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Mike Teasley first caught the cooking bug when he was 6 or 7 years old, cooking breakfast for his family in Atlanta. Later he went onto culinary school, a career in hotels and now at one of the nation’s most food-forward hospital dining operations.

One On One With: Keeping it fresh with culinary spirit at UNC Health

A conversation about hospital food during the coronavirus pandemic, new plans and a healthcare system that’s known for leading the pack with Mike Teasley, executive chef and associate director of culinary at UNC Health in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Just as the pandemic hit back in March, Mike Teasley was promoted to executive chef and associate director of culinary at UNC Health in Chapel Hill, N.C. Teasley has been with UNC for about six years, and now in a leadership role, he’s looking ahead.

On this episode of One On One With, we find out how Teasley has faced the challenges of the last few months (he found a way to keep COVID-19 patients’ food hot while in disposable containers, for one). Teasley talks about the positive culinary culture at UNC Health, something he’s being careful to preserve. The Black Hat Chefs training program is continuing as a backbone for promoting from within by teaching bedrock culinary skills, so we talk about that, too. And Teasley is passionate about dispelling that somehow-still-persistent hospital food negative image. He also lets us know his impressions on North Carolina barbecue, as someone coming from Atlanta.

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