The inspiring story of “Johnny Omelet”

Food
Johnny Hudson

Johnny Hudson

Johnny Hudson knows how to make people feel good. He’s not a doctor and he doesn’t have letters behind his name, but his fluffy omelets and lively personality are just the thing to put pep in the step of a Tidelands Health visitor or team member needing a little nourishment to start the day.

Nearly every morning Monday to Friday, Hudson mans the grill in the café at Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital, serving up eggs, grits, hash browns, Texas toast and all manner of breakfast fare. But it’s his omelets that have earned him the nickname “Johnny Omelet” and attracted a loyal following of visitors and colleagues at Tidelands Health.

“I always try to say something positive,” he says. “I’m often the first person some people see after a night at work or before going to work, so I want to make them feel good.”

Every omelet is made to order. Cheese? No problem. Veggie? In a jiffy. The usual? You got it. Occasionally, his culinary creations can defy the options on the cash register, but cashier Cindy Reed finds a way to accommodate Hudson’s culinary creations.

Hudson says, “Some mornings, people will say, ‘Johnny, I don’t feel like being real healthy today. Fix me the works — cheese, meat, biscuits and gravy and a side of grits.’”

Nobody minds waiting for Hudson’s omelets. “That’s our talk time,” he says. “I always tell people there’s no better time than the present if they need to talk over a problem. If it’s serious to you, it’s serious to me. Sometimes I’m asked to sing a song or say a prayer for a loved one.”

 

Johnny Hudson, aka "Johnny Omelet," has found his niche in the cafe at Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital.

Johnny Hudson, aka "Johnny Omelet," has found his niche in the cafe at Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital.

On a recent morning, the line for Hudson’s omelets stretched past the cash register into the dining room.  Wenokia Cokley, Tidelands Health’s birth certificate clerk, was there for her favorite – ham and turkey, and Wendy Chiarelli stopped by for one of Hudson’s “awesome” veggie omelets before hurrying to her office at information systems.

Hudson had a smile and a personal greeting for everyone, delivered in his buttery smooth voice.

“How spicy you feelin’ this morning?” he asks a regular who requests red pepper in her omelet.

“The usual?” Hudson asks Dr. Kent Homnick. “How’s the missus?”

“Hey Johnny, you got me? I’m kind of in a hurry,” someone calls from the back of the line. “I gotcha, man,” Hudson replies with a grin.

And then a visitor asks, “Anyone ever say you sound like Lou Rawls?”

“All the time,” Hudson says, and then croons, “You’ll never find another love like mine…” to the delight of bystanders.

“Johnny knows what I want every morning – shredded cheese on top of my omelet,” says Tuvera McCrea from security as she waits patiently.

“Johnny knows just what people want,” says Inell McCray, cafeteria lead. “He knows how to make them feel welcome and feel better. His omelets are awesome because he adds love.”

Then she nods and says, “We need to keep our aces in their places.”

Hudson says, “I pick up on things and try to humor everyone.”

 

Johnny Hudson

Johnny Hudson performing his magic in the cafe at Tidelands Georgetown.

Hudson knows a thing or two about overcoming adversity. He was one of eight children, weighing in at a mere two pounds at birth. “They weren’t sure I was going to make it,” he says. “But I was born to fight and made to survive. I’ve lost three brothers, and I know how valuable life is.”

After his father left the family, his mother moved from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Georgetown to be near relatives. Hudson graduated from Georgetown High School and went to work at Hardees, but flipping fast-food burgers was not on his menu for success. “I knew I had to better myself,” he says.

When he got a job at Tidelands Georgetown, he found his niche. “They said they were going to try me on the grill, and I took to it immediately,” says Hudson, who also cuts hair, sketches and sings in a gospel group in his spare time.

Hudson reckons he’s served two generations of Georgetonians, some of whom still stop by for breakfast when in town from as far away as Washington, D.C., or the West Coast. He even was recognized as “the omelet guy in Georgetown” by a passerby on a street in Las Vegas a few years ago.

He appreciates the recognitions and compliments, but they’re relegated to the back burner when he talks about what really motivates him. “My mama always taught me to treat people like I want be treated because you never know what they’re going through,” he says.  “I just want to feed the mind, body and soul.”

How to make a "Johnny Hudson" omelet

An omelet made by "Johnny Omelet."

Directions

Modify this recipe to accommodate your desired portion size.

  • 1Cook vegetables

    Cook vegetables slowly in skillet with oil or butter until they reach desired tenderness.

  • 2Beat eggs

    Beat eggs until frothy and pour eggs over vegetables.

  • 3Fold

    Cook slowly on low heat until the mixture bubbles and fold over into a pocket.

  • 4Cook

    Cook to your liking, golden or lightly brown.

  • 5Add a personal touch

    Serve with love and a smile.

Ingredients

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition facts will vary depending on ingredients and amounts prepared.
  • Name Value
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