On a Monday evening in September, Sam Newcomer served a four-course meal to 45 people at a downtown Roanoke church.
The dinner, called “Chefs Who Care,” was part of a series held to benefit the Roanoke Rescue Mission. But the folks who munched on Thai shrimp bruschetta and savored Key lime cheesecake at Greene Memorial United Methodist Church that evening could hardly know how much that night really meant to chef Newcomer.
About three years ago, the man who had ruled restaurant kitchens for most of his adult life no longer felt in control of anything. After years of alcohol abuse, he found himself hospitalized in Daytona Beach, Fla., with nothing to his name except a nasty addiction he could not shake.
It was the love of his daughter – and, he would say, God – that brought Newcomer to the Rescue Mission. And it was his experiences in the Residential Recovery Program there that allowed him to return to what he had always loved to do.
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