Still Cooking, Dinner Theater Chef Celebrates 80th Birthday
"Miss Pat," as she is affectionately known at NarroWay, has served as food service coordinator for the unique Christian dinner theater for over 20 years. As others her age enjoy the benefits of full-time retirement, this 80-year-old works 25 to 40 hours each week.
"I love NarroWay," says Miss Pat. "I'll keep working 'til the Lord takes the spoon out of my hand."
With a team of devoted volunteers, she serves up to 1800 of her custom-prepared dinners each week from a small kitchen with barely more than 200 square feet of space.
Miss Pat works with NarroWay's directors to create special recipes themed for each show. Homemade bread pudding, crushed oat cake and banana pudding are just a few sweet favorites. Entrees range from kalamata boneless short rib steak to southern fried chicken.
The NarroWay Theatre ranks second on TripAdvisor for all dinner theaters in South Carolina. Founders Yvonne Clark and Rebecca Martin attribute much of that success to Miss Pat's work in the kitchen. "Food service is half of our reputation,"
Making people happy is fulfilling to Miss Pat, who worked as a surgical nurse for 38 years. "I've cooked all my life," she says. "I like to see food well-prepared. I like seeing it make people happy."
Miss Pat met NarroWay's Martin and Clark in Kentucky when she volunteered to prepare meals for their large touring youth team. "That's where I got my food service training," she says.
Miss Pat retired from nursing and followed Martin and Clark when they moved to South Carolina and founded NarroWay Productions in 1996. A native of Florence, she was eager to return to her home state and embark upon a new adventure.
Twenty-one years later, that adventure continues for this unique 80-year-old.
"The Broadway of Christian Entertainment,"
Lora McCoy, Theatre Manager