When the main ingredient is love for cooking

Published 2:30 pm Wednesday, January 17, 2018

By Mary Ekene

I took one bite and my taste buds exploded. I looked at my food and asked myself, “How can someone cook this good Lord?”  I mean my parents hands down are the best cooks in the world (of course I am being bias), but I mean, I could not believe what I was eating.

She had made me a crab stuffed lobster of the utmost best ingredients, with succulent garlic red potatoes, fresh seasoned steamed broccoli and a pasta salad to die for. To top it off, she made her own garlic butter from scratch to drizzle over the lobster.   I mean I was really in awe, I just could not believe how talented this woman was.

I called her and told her it was the best lobster meal I have ever had in my life. Pappadeuxs, Red Lobster, Steam boat Bill could not do this woman any justice.

She told me, “Thank you and if there is any dish you want me to make to let me know.”

I jumped with great excitement,  “Yes, I will definitely let you know.”

Eaton- Howard’s cooking truly blessed me that day because you could tell she cooked from the heart. Let me tell you something, most people cook to collect a check, or simply for recognition, or just because they are bored.

Eaton- Howard is a woman who cooks with the divine love she shares with everyone in her community. Her humility and beautiful spirit shows her I created from a different cloth.

“I just love to cook; it puts me at a peace of mind,” Eaton- Howard stated to me as I was standing in her kitchen.

Eaton- Howard is a thirty-eight year old veteran. She served in Iraq in 2004.

“I have seen so much when I was serving my county. It put me in a deep depression. But my love for cooking saved me mentally and now I have found my divine purpose in it.”

Eaton- Howard is an Orange, Texas native and has been in the reserves for twelve years. She has one daughter, Ashli Howard and is over her kitchen at her church Kingdom Dominion.

She is the only child of Dennis Eaton and Linda Jackson.

Eaton- Howard volunteers her free time to feed the homeless and is very passionate about feeding many people who need food. Her business Dena’s Eatery is a catering company that has been here for the past two years.

“By opening my catering business, this is my way of giving back.” Eaton- Howard states.

I have never met anyone so passionate about what they do. It is amazing.

Orange Councilman Larry Spears Jr. stated, “She is an amazing woman and she puts her heart into her service.”

That is the absolute truth and I knew simply by that first bite. That first bite I took that special when I tried her cooking for the first time. You can check out pictures of her cooking on Instagram Denaseatery.

Eaton- Howard keeps up the fantastic work and we are all proud of what you continue to do for your community through your service.

Mary Ekene/ Founder of BWU (Black Women Unite) and Founder of the Institution of Performing Arts in Orange, Texas