Meet The Chefs
There are two chiefs in my house: My Wife, Donna and Myself. However, there is only 1 kitchen so we share it
although I call it mine. Check us out below...
Hello Fellow or
Prospective Cooks, I am Thomas Leslie Hackett, just Thom (Tom) for short.
I have been called "Big Tee" and other things that I will not put here.
I am retired from public work or I should say from any job that pays money.
I seem to be busier now after retirement than before. I do get to
spend more time in the kitchen working on the things I love to do and that
is to prepare foods that my family likes. But let me start from the
beginning so you will know more about me.
I was born May 12, 1946, in Red Boiling Springs, Tennessee. For
those of you who do not know Tennessee very well you will find Red Boiling
Springs in the middle of the state and about as far north as you can go. My
association with food operations extent over a period of 50+ years and include
all levels of grocery marketing embracing the wholesale and retail markets in
the private sector as well as the federal government including old and new
I first entered the grocery business in 1958, working for a
local market in my hometown while I completed High School. I moved to Nashville
after graduation in 1964 and began working for a supermarket chain named Cooper
& Martin, Inc., a division of Malone & Hyde. I was promoted to Produce Manager
in 1965. I entered the Army in 1966 and received a commission to second
lieutenant in 1967. I was assigned to the State Department in 1969 and spent the
following year in Vietnam where I was awarded the Bronze Star for my service to
the Vietnamese government. I was honorably discharged in 1971 at the rank of
Captain. I returned to the same supermarket chain in 1971 that I left in 1966
and rose quickly through the ranks. In 1977 I became a Division Manager in the
company's wholesale operation providing grocery products to supermarkets in 5
I entered civil service and the commissary system in 1979 with
the U.S. Army Troop Support Agency (TSA), as a Department of Defense intern
assigned to TSA for training in commissary (DoD's Grocery) operations. Subsequent to this
training, my career has included management and supervisory assignments at store
and headquarters operational levels. I was the store manager for Ft. Shafter in
Hawaii, Oakland Army Base in California, and Tinker AFB in Oklahoma. I also
served as the Commissary Officer of the Maxwell AFB Commissary, Alabama; Program
Management Chief for the Air Force Commissary Service (AFCOMS) Kelly AFB, Texas;
Chief of the Logistics Division, Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA); Special
Project Officer in the Office of Corporate Research, DeCA; Electronic Commerce
Manager, DeCA; DeCAís Information Systems Chief for Europe and the near East;
Director for the Capital Investment Business Area for the Defense Commissary
Agencyís European Region and Chief of the Systems Division DeCA Headquarters.
I have a Bachelor of Science (BS) Degree with an Accounting
Major from Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Tennessee and a Master of
Business Administration (MBA) from Troy State University, Montgomery, Alabama.
My wife, Donna, and I have two daughters; Karmen Purdel married
to Emanuel Purdel and Kristy Hammond married to James Hammond. We have
five granddaughters and one grandson, Katelyn Hammond, Morgan Hammond, Aubrey
Hammond, Adina Purdel, Bianca Purdel and Jared Purdel.
My interest in cooking began while I was still a small boy in
Red Boiling Springs, Tennessee. I delighted in following my grandmother around
the kitchen both at home and in the hotel where she was a professional chef. I
was always seeking to help whenever she permitted it. She was a marvelous cook
and a wonderful Christian woman. I still remember the tantalizing smells that
forever lingered in her kitchen. It was not until I was married that I begin to
use the things I learned from my grandmother. Don't think I married someone who
can't cook. I married a wonderful cook, a wonderful Christian woman, and I have
learned a lot about cooking from her. I have read cookbooks of every variety and
sought recipes from restaurants whenever I discovered a particular dish that I
liked. My Recipe book is a compilation of recipes from my family, my wife's
family, my friends, restaurants and other cookbooks. You will find some of my
favorite Recipes on this site.
I have traveled the continents on the globe with the exception
of Africa and South America. Donna and I have many photographs of Europe and the
USA including vacations, shopping trips, weddings, and our grandchildren. We
will share some family history and memories. We are Christian; we believe the
Bible and our Lord Jesus Christ. On our family web site,
www.thomhackett.com we provide online
Bibles in many languages, study guides for the Bible, and an American
Translation of the Bible called "The Holy New Covenant". This site is dedicated
to food. Both Donna and I love to cook and to dine in and dine out. Together, we
have recipes gathered from around the world and family. I will also offer many
I am Donna Dolores (Seay) Hackett.
I am also retired from Federal Service at Fort Lee, Virginia. Thom
and I use this time to visit friends, relatives, and to places we just
I was born and lived in Clarksville, Tennessee Until I met my husband; Thom and
he moved me around the world for the next 40+ years.
My cooking education came from my Grandmother, Esther Seay.
My Grandmother was not a professional cook like Thomís grandmother but
she was an excellent cook nonetheless.
She cooked country and food was a way of life.
My grandfather, my father, and his four brothers and two sisters meant
that mealtime was quite a production to feed this many family members.
As Thomís wife, I journeyed with him to the many states in which we lived and to
Europe for seven years. We have had
many opportunities to dine in some very good restaurants and gather numerous
recipes for the many years we have traveled.
It is fun to work in the kitchen together to prepare a meal for our
friends and family. We hope to
entertain more when we can be at home to work in the kitchen together.
We would be delighted to share the recipes we have gathered to give you a taste
of what we have enjoyed. Feel free
to contact us if you have any questions.