Alumna brings healthful eating to Chopped

Chef Chauncey, aka Melanie Brown-Lane ’12 (Hospitality and Service Management), brought her RIT education and her healthy cooking talents to national TV, while making more people aware of the need for medically-tailored meals for those with serious illnesses.
Brown-Lane appeared on Food Network’s popular cooking competition show, Chopped, in the January 3 episode entitled “Clean Eatin’.” This special themed episode focused on healthy dishes suitable for someone who's watching their weight and concerned about nutrition, and was a wonderful way to highlight Brown-Lane’s work as Executive Chef for Moveable Feast, a community-based food provider in eastern Maryland.

Moveable Feast began in Baltimore in 1989, providing healthy meals and compassionate care to people with HIV/AIDS. The organization was founded on the idea that nutritious food, home delivered, can reduce isolation and improve the health and quality of life for individuals with serious illnesses. The service quickly spread through Baltimore County, and soon thereafter expanded services to Howard, Harford, Anne Arundel, and Carroll counties. In 1998, Moveable Feast was given a State grant to provide meals to people with HIV/AIDS on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
Chef Melanie Brown-Lane
Chef Melanie Brown-Lane, in the Moveable Feast kitchen.
Movable Feast Logo
Today, Moveable Feast serves 14 of the 24 counties in Maryland. The organization is the only provider of medically tailored meals – free of charge – for people with serious illnesses including breast cancer, HIV/AIDS, and a wide range of life-threatening medical conditions.
Brown-Lane prepared for the show with the help of a good friend who researched old Chopped episodes and their “mystery basket” ingredients. Her friend gave her rapid fire quizzes to come up with recipe ideas using the ingredients. Additionally, her supervisor helped by arranging her work so she could prepare. She was even able to connect her preparation for the show with work activities.

“At Moveable Feast, we have a culinary training program which I taught while we were interviewing for a new culinary instructor,” said Brown-Lane. “I tailored the curriculum to include a lot more meat fabrication and recipes I thought I should revisit. I also traveled to New York City three days before the show filmed to eat and rest mentally before the competition.”

Brown-Lane says being chosen and preparing for the show was a whirlwind experience. “It’s truly incomparable to anything I've ever done!!” She says that being on the show meant a lot to her, personally, and hoped that she made her alma mater proud!

We don't want to give away the results, so tune in to the rebroadcast of the episode on January 12, 9|8c; or January 13, 12a|11c.