Darcell Hines: a woman of many talents
You can’t see it behind the dish rack, but Darcell Hines leads with her smile—fluorescent, passionate, telling of her unwavering optimism. Instead, you hear her warm voice wish you a good day and begin to imagine the character behind it. Ms. Hines of the Upper School (US) dining services hopes the school community knows about her great personality.
“I love people.” She beamed.
An extravert, you might say. Ms. Hines’ enthusiasm carries into all aspects of her life, whether she is spending time with her two sons and eight grandchildren, crocheting dresses, styling hair, singing, or cooking seafood, her favorite.
Correction: cooking almost any food. Ms. Hines has cultivated this passion since she discovered it at age 5 in the kitchen with her mother, and since then has moved to the Marriott kitchen in Boston, her own restaurant in Texas, and now, luckily, the US cafeteria. Although Ms. Hines is washing dishes here now, she looks forward to using her skills when a cooking position opens up.
“I put my love of cooking aside to work at BB&N because of the loving environment here,” Ms. Hines said.
For fifteen years before BB&N, she lived in Texarkana, Texas, where she owned “Ms. Cookie’s Soul Food Diner,” a name inspired by her longtime nickname, “Cookie.” The menu included baked macaroni and cheese, barbecue ribs, collard greens, and candied yams along with other mouthwatering soul food staples and even a few Tex-Mex options.
“When I’m in a kitchen or restaurant, it’s like a playground,” Ms. Hines said with, of course, a smile. “That’s how much I love to cook.”
Unfortunately, she closed the restaurant after a year and a half when her sons, who helped run the establishment, moved back to Boston—the city where Ms. Hines was born and raised—but she remembers those days as head chef with pride nevertheless. This summer, Ms. Hines will teach kids to cook at the BB&N summer camp, combining her loves of children and food. In fact, her favorite memory of the school was last summer when she joined the campers in a line dance outside.
“I had so much fun with them!” Ms. Hines giggled, adding that she learns so much from children, and hopes they learn from her, too.
Back when Ms. Hines was in high school, she was the lead singer of a band named “Shout.” Imagine her on stage with the group of five, singing everything from jazz to R&B. Ms. Hines laughed about a time when they sang The Beatles and the guitarist jumped off stage into a split. She recalls those days as some of the happiest of her life.
What does this woman of many talents advise students in high school today?
“Enjoy your time in the now; you can’t get that back,” Ms. Hines said. “Don’t try to be grown so fast—enjoy being young.”