MEET MELISSA, FOOD AND WINE EDUCATOR AT COOKING BEAUTIFUL LEE
I grew up in Taiwan, an island next to China. Food was central to our lives. In America, when you greet your friends, you ask, “How are you?”. In Taiwan, you ask them, “Have you eaten yet?” I grew up making food from scratch. I enjoy tasting the intrinsic flavor of fresh food. There are many holidays that families would gather together and make special dishes together. I would like to share the joy of making food and creating memories through cooking with you and your family!
Food and wine have always been two of my passions. I began my young professional life as a journalist. I started a popular blog and then wrote a travel column for LIBERTY TIMES, which has the highest circulation among periodicals in Taiwan. My column included a section on local food specialties, and I enjoyed interviewing people who work in the food industry, as well as discovering the history behind local food specialties around the world. I also contributed articles with recipes – specifically baking with children – for the most popular online periodical website among female readers in Taiwan. Those articles also proved to be extremely popular. Since I enjoyed cooking and writing about food so much, I thought to myself, “Why don’t I try to work in a commercial kitchen, and see how well I can do there?
I left my career as a journalist to enter the world of professional cooking, graduating with honors from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. I then worked at Flour Bakery, a well-known, high-end Boston-area bakery.
Chef Joanne Chang (James Beard award winner and owner of Flour Bakery) held very high standards for the products we made. She called it “Mom’s test.” After we made every single product, we should ask ourselves, “Is it good enough for me to serve my mom?” If not, we didn’t serve it to our customers.
After working in commercial kitchens for years, I decided to expand my overall perspective by trying my skills in the hospitality-driven “front of house” universe. I was very fortunate to work for Iron Chef Ming Tsai at Blue Ginger, a top fine dining restaurant in the Boston area. I found my job very rewarding when I was able to pair wine with food for my clients, according to their budgets. I later became the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 3 Certified and WSET Sake Level 3 Certified.
I currently teach at several cooking schools and have mentored many young and adult cooks. I am passionate about food and wine and I want to share my excitement with you! When I am not cooking, you can probably find me in Formaggio Kitchen sampling cheese and charcuterie..
TRAINING & CREDENTIALS:
- Cambridge School of Culinary Arts (Pastry program), Flour Bakery, Farmstead Table, Blue Ginger
- Serve Safe Certified.
- WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) Level 3 Certified.
- WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) Sake Level 3 Certified.
- Harvard Bartending Course Certified