He also knows those and other traditional Southern favorites can lead to stroke. That's why his restaurant has done away with fried foods, opting to serve grilled and broiled meats along with fresh, organic vegetables instead.
"I want to demonstrate how fun it can be to eat healthier food," said Garfrerick, owner of Garfrerick's Café in Oxford.
Perhaps in part because of their diet, Alabamians are at much greater risk of stroke than people in some other parts of the country.
According to the Center for Disease Control's Atlas of Stroke Hospitalizations Among Medicare Beneficiaries, which was released in 2008, Alabama's mortality rate is higher than the national average but lower than those of other Southern states.
"So many strokes occur per capita in Alabama. It really is an epidemic," said Damon Patterson, a stroke neurologist at the University of Alabama-Birmingham Stroke Research Center.
Throughout May, health care providers around the country tried to raise public awareness of stroke as they celebrated National Stroke and High Blood Pressure Awareness Month.
CDC statistics show that more than 143,579 people die each year from stroke in the United States, making it the third-leading cause of death behind diseases of the heart and cancer. Controllable risk factors for stroke can include poor diet, high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, and physical inactivity and obesity, according to The American Stroke Association.
However, some uncontrollable factors such as age, sex and heredity can also lead to stroke. Doctors say regular checkups are needed to determine whether someone is at risk for experiencing this event.
"Think of your heart and arteries as a plumbing system," Patterson said. "You have to make sure that everything is working properly."
Garfrerick, who also owns Friend's Natural Grocery, also in Oxford, highly recommends a diet that includes vitamins and supplements such as calcium, central fatty acids, fish oil, flax seeds and coenzyme Q10 to help reduce chances of stroke.
"I think that it would be best to get nutrients through food, but most people don't eat enough of the right food to get the vitamins and minerals they need, so supplements would help," he said.
However, Garfrerick said no supplement is a "magic pill."
"(Supplements) may take time to work, and you may need modern medicine to help correct your system."
For more information on stroke or high blood pressure, log onto www.strokeassociation.org.