Marianna- Mitchell Jackson told us Monday started like any other day in the Jackson Hospital kitchen... That was, until his boss called a meeting.
"Edwin said everybody needed to come, and I said, 'Oh, what we done now'" Jackson recalled, laughing. "Then, I saw a whole bunch of people and said, 'ooh!"'
"I got everybody out there and read what the award said" Jackson Hospital Food Service Director, Edwin Blitch said. "Morrison Health care has a People First award that's [given] once a year. Different hospitals [nominate] somebody from their hospital that goes above and beyond. [Jackson's nomination] has to do with his cooking and what he does outside of the hospital."
"I really don't understand it," Jackson said shaking his head, "but Edwin said I got it for my consistent cooking- and a lot of people like my wings!"
He had been cooking wings at the hospital for some time, but a lot of people said they also thought he wore them.
"In the afternoons, a lot of times he works on peoples' cars" Blitch said. "One afternoon, he saw a girl crying who couldn't get into her car and didn't have money to call a locksmith, so, he unlocked it for her. And one day last week, when I was leaving in the afternoon, it was his off day and he was helping an elderly man get his car cranked because the battery ran down while he was [staying] here."
As for the humble chef, Jackson downplayed all the attention.
"I'm just Mitchell" he said laughing. "I love to cook, help everybody, try new things- that's what i do!"
Jackson has been a chef at the hospital for 10 years, but told us he had been cooking with his Grandmother since he was six. Thursday, he gave us some tips on the key to delicious fried chicken.
Jackson said he heated his grease to 325 degrees, and cooked his chicken in it for 20 minutes, if cooking with more than 20 pieces of chicken. But most importantly, Jackson said to season the chicken the night before and go from a wet to dry batter.