Carson Gulley

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Carson Gulley (Arkansas, 1897-1962) was head chef at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Van Hise refectory from about 1927 to 1954. He is credited with introducing the fudge-bottom pie to the University of Wisconsin–Madison, although a fudge-bottom pie of somewhat different recipe was introduced at the Memorial Union around 1945 by Lewis Marson and Maurice Combs. The refectory where he once served as head chef is now known as Carson Gulley Commons [1]. George Washington Carver referred to him as "an artist."

Chef Gulley was also a local pioneer in television and radio cooking programming. From 1953-62 Gulley had his own weekly cooking show, called What's Cooking, on local television station WMTV. Also, in 1953 he hosted a twice-weekly local radio cooking program, called WIBA Cooking School Of The Air, and each month compiled the program's recipes in booklets that listeners could send for.

He led the Madison branch of the NAACP. Having failed for many years to buy a house in Madison, he made an emotional appeal to the Madison City Council's Committee on Human Rights. This partly led to the Fair Housing Ordinance.

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  • Seasoning Secrets, 1949; revised 1956