With a true gift of joy for creative diversity derived from exposure to cultural variety in his home state of Louisiana and well marinated through his worldwide travels in the Navy, Carey Nelson is comfortable appropriating fusion in both his food making and his musical performances.
Consider the musical entity known as The Circus, a music performance showcase featuring Folk singer and guitarist Ridge Banks, Hip Hop artist Carlos ‘Brotha Los’ Ware and the soulful Southern vocals of Nelson, himself. This modern musical amalgam is a unit of GreenScotch Studios, Washington DC, whose well blended stage presence and rich vocal depth continues to delight diverse audiences across the Mid-Atlantic region.
Regarding food, prodigy is a good way to describe this self-styled caterer. At a very early age, Nelson was attracted to the culinary abilities displayed by both his mother and grandmother. This deep curiosity led him to successfully play with fire at the age of five when he created perfect slices of toast using the oven broiler in the family kitchen. Taking notice of her son’s keen interest and budding epicurean abilities, Nelson’s mom fast tracked this up and coming cooking talent by taking him under her well-seasoned wings.
The food preparation, wisdom, ability and love that he received from the up close and personal mentoring provided by his mother so immensely skyrocketed Nelson’s skillset that by age ten the young caterer to be was able to prepare all of the main course dishes for the family’s Thanksgiving dinner that year. Regarding pots, pans, seasonings, sauces and things dining related, Nelson never looked back.
Even at that age, the young man exhibited a zest for variety and it was around that time that Nelson joined the Jr. Youth Choir at the local church. The blessed harmonies spoke to his soul and he was ever inspired to continue choral collaborations moving up to the church’s Youth Choir and remaining throughout his high school years.
Following graduation, Nelson entered the U.S. Navy and his melodic tones could be heard from boot camp to the seven seas as he lent his vocal abilities to various Naval choirs and ensembles. This included the Ship’s Band on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower that provided elegant musical performances for Admirals, Captains, as well as, ship’s crews on grand occasions such as the Naval Fleet Week.
With his years on the high seas and service to his country successfully concluded, Nelson resumed his culinary calling. He did so first by creating moments of dining joy for family, friends, colleagues and for himself. These moments included sweet treats to live for like his legendary banana pudding and foodie treats such his crab & shrimp balls with a secret dipping sauce along with a mac n cheese that is simply the boss.
Eight years ago, while generously providing a full course buffet dinner at the graduation celebration of a friend, one of the delighted guests inquired how much it would cost to have this same menu prepared for an upcoming event? At the urging of that question, Carey’s Cookin’ Country Catering was born.
About food, Nelson keeps his philosophy simple yet elegant. He seeks at all servings to provide clients and guests with one of their absolute, best and exquisitely delicious dining experiences.
In that way Nelson has continued to bless hankering palettes while giving soulful satisfaction to listening ears. Indeed since 1992, he dutifully honed his skills as a soloist while performing selected ballads for more than one-hundred satisfied brides and grooms at weddings in the Washington, DC area.
Additionally, Nelson has shared his melodic vocal stylings at numerous private corporate functions in downtown DC. Ever maintaining the collaborative spirit of his choral roots, Nelson would become a founding member of the performance trio Quality Assurance. The group incorporated singing and poetry while performing in and around the National Capitol region at popular venues and revues including Bus Boys & Poets, The Variety Show, as well as, lending their talents for youth fundraisers.
These days when performing with The Circus or solo, Nelson enjoys giving the audience an unexpected and authentic brilliance along with paying homage to his influences, including Sam Cooke, Donnie Hathaway, and The Dells while giving honor to the melody in his heart, Mrs. Patricia Nelson, friend of nineteen years and wife of fourteen years.