Our Chef: Mel

Mel_side1Mel Meadows, Pastry Chef, has been serving his sweet creations to the Washington, DC metropolitan region for almost three decades.

Self-taught, in the art of European-style pastry, Chef Meadows began his rewarding career in 1981 when he joined the employ at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland, our area’s most prestigious country club.

Three years later, Meadows signed-on with Design Cuisine Caterers, one of Washington’s premiere caterers at the time. During this tenure with Design Cuisine, Chef Meadows was internationally recognized for his innovative style, clean lines and tempting presentations to such dignitaries as: President & Mrs. Ronald Reagan, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, the Kennedy/Coumo Wedding Cake, and a special ceremonial cake for President George Herbert Walker Bush, to name a few.

Mel_side2Established success in hand, Meadows was quickly recruited by the top caterers in Washington, DC and shortly went to work for Windows Restaurant and Caterers located in Rosslyn, Virginia. Windows Restaurant was within the top ten restaurants in the country. Here Mel was able to fully showcase his creations and he received exposure and acclaim at Washington’s most important catered events.

Chef Meadows opened his first pastry shop in Alexandria, Virginia in 1988. The shop was an immediate success delighted local residents with freshly made delicious French pastries, luscious cakes and tarts, and other fine delectables.

Feeling an urge to move on and to expand his career, Meadows set his sights on a vacant bank spot in the Mount Vernon community of Alexandria, Virginia. The Hollin Hall Pastry Shop came to life in August of 2000. Despite some drastic setbacks like the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the shop always kept it’s best foot forward and the chin-up!

Chef Meadows was personally asked to produce and deliver the “Big Cake” for the Washington, DC Convention Center Grand Opening in March 2003 (18’ X 7.5’ X 4.5’). Meadows went on to receive two distinct “Business of the Year” awards in one year, 2004. Those were from the Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce and The Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, respectively.

Additionally, to add to his accolades, Meadows’ strong desire towards giving through good deeds and acts, with community service is unparalleled. It’s no surprise that Virginia State Delegate (44th District) Kris Amundson would personally nominate Meadows and the shop for “Virginia Retail Merchants Association – 2004 Retailer of the Year.”