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“Ivory is cooking chicken!” For the past 30 years, those four words have spread like wildfire across our campus, igniting appetites and sending feet flying in the direction of that delicious aroma. In addition to his famous fried chicken, this talented man enjoyed making other delectable dishes like pulled pork, ribs, crab cakes, and meatloaf. The creator of all this great food, Ivory Wilson, is a quiet, self-effacing fellow who just loves to cook.
He came to McDonogh in 1987 after cooking for the Woodstock Job Corps Center and Morgan State University. A self-taught chef, Ivory can’t remember a time when he didn’t want to cook. He was born and raised in North Carolina where his mother and sister still live, so perhaps his home state provided the southern influence that flavored his cooking and made his dishes so popular.
For many years, Ivory was the “staff cook” who prepared coveted entrees that were served only to teachers and staff in the little back room in Lamborn Hall. He was also the iconic dinner cook for more than 150 boarders and campus residents, faithfully serving nutritious and delicious fare to regulars and drop-ins alike. Though the kitchen of a dining hall can get hot and hectic, Ivory took everything in stride and just kept cooking - with a smile!
Now that Ivory has more discretionary time, he plans to travel a bit and visit relatives. One thing is for sure, however: Ivory won’t be able to stay out of the kitchen for too long.
We thank you, Ivory, for the many memorable meals you have provided for the McDonogh Family over the years. You have truly nourished us. May you continue to enjoy the sweet taste of retirement.