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All Things Edacious.

All Edacious. All the time.

Hear ye! Hear ye! As of today, I’ll no longer be posting here at The Diner of Cville. But not to worry, all the fun is happening over at Edacious – Food Talk for Gluttons! Check out my blogs, my podcasts, subscribe in iTunes, and just generally get giddy over all the great conversations and news I’m gathering in my travels throughout our wonderful region.

I’ll still keep this website up….for the meantime….as a resource for restaurants and such. I have a lofty goal of moving ALL the writing that’s worth moving over to the new digs. But that might take a while. I’m also working on an email list. Please contact me if you’d like to be on it, and I’ll add your name. I promise, the only time I’ll email is when I have something important to say. There’s great things happening at Edacious, so I hope you’ll join us. And like Bartles and James, we thank you for your support. Cheers.

Episode 16 of Edacious – Food Talk for Gluttons.

11855855_980453055339882_2564575762477091910_nEpisode 16 is live! Available at Edacious – Food Talk for Gluttons, on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud, and your regular podcast outlets.C&O Restaurant has been a landmark for almost 40 years. Such a landmark if you mention Charlottesville to anyone from someplace else, they will probably talk about it in the same breath as Monticello or the UVA Lawn. So what happens when a longtime owner passes the keys to a new steward? I talked to Chef Dean Maupin to find out.

I’ve been in love with C&O’s bar since first venturing down the stairs late one night many years ago. The vibe, the wood, you feel like you’re someplace else. Someplace older. In Europe. The food is amazing, the service exemplary, and the atmosphere down to earth. Sometimes rare in fine dining. And something owner Dave Simpson wanted to preserve when he gave ownership to Chef Maupin years ago. What did that feel like? Why does Chef Maupin consider it a stewardship rather than ownership?

How does the nurturing environment within C&O’s walls help to foster new talent in the culinary industry? How did Chef Maupin get his start with an apprenticeship, something many young cooks bypass today in favor of culinary school? What was that like?

We talk about it all including how the C&O helped foster development along The Downtown Mall and where The Mall is headed. Is Charlottesville a world-class tourist destination that could sustain a restaurant on par with Magnus Nilsson’s Fäviken? Is there still room for tasting menus or is fast casual becoming the norm?

I’m so glad I had the chance to talk with Dean and I know you’ll love it. And folks, you have permission to stop into C&O in your jeans just for a few apps and a glass of wine so you don’t break the bank. Chef Maupin has given you permission and I would guess a lot of other fine dining restaurants in the area would agree with him. So get out there! Don’t save it for an anniversary or birthday. Make Tuesday night special.

SHOW NOTES – Links to items discussed within the episode:

Episode 15 of Edacious – Food Talk for Gluttons.

11846638_1134587746607477_7827747681294854603_nEpisode 15 is live! Available at Edacious – Food Talk for Gluttons, on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud, and your regular podcast outlets. What’s it like to be a female chef in an industry that doesn’t always recognize women with awards and accolades? What are some of the assumptions made about women chefs with regard to how they run a kitchen, prepare their food, present themselves?

Melissa Close-Hart is a celebrated chef with decades of experience under her belt. The only woman on Charlottesville’s “Mount Rushmore” of chefs, Melissa has been nominated four times as a James Beard semi-finalist during her tenure as Executive Chef of Palladio at Barboursville Vineyards. More times than any male chef in this area combined. What does she think of the Time magazine “Gods of Food” debacle that occurred a few years back? Do women just not pursue accolades? Or is that a generalization? In 2015, why do folks still assume men are line cooks and women are pastry chefs?

We discuss this at length during the episode as well as what it feels like to leave a kitchen after 14 years to pursue the dream of building something you can call your own. Her new venture, Junction, will open early next year in Belmont and feature cuisine with a Tex-Mex flavor, a tequila bar, and a much bigger dining room.

What one-word piece of advice does she give to young chefs just starting out to gain invaluable experience? How did working at McDonald’s prepare her for fine dining? What’s it like to not only change kitchens, but your whole cuisine? Why are Duran Duran and Kraft Mac and Cheese some of her favorite things? All this and more in Episode 15. I had a fantastic time talking with “Mama Mel” and I know you’ll enjoy it.

This episode is sponsored by In A Flash Laser Engraving.

SHOW NOTES – Links to items discussed within the episode:

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