ACF Chef Profile: Melinda Burrows

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Chef Melinda Burrows, CEC, CCA, Government Chef, Hickory Hills Nation Membership, Springfield, Missouri

Chef Melinda 14

INXS. Weapons N’ Roses, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains. Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. Even Sir Paul McCartney and Phil Collins. These are only a few of the legendary rock stars and A-list celebrities Chef Melinda (Delgado) Burrows, CEC, CCA, cooked for when she was a touring private chef a few years in the past. It’s additionally how she met her husband, Darren Burrows, maybe finest identified for taking part in the function of Ed on the hit TV present “Northern Publicity.” They’ve been married since 1993 and have 4 sons—a 17-year-old and the remainder of their twenties.

Nowadays, the Burrows reside a quieter life—for the previous six years, Chef Melinda Burrows has helmed the kitchen on the prestigious and serene, personal and member-owned Hickory Hills Nation Membership in Springfield, Missouri, whereas Darren Burrows tends to the couple’s passion farm within the space with the assistance of their teenage son, Cochise. Although she recurrently dons her chef’s coat and toque, a streak of pink hair, houndstooth skirts and funky glasses pay homage to her edgy previous.

The honour of with the ability to prepare dinner—and prepare dinner effectively—for such high-profile shoppers demonstrates Chef Burrows’ dedication and dedication to the craft. Many celebrities are infamous for requesting very particular meals, meals and customs from their personal cooks; Chef Burrows was no exception to this rule.

“Michael Hutchence’s champagne in his room after the gig higher be ice-cold,” says Chef Burrows, who as soon as even cooked for INXS in a bullfighting ring in Spain with no operating water. “They have been nice experiences and everybody handled us effectively, the work was laborious; the kitchen crew was the primary one off the truck within the morning and the final to get on at night time.”

Chef Burrows, a Seattle native and graduate of Seattle Central Neighborhood School’s Culinary Arts program, additionally earned savory and pastry diplomas from an apprenticeship program on the Ritz Escoffier in Paris. Upon returning to Seattle from France in 1992, Chef Burrows joined forces with the catering firm, Particular Events Catering, as govt chef, and was additionally a meals stylist for “Northern Publicity.” Round this time, she was the touring chef for Sir Paul McCartney, Phil Collins, INXS and native private chef to members of Weapons N’ Roses, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam. The Burrows clan moved to Los Angeles in 1996 the place Chef Burrows took a while off to look after her household. In 2001, she established Your Private Chef, a catering enterprise for Hollywood’s elite, a clientele base that included the likes of George Clooney, Dermott Mulroney, Catherine Keener and David Fincher. She joined Morrison Administration Specialists in 2004 as catering supervisor on the Movement Image Tv Fund in Woodland Hills, California, the place she catered occasions for different Hollywood notables corresponding to Marisa Tomei, Ben Affleck, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Kate Beckinsale.

In 2009, Chef Burrows transferred with Morrison Administration Specialists to California P.E.O. House in Alhambra as their govt chef and director of eating companies. In September 2010, Chef Burrows answered First Girl Michelle Obama’s initiative to cut back childhood weight problems in the USA by adopting Fremont College in Alhambra, California, by way of the Cooks Transfer to Faculties program.

After 15 years in L.A., the Burrows moved again to Darren Burrows’ hometown of Wichita, Kansas, the place Chef Burrows served because the campus govt chef for Wichita State College from 2011 to 2013. One other transfer took Chef Burrows and household to Missouri, the place she served as govt chef of The Branson Conference Heart, Hilton Branson Conference Heart lodge and Hilton Promenade at Branson Touchdown from 2013 to 2014, earlier than being recruited by Hickory Hills Nation Membership.

Nonetheless, a powerful resume wasn’t sufficient. “I used to be an govt chef, however I needed these three letters—CEC—after my title, and I didn’t wish to attend one other ACF conference with out them,” says Chef Burrows, who achieved that bucket listing merchandise in 2016 after a 12 months of diligent examine. She went on to earn her CCA in 2018 and credit Chef Robert Philips, CEC, CCA, AAC, the present ACF Western Regional vp, in addition to ACF Cooks David Ivey-Soto, CEC, CCA, Elizabeth Mikesell, CEC, AAC, Michael Ty, CEC, AAC, and Michael McGreal, CEC, CCE, for encouraging her to hunt accreditation by way of ACF and stay lively. Final 12 months, Chef Burrows was requested to take part on the committee to replace the CCA examination. She was elected President of the Wichita ACF Chapter in December 2012.

In a male-dominated trade, It’s laborious to not ask about how her gender and Mexican heritage factored into her profession path as effectively. “The feminine chef contingency has grown through the years,” says Chef Burrows. “What’s good is we share a ‘Culinarian Code’ of serving to one another.

Chef Burrows credit her household for assist as effectively. “My Catholic, maternal Grandma Sendejar was my main affect and mentor; she taught me tips on how to prepare dinner, tips on how to be an excellent mom, a faithful spouse and a tough employee,” says Chef Burrows. “Additionally, my superior husband, Darren, continues to assist my chef profession and is my greatest fan.”

Along with ACF, Chef Burrows stays lively in Girls’s Cooks & Restaurateurs, with which ACF shares a partnership. “Collectively, we’re working to develop the subsequent technology of feminine culinarians.” she says.

It’s no shock, then, that Chef Burrows is a identified mentor for her workers, particularly her feminine staff. “Mentorship is a crucial a part of my work at this level in my profession,” she says. “I informed my govt sous chef, who just lately left in February, to present me three years after I first employed her and I might train her the whole lot she wanted for her subsequent huge job. She did simply that and the job she simply accepted was for govt chef. It’s superb to see your folks develop like that.”

With all of the glitz and glamor up to now, one has to ask Chef Burrows if she misses her former life. “In no way,” she says. “I grew up in Seattle—not Tacoma or on the East Facet, however within the metropolis—and lived in L.A. for a few years, however I like the state of Missouri and the standard of life right here and what it gives for our household.”

On the membership, Chef Burrows enjoys table-touching, greeting and speaking to members. Individuals naturally gravitate towards her calm demeanor and heat and pleasant persona. “I like speaking to folks within the eating room reasonably than all the time staying within the kitchen,” she says. “It’s thrilling to have the ability to create recollections by way of eating for my members.”

Her present function additionally permits her far more flexibility to develop extra inventive menus utilizing seasonal substances from her personal farm. She’s additionally identified for internet hosting many particular dinners, from wine dinners to farm-to-table and chef tasting occasions. “I preserve a typical bar and grill menu with just a little little bit of the whole lot, from Hereford burgers to vegan choices, salmon, completely different salads and soups, however I wish to mess around with specials,” says Chef Burrows, who brings in contemporary tomatoes that her household grows only for the membership, together with beets, garlic, asparagus, turnips and extra. In addition they have hogs and hen on the farm for eggs, so she’ll usually usher in these merchandise as effectively. “I care about what our company eat and the way I feed them. I would like them to have probably the most nutritious and satisfying meals doable. What’s nice is they appear to get enthusiastic about that.”

Bringing in entire animals additionally helps Chef Burrows train her prepare dinner workers butchery and processing. “One in every of my members final November introduced in a deer he had taken that morning and by three p.m., I had a 100-pound deer on my desk and I processed it,” she says. “We additionally filet entire salmon and half out all of our entire chickens. Once I rent workers I inform them they’re going to need to do loads of issues by scratch, and I promise to show them these abilities.”

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Chef Burrows continued to prepare dinner for her members through curbside pickup till the eating room reopened in Could with occupancy restrictions. She continues to supply the take-out choice, nevertheless, as a result of it’s nonetheless common with members. “To reassure our members, we made movies speaking about our enhanced security and sanitation procedures,” says Chef Burrows, who has additionally unfold out her workers at the back of home and requires single-use gloves. A timer goes off each hour reminding workers to cease what they’re doing and wash arms. As well as, the group makes use of single-use sanitation wipes versus these ubiquitous purple buckets.

“My dream was all the time to be a lodge chef; at the very least that’s what I believed was my huge dream,” she says, reflecting on her various culinary profession. “It’s really an honor to work as a chef at a rustic membership; it’s so laborious to land that job as a result of nobody ever leaves and I needed to pull out all of the stops throughout my interview and demo. What I like most concerning the job is with the ability to be a visual presence and have interaction the members as a result of that matches with my persona. And the members anticipate and love that.” Certainly, a win-win for all.

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