Worth The Whisk: How The Woman Behind Duke's Mayo Became A Tycoon

Peek into the walk-in refrigerators of the most lauded restaurants in the country, and you will likely find just one store-bought ingredient: Duke's Mayonnaise. But what most people don't know is that the company was founded by a Southern woman at a time when many women like her didn't run businesses.

"We make everything from scratch at Rhubarb," says John Fleer, a five-time finalist for a James Beard Award and the chef and owner of the farm-to-table restaurant Rhubarb in Asheville, N.C. "Duke's is one of the few packaged items we use, but we use the heck out of it," he says. And he's pretty serious about his affection for the condiment. "I don't associate with chefs that don't use it. Or else, I enlighten them," he adds with a smile.

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