About The ChefDelsia V Contreras cooking picture

Delsia Contreras is a lifelong resident of the Waco community and holds a degree in Culinary Arts from Texas State Technical College. She was recently selected to prepare food for the National Chefs’ Conference Awards Banquet in Washington, D.C. at the Ritz Carlton. In 2009 and 2010, she won the gold medal at the Skills USA Texas competition in Food Service; she won the bronze medal in 2010 and placed fifth in the Skills USA National competition in 2009. She also served as president of the TSTC Culinary Club.

Delsia's relationship with cooking began at a very young age. Her influence started with her grandfather, Elias Curry Kirkpatrick, who was a pioneer in the cooking industry and cooked for several famous restaurants in the Waco area. Her mother, Jewel Lockridge, was a home economics teacher and used every opportunity to teach Delsia the ways of the kitchen. As a tribute to her family's influence on her career, Delsia chose to use her grandfather’s middle name as the name for her gourmet catering business. It was only fitting since it is also the name of a spice.

Many personal feelings and emotional images are tied to food: her mother’s casseroles, her grandfather’s cornbread dressing, and her grandmother's buttermilk pies. No matter how complicated life gets, she believes creating and eating great-tasting food can always bring joy. After studying under the accomplished instructors and chefs at TSTC, Delsia is excited about sharing her love of cooking with family, friends and other foodies in the Waco community. To that end, Delsia has opened up Curry’s Personal Chef and Gourmet Catering; and she is always eager to try innovative and exciting adventures in fine dining. To ensure that you always receive exquisite menu items, Delsia's husband (Patrick Contreras) and five year-old daughter (Eliah) are her official taste-testers! Eliah, born three months before Elias Curry Kirkpatrick passed away, is his namesake.

The Man Behind the Name

Elias Curry Kirkpatrick cook pictureDelsia’s grandfather, Elias Curry Kirkpatrick (Kirk), was her inspiration to become a chef, and Curry’s is her tribute to him. She remembers the aroma that would come home with him after work. “He always smelled like food--good food”, she says. “I could go to an event and smell if he catered it, his recipes were that distinctive.”

Kirk was first a cook in the army and had the honor of cooking for President Franklin Roosevelt and for his fellow U.S. troops at home and abroad during his service in WWII in the 364th Infantry. After his honorable discharge, he worked as a cook in a number of famous Elias Curry Kirkpatrick army pictureWaco restaurants- including the Elite, the Black Angus, and up until his death, George's. Many Wacoans knew Kirk best for the black bottom pies that he made famous at Sam Coates' Restaurant, owned by the former Baylor football player.

Delsia remembers that whatever he prepared, when you took that first bite you knew that this was the best there was. His chicken and dumplings were her favorite of comfort foods. “He always made a ton of food,” she says, “Even though he was no longer in the army, he still cooked enough to feed one. Because it was just him and my grandmother Esteen left in the house, it was no surprise to get a phone call to come eat. With 6 kids, 13 grand-kids, and 11 great-grand kids, his family was now his army!”

The magnolia you see Curry’s logo is another tribute to her grandfather. It reminds her of the magnolia tree that stood in the back of his house. She remembers him often using the leaves and flowers from that very tree to adorn many of his food platters. They became his signature.

“Granddaddy was the epitome of a good man and I miss him dearly! His love of cooking was just as passionate as his love for people and Christ. It was this, that I most admired about him.”