Zinfandel: October 2009 Archives

Red Wine Braised Lamb Shank

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submitted by VirginiaWine.org

pall.jpgby Melissa Close, Executive Chef of Palladio Restaurant

Executive Chef Melissa Close has directed Palladio's kitchen since the fall of 2000, continually working to bring authentic Italian Cuisine to Central Virginia. Raised in Alabama, Melissa has been in the restaurant business since she was 16 years old and is a distinguished graduate from the New England Culinary Institute, Alumna of the Year in 2005. She has focused on Italian cuisine since working for award-winning chef Frank Stitt at Bottega Restaurant & Cafe located in Birmingham, Alabama in the early 90's. Her quest to refine her fluency in Italian cuisine led her to San Francisco's Rose Pistola Restaurant.

mel-2.jpgAfter taking a hiatus to work for one of her early culinary mentors and fellow Charlottesville chef, Craig Hartman, at The Cliff House at Pikes Peak in Manitou Springs, Colorado, she was drawn back to Italian cuisine when asked to take the Executive Chef's position at Palladio Restaurant. She has brought both national and international recognition for Palladio Restaurant through her constant striving to create menus with the freshest ingredients found locally and internationally. During the restaurant's annual closing in January, Melissa and her staff travel across the Atlantic to stage in some of Italy's finest establishments to expand their knowledge of Italian cuisine. Melissa and her staff's commitment for excellence has won her induction in the Chaine des Rotisseurs, and three invitations to create dinners at the world-renowned James Beard House in New York City, a great honor bestowed upon select chefs in the country.

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