By Michael Cunningham
FLOWERY BRANCH — Each week during the season The Atlanta Journal-Constitution will conduct a question-and-answer session with a Falcons player about his off-field interests and activities. The intention is to give fans some insight into the players and a little sense of what makes them tick. This week we spoke with center Todd McClure.
McClure grew up in Baton Rouge, La., where he developed a love for cooking at an early age. He’s known as a good cook among his Falcons teammates, who are known to head to McClure’s house for a good meal.
McClure talked about why cooking brings him joy and the key to making a good dish.
(Falcons tackle Tyson Clabo has started a “Get out the Pro Bowl Vote Campaign for McClure.)
Q: Does your love of cooking come from your Louisiana roots?
A: It does. My dad’s mother, my grandmother (Carmel McClure), I used to love watching her cook. She’s one of the best there is, and she taught me when we were coming up. I wanted to learn. I love doing it on my off days. My kids love it when I’m home and cook because normally I cook something pretty good for them.
Q: What do you usually cook for your kids?
A: Anything. They love my chicken stew, gumbo, jambalaya, crawfish etouffee. They love pretty much anything I cook. They love that Louisiana food. My son, my oldest, I’ve got to watch him grabbing the hot sauce or tell him, ‘That’s too much.’ I guess he sees everybody doing it, but I tell him to taste the food before you put that on there. I guess he thinks automatically you’ve got to put that on there.
Q: What’s the key to being a good cook?
A: I really don’t cook from a recipe. It’s kind of throwing it together and knowing the tastes and the different spices that go together. I think enjoying what you are doing is a key to it. It’s really relaxing to me.
Q: Do you plan to cook something up for Thanksgiving?
A: We always do. Thanksgiving is normally tough for us. My wife’s family comes in. My father-in-law and my brother-in law, they do all the meats: the fried turkey, the smoked turkey, the ham. They get it all prepared. We are up here practicing, [so] they will take care of cooking it, and then my mother-in-law does all the side dishes. We will have a big spread. Normally I have some [Falcons] guys over that don’t have family in town.
Q: Are you one of those people who gets satisfaction from others eating your food?
A: I do. I really do. Because sometimes it’s like you don’t really feel like eating it after you cook it. But I do get satisfaction out of seeing other people enjoying what you took time preparing, especially my kids and my wife. If they love it, that’s a big deal to me.
OTHER RECENT NEWS