WILLIE "BROTHER" CHAPMAN
Legendary Chef of Freeman & Harris Cafe' and Pete Harris Cafe'
Wille "Brother" Chapman, affectionately known to the Shreveport/Bossier City community simply as "Brother" Chapman. adopted the nickname "Brother" from his daughter, Fonda Chapman. He was the son of Arthur "Scrap" Chapman, who was an original founding partner with the late Pete Harris of the legendary restaurant Freeman & Harris Cafe'.
"Brother" Chapman began his career working at his father's side at Freeman & Harris Cafe' in the early 1950's, when he was a high school junior. The resturant was widely recognized for its delicious soul food, most famous for its fried chicken, chicken and dumplings, stuffed shrimp, and peach pie. His father, "Scrap," along with Pete Harris and the late Wilmer "Tody" Wallette, served as his culinary mentors. They taught "Brother" Chapman the majority of his skills of the trade.
"Brother" Chapman later served as secretary of the corporation, was in charge of recipe development and always set the tone for the manner in which food was prepared for public consumption. He also gained insightful training at the historic Smith's Cross Lake Inn Restaurant. "Brother" Chapman later introduced his son, Orlando Chapman, to the art of cooking. Following in his father's footsteps, Chef Orlando Chapman became a successful restaurateur in his own right. "Brother" Chapman will forever be missed and will always be remembered for his wide and warm smile, friendly greetings, and for being a true gentlemen.
Willie "BROTHER" Chapman
CHEF ORLANDO CHAPMAN
The 2011 Gentlemen's Cooking Classic Celebrity Chef and owner of Brother's Seafood Restaurant, Orlando Chapman, has definitely owned the title "Celebrity Chef". Chef Chapman hails from a family of distinguished restaurateurs, starting at Freeman and Harris Cafe in Shreveport with grandfather and father, William "Brother" Chapman. After graduating from Fair Park High School in Shreveport, LA, Chef Chapman, pursed a degree in criminal justice at Grambling State University. However, mid-point through his studies, during one summer break, Chef Chapman changed his mind about his choice of careers. During this summer break, he weighed his options and instead of returning to Grambling, Chef Chapman chose to remain in Shreveport and work with his family in its restaurant business. Chef Chapman earned the patronage and admiration of customers not only in northwest Louisiana, but also visitors from throughout the nation who made it a point to dine with him whenever they visited the area.
Chef Chapman began working at Freeman and Harris when he was 13 years old by washing pots, sweeping floors, and doing whatever other chores his family instructed him to do. Over the years, through observation, tenacity, self-instruction, and finally finding many of the handwritten notes on recipes his father, Chef Chapman came into his own right as a celebrated chef. He not only mastered the preparation of 80-year old recipes handed down, he also expanded his menu to include entrees of his own creation. Chef Chapman's sister referred to both him and their father as "Brother", and Chef Chapman chose to continue the tradition in naming his restaurant in Shreveport after his father.
Chef Chapman extended his resources to assist individuals and families down on their luck by offering employment to those in need and helping them to redirect their lives. In addition, without being asked or subsidized for doing so, he fed Hurricane Katrina victims temporarily housed in Shreveport for two months, inviting them to dine in his restaurant at no charge.
Chef Chapman gave credit to his pastor, Bishop Larry Brandon, his mother, sister, and his three sons as the source of his inspiration.