Interview with Chef Justin Meddis of Rose’s Meat Market & Sweet Shop – Durham, NC

by Antoinette Bruno
November 2013

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.