It is with sadness and nostalgia that I read of the passing of Evelyn Wavpotich. For several years, while I served as editor of The Island Packet, Evelyn was our food columnist.
After all these years, I don’t recall the details of how she came aboard as a regular columnist, but I remember that Evelyn and her husband, Gus, approached me with the idea. They promised we would be getting two “foodies” for the price of one. (I think we were paying the princely sum of $25 per column, except for Garry Moore, who insisted that $5 a week was plenty enough for his “Mumbles, Mumbles” column.) Although Evelyn would write the words, Gus would be the chef and together they would test recipes before offering them to Packet readers. It just grew from there.
I looked forwarded to editing Evelyn’s columns. She was a good writer and an even better storyteller. More than recipes, her columns were a culinary and cultural adventure. Every time they dropped off her latest column (this was in the days before the Internet), they would be excited about a new ingredient they had discovered or how a reader had introduced them to the cuisine of a far-off land. They were the ideal team to produce a food column for The Packet’s sophisticated, much-traveled readers.
I take no credit for The Island Packet Cooking School, which Gus and Evelyn conducted at The Galleria, but we were proud to lend our name to that endeavor. Their classes embodied the intelligence, wit and graciousness the Wavpotichs brought to other aspects of living. Our “Island Packet Cooks” apron is a fond reminder of our sojourn on Hilton Head Island.
Terry Plumb was editor of The Island Packet from 1978 to 1987.