Central Florida chef and pitmaster Chuck Cobb was a big man who cooked with a big heart


Chuck Cobb passed away April 29, 2021 from injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident. - FAIYAZ KARA
  • Faiyaz Kara
  • Chuck Cobb passed away April 29, 2021 from injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident.
I still remember the story Chuck Cobb told as he assembled the Nashville hot chicken sandwich I ordered at his gas station barbecue joint Git-N-Messy.

As an overly eager cook at Hardee's, Cobb accidentally dipped his fingers into a vat of hot oil used to fry chicken.

I'm unfazed by the tale of unintentional self-hazing, so he shoots a cheeky grin my way, wiggles the digits in his right hand, clasps the chicken and dips it into a hot emulsion of lard and butter. It cracks me up and Chuck, satisfied by my reaction, just nods and smiles. He even flashes his fingers to assure me they're intact.
A towering chicken sandwich I dubbed "The Colossus of Cock"
  • A towering chicken sandwich I dubbed "The Colossus of Cock"
It still makes me chuckle, recalling the story mere hours after learning of Cobb's passing. Injuries he suffered from a motorcycle accident April 29 proved fatal. He was only 34 and leaves behind his wife and four children.

Cobb was a big man with a big personality and a big heart. Humble, too. What I loved most about this imposing chef is he never took himself seriously. He could poke fun at his cooking techniques, mock food culture, then serve me a towering chicken sandwich — the likes of which you'd see in a cartoon — or an absolutely ridiculous plate of "Southern" poutine just to yank my chain.

"You Canadians may have started it, but I'm gonna end it."

He'd just laugh and I'd laugh right along with him. It's a quality that endeared him to Central Florida's food community, be they barbecue lovers or poutine snobs.

Even the nation got a glimpse of Cobb's character when he appeared on Live with Kelly & Ryan last July, showing America how to make that poutine abomination of his.
Late last year, Cobb moved Git-N-Messy inside the Red Eye Sports Tavern to the delight of residents in Winter Springs. In a Facebook post Thursday, Chris Poulos, a partner in the restaurant, said Chuck's legacy would live on.

Area chefs, including Joseph and David Creech of Hunger Street Tacos, are working to stage a barbecue fundraiser with proceeds going to his wife and children. Details are forthcoming.

In the meantime, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with funeral costs. Give if you can.

I'll miss you Chuck, but hope to see you again.

Fingers crossed.

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