Friday, November 9, 2012

Cocoamoda in Calvert, Tx

When I drove into Houston I decided to search for someone that I had lost touch with some twenty years ago.  This personality (I debated on using the word 'character' but thought I'll let you decide) had been a friend of my family and a chef extraordinaire at our restaurant in (approx) 1983.

Ken Wilkinson is from England originally but, when last I saw him, he had married a Texas gal and settled into Houston. However, I couldn't find a trace of him anywhere...until Google came through and gave me a link to an article  in the New York Times about a Chef Wilkinson in an out-of-the-way spot called Calvert, and a different kind of restaurant called 'Cocoamoda'.

Eureka!  I placed a phone call and heard that wonderful, very proper, English accent on the other end of the line.  When I revealed who I was the response was immediate and warm,
"Holy */@!!, Where the *+@! are you?!."

So I drove to Calvert and found this intriguing little town that sits on the very edge of becoming---well, something fun and maybe famous.
 Ken is now separated from his wife and there is a new person in his life-- Jacqueline Carnes.
And except for the grey hair, Ken has not changed at all in almost 30 years.

In the two days I spent there I ate some of the most incredible chocolate truffles I have ever tasted and met some very nice people, Phil and Jennifer Runford, who invited us to dinner in their turn-of-the-last-century, Victorian home.

Calvert is 1/2 funky old-west, and 1/2 ghost town.....

But the ghost town part is just waiting to become something new and interesting.

  Characters are everywhere and Ken knows--and appreciates--them all.

The restaurant is in an old bank building that he has, single-handedly, restored.  The New York Times newspaper article says that the bank was once robbed by Bonnie and Clyde.

Besides meeting up with an old friend, this was a  perfect addition to my one-of-a-kind list of unique restaurants.
And if you go into 'YouTube' and put in 'Cocoamoda' there are a number of videos that display the restaurant, plus Ken Wilkinson--on display with all his charms.

You can go to Ken's Cocoamodo website here.

1 comment:

  1. What an amazing and interesting Friday afternoon we spent visiting with him! He treated us like family and we are still savoring the chocolates we got there. We only allow ourselves to have one a day:) but they are so decadent that one a day is enough. Definitely worth a visit to this out-
    of-the-way little town.
    Denise and Dwight