2013 Carolinas Rising Star Justin Meddis of Rose's Meat Market and Sweet Shop
Rose's Meat Market and Sweet Shop
121 North Gregson Street
Durham, NC 27701
Justin Meddis got his culinary start working in a New Jersey deli. From there, he pursued a culinary degree in earnest—moving from slicing meats to mastering them and developing a passion for whole animal butchery. Lucky for Justin, that path led him a sous chef role at Cypress, where he further honed his sills and met his wife and future business partner, Katie.
While Katie (who also worked as a butcher) continued to build skills on the pastry side of things, Justin’s passions were spurred by his work with butchery. So the duo moved together to San Francisco, where Justin became the executive sous chef at Ame, and later, Nojo, where he was both a chef and part of the opening management team. He also continued to ply his knife skills at Avedano’s Butcher Shop & Market. Meanwhile, taking some time for life itself, the culinary duo made a quick trip back to Justin’s native Jersey Shore, to get married among East Coast friends and family.
Neither Northeast nor Northwest were a final destination for Justin and Katie. Marrying his increasing talents with ideals, Justin and Katie moved to North Carolina to open Rose’s Meat Market and Sweet Shop in the thriving farm and food community of Durham, North Carolina in June 2013—all after an imaginative Kickstarter campaign that exceeded the couple’s goal. Not only does the shared shop allow Justin and Katie to see each other on a regular basis, it coalesces their ideals, putting local, sustainable ingredients and responsible sourcing at the forefront of an innovative American storefront.
I Support: Interfaith Food Shuttlewww.foodshuttle.org
Why: Besides food distribution to the needy, they also focus on culinary and agricultural job training to help people find jobs.
Interview with Chef Justin Meddis of Rose’s Meat Market & Sweet Shop – Durham, NC
Antoinette Bruno: If you could do anything over again, what would you do differently?
Justin Meddis: Take a full year or two to work in restaurants around the country. When I look back at all the stages I have done, even if I can think of one technique or recipe that I learned from a day staging, it just seems so worth it!
AB: What drives you to cook?
JM: I love food! I know there is always something new to learn and that’s what really motivates me.
AB: What’s the biggest challenge facing your shop?
JM: Being [part] butcher shop, it’s all about using the waste. We pay one price for a whole carcass, so everything costs the same for us. The biggest challenge (and one of the most interesting parts of my job) is finding a way to profit from everything before it goes to the compost bin.
AB: What were your first jobs in the industry?
JM: At Brennan’s Deli, when I was in high school in Jersey.
AB: Where did you stage when you were coming up?
JM: Bouley, Picholine, Quince, Coi, Flour + Water, Oliveto, Chez Panisse, and many others.
AB: Who are your mentors?
JM: I don't have any personal mentors. The kitchens that I’ve worked in and the cookbooks that I’ve read are what help me define the chef that I am today.