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Mary Jenkins Langston
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Chef
    (circa 1922-May 30, 2000)
    Birth name was Mary Jenkins
    Cooked for Elvis Presley at Graceland for 14 years (1963-77)
    Stayed on at Graceland for another twelve years after Elvis’ death
    Wrote ‘The Elvis Presley Family & Friends Cookbook’
    Her recipes – including fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches, t-bone steaks grilled in butter, and meatballs wrapped in bacon – may have caused Elvis’ cholesterol levels to jump just when he looked at what was on the table.
    When Elvis was hospitalized and on a restricted diet, she smuggled in hot dogs with sauerkraut for him.
    It is hard to say whether her meals or Dr. Nick’s prescriptions did more to finish off Elvis.
    The details of her early life, including her birth place and birth date, are scarce.
    She claimed Elvis haunted the bathroom of the house he bought her.
    She made the kind of ‘down home’ comfort foods Elvis loved.
    When someone commented that she was a quick cook, she replied ‘When you cook for Elvis, you have to be fast.’
    Elvis gave her a three-bedroom house and three Cadillacs.
    He also bought cars for several of her relatives and friends, telling them, ‘If you’re alright with Mary, you’re alright with me.’
    When the kitchen where she had worked was added to the Graceland tour, she returned to mark the occasion (1995).
    She said about Elvis, ‘He was just a sweet person. I don’t know why he ate so much. It might have been loneliness.’

Credit: C. Fishel


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