ST. PETERS, Mo. — The secret ingredient for a great chef, is passion.
And Jack MacMurray loves his job. "It's literally feeding the soul," he said. "And I like the challenge."
The executive chef at Old Hickory Golf Club in St. Peters, is no flash in the pan. He's been boiling and broiling in restaurants for more than 30 years.
"That's the fun of it, the challenge of day to day," MacMurray said. "It's always changing."
He likes it when his customers come in hungry, but that takes on a much different meaning every other Thursday night.
On the first and third Thursday of the month, chef Jack takes his talent and extra food to St. Paul's Carondelet Church in south St. Louis.
It's all part of Pastor Rebecca Ragland's Food Ministry.
"We have people who come who haven't been able to get a meal," said Ragland. "Or maybe they got a meal on Monday, but they haven't gotten one this evening. And so they come and definitely people are hungry."
"This is kind of a difficult time in my life," said visitor Aleah Roy. "I recently became homeless."
Roy is one of about 696,000 people in Missouri facing food insecurity, according to Feeding America. That's why Chef Jack and his team donate food to nonprofits like Operation Food Search and St. Patrick Center on a weekly basis.
"Just my childhood upbringing to respect the food, eat the food and don't waste the food," said MacMurray.
On these Thursday nights, the chef brings along his knives and spatula and the menu includes salad, vegetables, pasta and pork.
"There are other food programs around, but when people come here, it's not just food. It's really a feast," said Ragland.
For MacMurray, coming here is like having a spiritual balanced diet.
"It's humbling when you see somebody that truly is appreciating this meal," he said.
"It means a lot," said Roy. "It makes me feel good that there's people out there that are willing to help."
Chef Jack MacMurray showing us all that the best cooks always add a pinch of kindness.
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