Brian Cook (left) poses with his wife Victoria Velasquez, two of their sons, Dorothy Williams, manager of Soul Food Kitchen, and Adolf Dulan, owner of Soul Food Kitchen. Photo by Jason Lewis
Brian Cook was drafted by the Lakers, played for the Clippers, and now is with the Washington Wizards. Photo by Jeff LewisBy Jason LewisSentinel Sports Editor
Mother’s Day is a special holiday to NBA player Brian Cook, and this year he spent it by honoring 30 single mothers at Dulan’s Soul Food Kitchen in Inglewood. “The importance of this event is to recognize single mothers, especially on the Mother’s Day holiday,” Cook said. “We always want to represent them. I was raised by a single parent mother. My father wasn’t around. My wife (Victoria Velasquez), before I married her she was a single parent. We have a son that is 15 years old. So this is something that is really dear to our hearts.”The single mothers at the event dined on the best soul food in town, as they had baked fish, fried chicken, ox tails, smothered chicken, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, and Dulan’s famous peach cobbler. Cook, who was drafted by the Lakers in 2003, played for the Clippers last season and currently plays for the Washington Wizards, uses his star power for the greater good of the community. Through his foundation he has partnered with various community service organizations and he has hosted youth basketball camps. His father passed away of a diabetic stroke, so Cook has partnered with the American Diabetes Association’s Dribble to Stop Diabetes program, which promotes the importance of healthy, active lifestyles, as well as diabetes awareness, prevention and management.Diabetes runs in Cook’s family, so he wants to ensure that he and his sons have a healthy lifestyle. Standing at 6-10 and possessing a great jump shot, basketball has played a major role in Cook’s life, so he gives back to the community by helping children fine tune their skills so that they can have a chance to go to college and potentially have a professional career. He hosts various camps in the Los Angeles area, and also in Illinois, where he played college basketball. Promoting black businesses is also important to Cook, which was why he chose Dulan’s Soul Food Kitchen as the venue to host this Mother’s Day event. “Dulan’s has great food, a great family environment, my whole family had a great time,” Cook said. Adolf Dulan, owner of the Soul Food Kitchen, was the perfect choice to partner with because he also supports the community. “I’ve been in the community for 35 years, and during that time we’ve provided about 1,000 full time and part time jobs for minorities in the community here,” Dulan said. “We’re in a recession right now. We have about 30 to 40 employees, full and part time, selling food that their mothers and grandmothers cooked at home. Our employees are happy, and you can see the smiles on their faces. We have so many people coming in with resumes. At this time we can still provide jobs for a lot of people.” Dulan is in touch with his community, and he knows that times can get rough for many people. “We have helped out a lot of families when they run short of food with no questions asked,” Dulan said. As for the event, Dulan and Dorothy Williams, manager of Soul Food Kitchen and one of the best gumbo chefs from Louisiana, were more than happy to host the mothers. “It was a pleasure and an honor for us to be able to share our Mother’s Day plans with Brian and the ladies that have come in for lunch today,” Dulan said. For more information about the Brian Cook Foundation, visit his website at www.BrianCookFoundation.com. Dulan has two Soul Food Kitchen locations. One at 202 E. Manchester Blvd., on the corner of La Brea, and at 3249 W. Century Blvd. Dulan’s also caters. Contact Dulan’s at 310-671-3345 or visit their website at www.soulfoodkitchenla.com
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