This is pretty great, from Alexandra Greeley in the National Catholic Register:
A resident of Boise, Idaho, Chef Lou Aaron may be familiar to folks who watch Guy Fieri’s Food Network shows, “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” or “Guy’s Grocery Games.” Or, if you live near Boise, you can watch his cooking spots on NBC affiliate KTVB-TV. You can also browse the internet and see him on Pinterest. No wonder he has created a following — he is the creative chef who owns the “Famous Westside Drive-In” that features an Idaho favorite, the Idaho Finger Steaks.
Chef Aaron was raised in a Catholic family, attended 12 years of Catholic school, and as a youth, served as an altar boy. But, as so many youths do, after high school, he left the faith. As he said, “I became a man of the earth, and went through my early 20s living the life of the devil.”
His life continued on a downward path. He started heavily drinking and became an alcoholic. “The problem escalated,” he said, “because I was a really good cook, so I could hide my drinking. I started cooking at 14, and it was easy to drink in the restaurant kitchen. You can work and drink at the same time. … I wanted to be a partier and I did not know my faith like so many cradle Catholics … but I prayed every night during those dark ages and asked the Lord to get me to stop drinking.”
Chef Lou admitted that even after he married in the late 1980s and had children, he continued drinking, always having a stash of beer in the garage. Then, one day in 1993, God finally answered his prayer in a way only God could answer. He came home from work, to find out that his wife had found the stash of hundreds of empty beer cans that were in a cubby hole behind the refrigerator and confronted him. He admitted that he was an alcoholic and made a resolution to stop drinking — a resolution he has held for the last 28 years.
Their marriage went through a rough transition — his wife had married a drunk who was now sober, and it took some adjusting. During this time, they started discussing going back to church because of their children. But, even then, after three years, the couple never attended a service. Then God decided to intervene rather dramatically. “In 1996, the Holy Spirit burned our house down,” he said, remembering how a bag of ashes near the garage door ignited the house fire. “We lost almost everything,” he said. “It was really tragic, and my kids had nightmares for months. But when you lose everything but still have family, that is a blessing.” He added that he was “100 percent convinced that it was God answering prayers.”
He and his family started going to several different churches and finally ended up at Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Boise. In 1998, they had their marriage blessed, and his wife and kids were confirmed. It changed their lives forever.
Read it all — and get a recipe, too!