Thursday, December 6, 2018

Gary Williams' Legacy

Posted By on Thu, Dec 6, 2018 at 10:56 AM

click to enlarge de_javu_w5a4970_web.jpg
Sad news today. Gary Williams of DeJaVu has passed away.

Williams was a gentleman in the truest sense. He was kind and helpful. There was never an unreturned phone call. He was all positive vibes. When news came out that his restaurant DeJaVu on S. Main was closed, he said, "You know me, I'll be back." And he was. He reopened the restaurant in its original location on Florida earlier this year.

Williams has left a legacy of enthusiasm and good cooking, of being there when folks needed a little support. He will be missed.

In 2016, Williams wrote an essay for Memphis magazine about what it means to serve the community. A snippet is below, but the whole thing is worth reading.
I began my career like many chefs, learning from my mentors and developing the dream of one day owning my own restaurant. I didn’t have much growing up in New Orleans, but my life was abundant in love and support from my family and friends. I try to put a little of that magic in all that I do. Love and support goes a long way with people. It just so happens that I was blessed with the opportunity to own my own restaurants and catering services throughout the years. This career has allowed me to travel all over the country meeting athletes, celebrities, politicians, and travelers from all over the world. It also gave me the privilege to work with many young people side by side helping them grow into the wonderful people they have become or one day will be.

That is what this business is about: people, not just those who come in to enjoy the food and experience, but also the people that help make those magical moments happen. Many of us in this business spend more time at the restaurant than we do at home, so we’re a lot like family. There are so many different types of people in this business that I have had the pleasure of working with. You have college students, young professionals, career servers, and cooks, all bringing their personalities to this business. Everyone pulls together in the busy times with the sole focus of taking care of the guests that we are so blessed to have come into the restaurant. At the end of the day, we know we may have made a couple of mistakes but we did our best to make sure that our guests left happy.

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