Eldon Painter is a man who has touched many of our hearts, and our stomachs, for years now as the chef at Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI). Painter, who has been a chef for most of his life, discusses with The Hilltop Monitor the love he has for his career at William Jewell College.
When asked about his favorite part of being the chef at FIJI, Painter answered simply.
“Seeing the smiles on their faces because they love the food. My favorite part will always be their smiles.”
The bond Painter has with the men of FIJI is very clear. In the middle of the interview, many boys stopped by to ask Painter how he was doing, what was for dinner and if he needed any assistance.
When asked what FIJI means to him, Painter said, “They’re my kids, you know? When you have kids you love them unconditionally.”
Painter decided to come to Jewell after many years of being a chef in restaurants and hotels because he was tired of the corporate side of his jobs. Painter became a chef at a young age and has a passion for preparing food.
“I love cooking the meals for mom’s day and the graduate dinner. Getting to speak with the parents and getting to know them really makes me happy. The graduate dinner is great because it’s nice getting to hear the alumni’s stories of their time at Jewell.”
On campus, it’s no secret that Painter makes a great meal. His favorite meal to prepare is breakfast, which is widely known for the delicious cinnamon rolls.
“The secret to the cinnamon rolls is making the first bite taste like the last bite because the inside is the best part.”
When Painter is not in the FIIJ kitchen he spends time going out with his friends to get coffee and playing piano. If you are ever at the FIJI house during the week, there’s a chance you’ll be lucky enough to see him play. Painter also works as an Uber driver in his free time.
“I probably talk too much to my riders, but I’m a social guy, it’s hard not to.”
Painter would go out of his way for everyone in FIJI, doing his best to take care of all of them as much as he can.
When asked about what was important to him Painter took some time to really think about it. After a couple of minutes he gave a simple, yet powerful, response.
“Being here for as long as I can and living right.”