Adrian Edwards
Class of 1987

© Published on 12/11/2003

Adrian Edwards, killed in a vehicle accident,
worked at the Ruby Hill Golf Club in Livermore

By Harry Harris, STAFF WRITER

Block O Thursday, December 11, 2003 - OAKLAND -- Funeral services will be held Friday for Adrian Edwards, a talented and popular chef at the Ruby Hill Golf Club in Livermore who died Monday in a traffic wreck.

The funeral for Edwards, who was killed when his truck crashed in Livermore, will be at 1 p.m. Friday at Chapel of the Chimes, 4499 Piedmont Ave.

Besides his cooking talents, family and friends said the 33-year-old Oakland resident will be remembered for his infectious smile and his love of people.

"He liked to be with people; he loved to cook and laugh," said his sister, Simone Edwards-Johnson.

Edwards, a 1987 Oakland High School graduate who earned his degree two years ago from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, considered himself a gourmet and fine cuisine chef, but also excelled at traditional meals for family and friends.

"He was happy and so proud when he was complimented," his sister said. "He was on top of cloud nine."

Edwards' cooking prowess was in his genes, his family said, as some of his uncles and cousins are top chefs at restaurants in Barbados and New York.

Father's advice

But it was his father, Cecil, who convinced him to give the culinary school a try after Edwards prepared a mouth-watering barbecue.

His first chef job was with a Marin restaurant owned by famed filmmaker George Lucas and he began working at Ruby Hill in April. He had also started his own catering business, Ajenik. One of his latest jobs was a dinner for Kaiser Hospital employees.

Ruby Hill executive chef Harold Sena-Akoto, said Edwards was a hard worker "who brought so much friendliness and humanity to the kitchen. Every time he was leaving work he would find every employee and shake their hand."

Not only was Edwards a hard worker, he was trustworthy and dependable, said Sena-Akoto, a chef for 20 years, the last four at Ruby Hill.

"Normally people work for me for a year before I let them close up by themselves. But Adrian was so responsible I gave him a key after two months."

Sena-Akoto said the pace of a kitchen is usually very fast, but since Edward's death, Ruby Hill's has slowed considerably. "Everybody is still in shock that he is gone. Nobody can believe it."

Prior to becoming a chef, Edwards worked as a long distance telephone operator.

Loved people

His sister said what she would remember about her brother was his smile, his "unconditional love" for her and other relatives "and how he was always there for me."

That and his love of people. "He would always make time to stop and talk to anybody; their age and race made no difference.

"He was always happy. He was really jovial," Edwards-Johnson said. "I never saw him down or upset."

Besides his sister and father, Edwards is survived by his mother, Patricia Edwards, his wife, Nika Edwards and his 13-year-old daughter Tierra Edwards.

The family prefers donations in his honor to the Highland Hospital Trauma Center, 1411 East 31st St., Oakland, CA 94602.