: Spicy.

Salt or pepper?
Amy: Pepper.
Darian: Salt.
Glenda: Salt.

Red beans or gumbo?
Amy: Red beans.
Darian: Gumbo.
Glenda: Gumbo.