For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been highlighting influential women in South Florida in honor of Women’s History Month. Today, our Melissa Marrero is stepping into the kitchen. How a South Florida chef broke barriers in the culinary world.
The culinary scene in Miami is growing with restaurants opening all the time. But, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2019 women chefs only made up a small ratio, about 24%.
“I think that I have lived through the biggest change in the industry now [compared to] when I started. I was all the time, the only girl,” said Chef Adrianne.
Chef Adrianne started her culinary journey at a very young age.
“Originally I wanted to be a journalist. My junior year of high school I got put into a cooking class by mistake. Johnson & Wales University comes in, does a demo, and at that moment I call it the lightning strike,” said Calvo.
That day changed her life, leading her to eventually opening her first restaurant at just 22-years-old.
Chef Adrianne’s Vineyard originally opened in the Hammocks, now it’s located in the Palms at Town & Country.
“Montel Williams on his very last show held my cookbook and said ‘everyone must buy it’ and I took the cookbook sales and I’m like ‘you know what, I’m going to open a restaurant’. I have zero experience, I don’t know how this is going to turn out but I’m going to risk it all because hopefully we’re going to make some really great food and it’s going to work,” added Calvo.
Now, Adrianne is breaking barriers, being the only female chef to own four restaurants in South Florida.
“Before, you didn’t see women in these positions, they we were always into pastry chef but never in positions of power or leadership,” said Calvo.
Chef Adrianne’s hard work has inspired young women like Joyci Salcedo.
“A woman who drives this whole restaurant, it just motivates me even more to do better and it shows me that I can do it as well,” said Joyci.
“Advice. I wish I had a secret recipe for that and I don’t. It would be work hard. I would’ve said that 40 years ago and I would say that 40 years from now and that’s not gender-driven. I will say do your part as [changing[ the narrative. Instead of pushing the woman’s agenda, just say chef. Because chef is not man or woman, it’s a chef,” said Calvo.