Marjorie Meek-Bradley Named Chef on Fire

by Catherine Douglas Moran

The “Top Chef” finalist and Smoked & Stacked chef is the 2018 Chef on Fire. 

Marjorie Meek-Bradley was named the 2018 Chef on Fire (Photo by Catherine Douglas Moran).

The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance (OCRFA) named chef Marjorie MeekBradley the 2018 Chef on Fire, an award to honor a D.C.-area female chef’s contributions to the culinary world and the ovarian cancer community. The Wednesday night fundraiser featured more than 50 chefs and mixologists, a live auction and speech by ovarian cancer survivor Terri Gerace. By the end of the night, OCRFA reached its goal of raising $200,000, which will send women to the Ovarian Cancer National Conference hosted in D.C. this year.

Washington Life caught up with Meek-Bradley, the chef and partner of Smoked & Stacked and “Top Chef” season 13 finalist, to learn about her culinary journey.

How does to feel to be named the 2018 Chef on Fire?

It’s nice to be singled out. It’s definitely an honor. There have been some amazing women in D.C. There’s a lot more women in the industry than people necessarily always realize. I’ve always enjoyed the industry and the camaraderie.

Do you consider yourself a mentor?

Yeah. I’m always trying to hold myself accountable and teach younger people. I’ve had a lot of great younger people who worked under me at Ripple who went on to do good things. I think it’s any chef’s responsibility to lead by example and try to teach the things that they were taught to the next generation of chefs.

2017 Chef on Fire Amy Brandwein, Marjorie Meek-Bradley and OCFRA CEO and President Audra Moran (Photo by Catherine Douglas Moran).

What has Smoked & Stacked been like?

It’s been good. It’s pretty different from what I did before. I like being my own boss. I think what’s really been fun for me is I work more in the front, and I get to interact with people more and see what they like than to be in a closed up kitchen.

What’s on the menu?

It’s a sandwich shop. I felt like there weren’t a lot of places to get pastrami in D.C. and breakfast sandwiches. I always loved sandwiches, so I thought it would be fun to do. We bake our own bread in there. I think if you’ve never been there before, you should definitely get the Stacked. It’s our house-made pastrami, coleslaw and spicy mustard.

When did you realize you wanted to be a chef?

I have been cooking since I was a little kid. I did a lot of baking at home. After my senior of high school, I was deciding what I wanted to do, and I decided to go to culinary school.

The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance's Turn Up the Heat event took place at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center (Photo by Catherine Douglas Moran).
Kelsey Murack and Devon McMullen (Photo by Catherine Douglas Moran).
Moorenko's Susan Soorenko (Photo by Catherine Douglas Moran).
Jeff Song, Josh Cohen, Allyson Breech, Rachel Hertz and Nancy Phan (Photo by Catherine Douglas Moran).
Allie Jankens with poached pear tarts with gorgonzola foam (Photo by Catherine Douglas Moran).
OCRFA's Vice President of Policy Chad Ramsey, Warren and Elise Daniel and OCRFA's Associate Director of Policy Vanessa Cramer (Photo by Catherine Douglas Moran).
Greg Kirkbride and Jenny Thompson (Photo by Catherine Douglas Moran).
Heather Foster and Adam Ezring (Photo by Catherine Douglas Moran).
Rayna C. Richardson,of PinUp Preserves (Photo by Catherine Douglas Moran).

Describe your cooking style at home.

I tend to cook comfort food, but not comfort food like meat and potatoes, but like roast chicken or a really good salad. I love cooking pasta – all kinds of pasta. I mean I truly love it all – spaghetti in a red sauce or ravioli. It’s pretty hard pressed to find a pasta I don’t like.

Where do you go out to eat?

I really love going to CHIKO down on Capitol Hill. It’s absolutely just delicious. I like going to Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab.

Anything on your cooking bucket list?

I want to travel a bit more. I want to go and cook in different countries and eat different foods. I went to Spain last January. I went to Shanghai a couple of years ago. I went to Montreal fairly recently. I really want to go down to South America. I love Argentinian food.

Read more about the evening HERE.

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