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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:

Escape Cville – Tequila.

Hubby and I went to NYC recently, ostensibly to meet up with a bunch of my old girlfriends to celebrate one turning 40, but in reality I think we both needed a little shot of city. Living in the country you need that sometimes. Between my bad neck and his bad cold we knew we wouldn’t be able to keep up with my hard-drinking ladyfriends. No matter. Gimpy and Coughy, two other, leftover dwarves. We’d make our own fun and play catch up when we could. Tried to “train” for the big event by heading to La Biblioteca in Murray Hill the night we arrived. Maybe a couple shots of courage would line our stomachs for the weekend that lay ahead.

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