Guest chef serves soul food on Sundays

Anthony “Box” Ward, center jokes with soul food chef Maurice Miller, left, at the Stadium Sports Bar and Grill. On Sundays, the bar is offering an assortment of legit southern cooking

Residents aching for some home-cooked soul food can find the next best thing at The Stadium Sports Bar & Grill, 3210 Interstate 70 Business Loop in Clifton, where guest chef Maurice
Miller started Soul Food Sundays less than two months ago.

Miller, 25, learned to cook when he was 13 to help his family after his mother had a stroke that left her with limited use of the left side of her body.

“I decided I wanted to get in the kitchen and learn how to cook,” Miller said.

He took advice from his parents, aunts and grandma. He still rings his Aunt Peggy for help.

“That’s how I learned how to get my stuff done. I always just give her a call,” he said.

Miller moved from California to play basketball at Mesa State College in 2005. He is a senior kinesiology major at the school, but no longer plays basketball for the college because he has used all of his years of eligibility.

His skills in the kitchen still help the team. His house has become a gathering place for players from out of state who don’t make it home for holidays.

“When Moe cooks, it gives you that home- away-from home feeling,” said “Box” Ward, a friend of Miller’s from Mesa State.

Ward said Miller’s cooking reminds him of family, who have roots in Louisiana.

The menu on Sunday at The Stadium features soul food specialities such as fried catfish, fried chicken, jambalaya, corn bread, macaroni and cheese, red beans and rice and sweet potato pie. The food is becoming more popular every week, said Paul Ruth, owner of The Stadium.

Ruth got to know Miller as a regular at his sports bar where Miller came for poker nights.

“I put him to the test. I had a gathering at my house, and I had him cook his soul food,” Ruth said.

The night was a big success, and the two decided Miller would be a guest chef on Sundays — “something we thought the valley didn’t have,” Miller said.

For now, the fare is only available Sundays, but Ruth said they may add Miller as a chef on Saturdays, too.

Ward has an even bigger future in mind for Miller. He thinks Miller could be the chef of his own restaurant.

“I really do think he should consider that,” Ward said.


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