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5-Star chef unwinds with gigs at Waffle House

Waffle House Chef

Rance Renaud, the world renowned head chef at Tampa’s swank eatery Chez Gaufre in South Tampa, likes to pop in after hours and serve as a line cook at the Waffle House at 4459 W. Hillsborough once in a while.

“It feels good to get back to my roots. It calms me,” said Chef Renaud. “Preparing cuisine for people who might only dine at an establishment like ours once in their lifetimes is a lot of pressure. My love for cooking doesn’t come from being judged by how I drizzle Arugula Pesto sauce on a plate and garnish it with a sprig of thyme at just the right angle. This is much lower stakes and really what cooking is all about.”

“For me, it’s like a rock star showing up at a small club to jam with some band of local blues musicians. I get to just play.”

“It’s great when he comes in,” says Waffle House night shift cook Leon LeRoy. “He gets to do his thing, which is cook basic meals for hungry drunks and I get to do my thing, which is take an extended break and smoke lots of cigarettes. Everybody wins.”

“Oh, I simply adore it when Chef Renaud is here!” said Waffle House regular late night patron Doris Whitewax. “He brings such a sense of whimsy to all his culinary creations. He takes you along on a fantastic journey that thrills and delights all of your senses.”

“Bullshit,” said her husband Ted. “It’s eggs and bacon. It tastes as good as it’s gonna taste – which is pretty great – no matter who makes it.”

“Exactly,” said Chef Renaud, nodding in agreement.

Clark Brooks

About Clark Brooks

Senior Supreme Executive Premium Content Editor for Tampa News Force. Comedian, writer and ordained minister. Twitter: @ClarkBrooks | Instagram:@ClarkBrooks54


  1. Avatar S Lee Mercer on October 12, 2022 at 2:40 am

    As an 80 year old FLA. NATIVE, I recently discovered TV’s Aqua Teen Hunger Force- are y’all Impuning their fine entertainment with your similar name?

    Hmph. Shoulda figured — probably in cahoots with Li’l Blind Boi Ronny and his Merry State Gang of Mauraders🫣🫣🫣🫣🫣
    We’ll see…

    • TNF TNF on October 13, 2022 at 12:55 pm

      Are you disparaging Glorious Champion Leader and Totally Not a Tyrant Governor Ron DeSantis??? I suppose you have bad things to say about Grand Former Governor and Goblin King Rick Scott too!!