By Caitlin Gunther
When you speak with Adrienne Cheatham (Culinary Arts ’07), you can hear the tenacity in her voice. As a former sous chef at Le Bernardin and executive chef at Red Rooster, and the subject of a recent NY Times Taste Makers video, Adrienne is mindful of the accomplishments behind her. She’s more concerned, however, with the missions the lie ahead — like leaving her comfort zone (if working 16-hour days seven days a week can be called a “comfort zone”) and opening her first restaurant in New York City.
While scoping out locales for her forthcoming project, Adrienne took a pause to chat with me for the ICE blog.
First, congratulations on the Taste Makers piece. What was it like working on that?
They were trying to steer the focus of it to the challenges that a woman faces in the kitchen, and I didn’t support that idea. I didn’t want to be a part of that kind of story. I think that kitchens are the great equalizers — either you can do the job or you can’t. It doesn’t matter if you’re short, tall, your gender, your race, none of that matters in a kitchen. That’s why I was glad they took the focus off of that.
Read on to discover Adrienne's path from the kitchens of ICE to the hottest restaurants in NYC.