The Gospel Chick serves Southern food in a truck
‘It’s the gospel according to fried chicken,’ owner says
“I keep it classic and simple, and as southern as possible,” says Gerald Lee Ricks, owner of Calvert County’s newest food truck, The Gospel Chick.
Ricks celebrated his food truck’s grand opening Dec. 20 at Scorpion Brewing Company in Owings, serving up Southern fried chicken, ribs and fried fish dinners, cornbread muffins, baked beans, coleslaw, collard green egg rolls and mac and cheese as part of his menu of signature dishes.
“It’s southern classic dishes, comfort foods,” Ricks said.
Ricks and his wife, Crystal Ricks, recently moved to the county from the Atlanta, Ga., area where Ricks said he pursued his passions for music and the ministry, and ran a boutique catering business of his own.
“By trade, I’m a professional musician and conductor,” Ricks said. “I have degrees in cho- ral conducting and vocal music. I taught high school music for years — worked with orchestras.”
“I also worked in ministry,” he said. “I did a shift to full-time ministry work. I was conducting church choirs, serving as a worship pastor, gospel concerts, you name it, in the United Methodist Church … I did that full-time for years, church to church.”
“We visited Washington, D.C., about two years ago just to go to the African American Museum and decided that we loved the culture and diversity here,” he added. “We knew we wanted a change, just didn’t know where. We wanted a slower pace of things, so my wife immediately started looking for jobs in the DMV, and Calvert was one of those places.”
Ricks said their move to the county also brought him one step closer to his dream to own a restaurant when he “stepped out on faith” to launch The Gospel Chick food truck. Serving Southern Maryland and surrounding areas, The Gospel Chick’s name and menu reflect Ricks’ love of Southern foods and gospel music.
“The concept came like a dream, an actual dream. I woke up and said ‘The Gospel Chick, that’s it!,’” Ricks recalled. “The menu items started coming to me. The By and By and Amazing Grace, just coming from hymns and things that I thought of when I ate good food or looked at the actual menu item that I was trying to craft.”
“You think of the By and By, that’s just a standard two-piece quarter chicken, so I just took that from a hymn ‘By and By,’” Ricks said. “And then, Amazing Grace, a lot of people don’t know about Southern fried ribs … to me, when I eat that, I just think ‘this is amazing,’ and Amazing Grace came out of that as the name for that particular meal.”
The Gospel Chick food truck, based in Prince Frederick, serves madeto-order fried chicken, fried ribs and fried fish meals, cornbread muffins, homemade sides and sauces, locally baked cupcake desserts, and refreshments, on select days of the week at different locations in the county.
The company also features an online service for placing orders in advance, provides food truck services at local events and offers drop-off catering for parties and special occasions.
Billy Saunders, branch manager of Movement Mortgage, said he and his co-workers have been regular customers of The Gospel Chick ever since the food truck first made Prince Frederick one of its weekly stops. “We were all able to experience some of the great food that he prepares. In particular, my favorite is the fried chicken and macaroni and cheese,” Saunders said. “There’s five of us in the office and we all go over and eat when he’s here.”
In 2019, Ricks says he plans to add a dinner option to his food truck’s menu and looks to grow The Gospel Chick’s wedding catering and bachelor party services.
“It’s the gospel according to fried chicken,” Ricks said.
For more information on The Gospel Chick, menu and weekly schedule of times and locations, go to www.facebook. com/thegospelchick or www. thegospelchick. com.
Gerald Lee Ricks, owner of The Gospel Chick food truck based in Prince Frederick, serves up Southern classic cuisine to customers in Southern Maryland and surrounding areas.
Here is The Gospel Chick food truck set up at its grand opening celebration held Dec. 20 at Scorpion Brewing Company in Owings.