We are continuing our Staff Spotlight series this week with Wade! Read on…
Name: Wade Thompson
Age: 33, Birthday 4/21
Position: Line cook
Hometown: Newport News, VA
Favorite Beer: Dark Hollow
Favorite WHBC Food: Different Chicken Sandwich
Education: Warwick High School
WHBC: Hey Wade! I’ll start with the basics; how long have you worked here?
W: Since we opened. I was working for Yummaries Bakery and she told me Wharf was opening.
WHBC: Oooh! They make some of the best shortbread cookies! How long were you with them?
W: 2 years. She was a neighbor of mine and told me she was looking for help. I learned a lot about baking with them.
WHBC: What were you doing before that?
W: I worked construction for a while, building houses and stuff.
WHBC: Which do you prefer – construction or working in the kitchen?
W: Kitchen definitely. Construction has its slow season and it can be COLD! I’m always warm in the kitchen!
WHBC: What is your favorite thing about working here specifically?
W: The people are pretty cool and the work is steady. There’s always something to do.
WHBC: When it gets super busy and stuff starts hitting the fan, how do you handle it?
W: I try to keep calm. You don’t know what each situation will bring until it happens, so I just try to handle each one as it comes up.
WHBC: Have you always loved to cook?
W: Absolutely; it’s always been a passion of mine. I cooked my first fried egg when I was 13.
WHBC: A successful fried egg is a hard thing to accomplish haha! I’ve broken many a yolk. What is your favorite thing to cook?
W: Chicken and pasta alfredo with broccoli.
WHBC: So what do you like to do in your spare time?
W: I have two kids who live with their mom in town. I like to hang out with them; show them a good time. We go skateboarding and bike riding a lot.
WHBC: Do you have any hobbies of your own?
W: I like to play video games and shoot pool?
WHBC: Are you any good?!
W: I’m not a pro or anything, but I think I’m good enough to make the game difficult.
WHBC: What’s your favorite video game right now?
W: Prototype – it’s like a military zombie apocalypse game. The main character can take over other people.
WHBC: Tell me something a lot of people might not know about you.
W: I guess that I am pretty creative; I like to make things. My dad has a shop in his garage with all my tools there. I build model airplanes and cars and can make them look pretty realistic.
WHBC: Cool! When you were in high school, did you have any plans to work in this industry?
W: No I pretty much played it all by ear. I dropped out of school in 9th grade. I eventually got my GED because I wanted to have some education under my belt.
WHBC: Do you have plans to continue your education?
W: Yeah actually. By January I plan to be enrolled in school. Not quite sure what I want to study yet, maybe computers for something different. I would love to go to culinary school, but I think to make any kind of real money, I’d have to move.
WHBC: Where would you move to?
W: Noel and I talked about opening our own restaurant maybe in Norfolk or Virginia Beach. An everyday type of American pub. There’s no telling where we’ll end up. I have 8 years until my kids do their own thing, so who knows where I’ll be after that.
WHBC: If you could go anywhere in the country, where would it be?
W: I’ve always wanted to visit California. Pretty much anywhere with sunshine, beach, and water!
WHBC: Okay, Wade. Parting thoughts – words of wisdom to your younger self.
W: Stay in school and be more realistic with your thoughts. Life isn’t a video game. After I dropped out of school, I was homeless at age 14 for a few months. It was not the best childhood, so definitely stay in school.
WHBC: Wow! That’s quite a thing to overcome. Glad you’re here!
Inquiring minds need to know – what’s it like to work with Wade?
Joe: “He’s a hard worker. Wade comes in and gets the job done. He’s funny and like joking around.”
Sam: “He’s a nice guy. Definitely knows what he’s doing.”
Tom: “Never a dull moment!”