For this edition of Chef’s Corner, which shines the spotlight on Delaware North’s culinarians, we caught up with Dawn Hedges.
Hedges serves as Delaware North’s executive chef at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. During Delaware North’s 100th anniversary celebration in 2015, her “Airline Chicken with Senate Bean Soup” recipe was a finalist in the Meal of the Century contest, which included chefs from throughout the global organization. The entrée used “airline” in reference to the company’s travel hospitality business, which was established in Washington, D.C., where Senate Bean Soup gained popularity.
Corporate Communications: In five words or less, describe yourself.
Dawn Hedges: Reserved, patient, compassionate and driven.
CC: In five words or less, describe your food.
DH: Simple, thoughtful, up-and-coming.
CC: Who was your biggest cooking influence?
DH: My father. From a very young age, he always encouraged me to work alongside him in the kitchen. He was always my biggest fan.
CC: Fill in the blank. If you weren’t a chef, you’d be…
DH: A youth counselor. I've always enjoyed being around kids and making a difference when given the opportunity.
CC: But…since you are a chef…what has been your favorite moment in a Delaware North kitchen (or in general with the company)?
DH: Spending a few days in Cleveland with Master Chef Roland Henin, Master Chef Richard Schneider (father of COO of Delaware North’s travel hospitality business Richard Schneider) and my travel hospitality chef peers. It was an amazing learning experience, and they were very willing to teach and guide us both in the kitchen and classroom. It was also great to sit down to dinner and listen to their stories and experiences.