Food 6/8

A plate lunch of red beans and rice and a fried pork chop. Lake Charles resident Gwendolyn Larnette enjoys making meals and plate lunches for those in her commuinty. Over the last two years, Larnette has been cooking for those who are less fortunate.

For her whole life, Gwendolyn Larnette has always wanted to help others, as it’s in her nature to give back.

A resident of Lake Charles, Larnette has long had a love for cooking, especially red beans and rice with a side of cornbread, her favorite.

Larnette constantly finds herself giving 100 percent in her life. No matter the task, she will be the best she can be.

“I’m passionate with everything I do,” Larnette said. “I love what I do.”

And one thing Larnette loves to do is to do for others, especially with her cooking, doing whatever she can to make others feel good.

Larnette’s passion for cooking came from hard times in her life. After losing two children through a miscarriage and a stillbirth, she turned to cooking as an outlet for her life.

“Instead of doing bad things … I just cooked,” Larnette said. “I think all of that anger and frustration I put in a pot and I make magic happen.”

With the passing of one of her children, Larnette decided to name her daughter Marvelous, and she said that reflects who she is as a cook.

“I make marvelous meals,” Larnette said.

Larnette said one of her favorite things to cook is soul food — which is a basic, down-home cooking with its roots in the rural South.

The staples of soul food are beans, greens, cornmeal, fried foods and more, all of which is what Larnette finds herself making.

“Basically anything to make you feel good,” Larnette said.

Larnette said she loves to cook for her family but her biggest passion right now is cooking and providing meals for those who can’t afford it.

“I really love cooking for the homeless,” Larnette said. “I cook meals for them and serve the less fortunate.”

Larnette says she’s focused on helping the less fortunate and wants to do what she can to not only give them a full plate of food but at the same time, bring them a bit of joy in the process.

“If I can do anything to help somebody, I will do it,” Larnette said. “I will cook, I will give them clothes, I will give them shoes, I will do anything I need to do. I love it”

On her Facebook page, Larnette makes an effort to post pictures of her food that she gives away with her own “sharing is caring,” an effort to show people that it’s the least she or anyone else can do.

“I’m showing that sharing is caring in this time (we are living in),” Larnette said. “No one gives me money, but I do this out of my pocket and I am able to feed people that makes me feel good. It really does.”

Larnette said she wants to continue on that path cooking for and giving to others.

Though she’s been cooking for the less fortunate for only two years, Larnette has been the kind of person to give whatever she can to those who need it, even as a child. Nicknamed “Golden,” she has been a bright spot for people in dark days.

“It just makes me happy,” Larnette said. “I love it.”

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