TEXAS CITY — After 30 years in the seafood business, Dexter Guillory decided to put away his boiling pots for good and let a younger generation take over.
What the Eunice, La., resident didn’t factor in was how persuasive Texas City-La Marque Chamber of Commerce President Jimmy Hayley could be when he convince the Cajun cook to give it another year.
Each August for 22 years, Guillory made the 211-mile trek from Eunice, La., to Texas City to cook for the chamber’s annual Shrimp Boil.
So, when Guillory told Hayley earlier this year last year was his last to serve up shrimp, Hayley was heartbroken.
“I begged him,” Hayley said. “I said, ‘you can’t do this to me, not this year. I need you to give me at least one more year so I have time to find a replacement.”
While Guillory is already retired from his family owned seafood business Riceland Crawfish, he will be in Texas City on Aug. 23 to cook up some of the locally purchased Texas Gulf Coast shrimp, corn and potatoes.
“We really couldn’t let him retire without all of us saying goodbye to Dexter,” Hayley said. “He’s become a true friend to me and a lot of people in this community.”
So, along with the jambalaya cooked up by Marathon Galveston Bay Refinery’s Ray Brooks, the annual shrimp-eating contest and the live music from Pee Wee Bowen and his band, the Shrimp Boil’s master chef will be on hand one more time.
Hayley, though, hinted that he might twist Guillory’s arm to see if maybe he would sign a lifetime deal with the chamber.
At a glance
WHAT: Texas City-La Marque Chamber Shrimp Boil
WHEN: 6 p.m. Aug. 23
WHERE: Nessler Center, 2010 Fifth Ave. N., in Texas City
TICKETS: $20 in advance; $25 at the door, $5 for children