GREENSBORO, Ga. — Gloria Slaughter, owner of the Washington Grass Inn, took over the role of head chef at Richard’s Wine Bar in January of this year. Slaughter has completely changed the menu, such as taking popular items off. “It’s all food I’m familiar with and food I know how to do,” said Slaughter.

Richard Matthews, the previous owner of the restaurant, approached Slaughter after his head chef retired in December 2017. The two had worked together before. Matthews had run bar services at many of Slaughter’s events at the inn and Slaughter had catered some of Matthew’s dinners for wine society events. “It was just one Sunday morning when Richard called me and I just said ‘yeah, sure,’” said Slaughter.

Slaughter has been working alongside sous-chef, Ken Rowland. “I knew I couldn’t do it by myself, [Matthews] said I could have one person with me,” said Slaughter. Rowland has known Slaughter for several years and has worked various events for her at the inn. Slaughter has plans to eventually switch roles with Rowland as she and her husband, Wiley Slaughter, have plans to retire within the next few years.

Slaughter acknowledges that taking on the role was challenging at first.

“The first three days I hated it,” Slaughter said.

She said she had to get used to switching from cooking one thing for a large quantity of people at the inn to cooking several different meals at once at the restaurant.

I still get kind of jittery when there are eight orders up there, but you just take it one at a time,” said Slaughter.

Recently, Slaughter has been slowing down event coordination at the inn and usually only works three nights—Thursday, Friday, and Saturday—at the restaurant. Slaughter’s husband works as a flight attendant and is gone for days at a time but when home, he helps out around the inn. The two have plans to travel during retirement.

“I’m a really good employee,” Slaughter said of working at the restaurant. Matthews and Slaughter have an agreement that Slaughter will continue working at the restaurant as long as Matthews needs her.

Lauren Funk is a senior majoring in journalism in Grady College Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia

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