Personal Cooking

Meli Cooks!

My “culinary training” comes from life.  Like most cooks, we first learn from our family.  My mother always prepared us healthy, whole ingredient meals, never from a box and always baked from scratch. She learned many of her Greek dishes from my paternal grandparents who were restaurant owners and well known in the community for their authentic Mediterranean expertise in the kitchen. My yia-yai rolled her own phillo dough if that’s any indication of her mad skills.

Growing up just outside the southern east coast of Maine, I took advantage of the tourist season during the summers and worked various jobs at the shore. My first waitress job was in Wells Beach on the Mile Road. It was there that I began seeing the works of a kitchen and changed from a fussy eater to an adventurous one. I loved trying the “specials” and then selling them on the floor to my customers. Talking about food has always been one of my types of conversation.

To support my off-campus housing expenses, I waited tables in Richmond, Virginia.  An incredible foodie city that has an ever evolving array of nationally recognized restaurants. My resume ranged from greasy spoon diner type restaurants to specialty California wine bistros. I later extended my work into Kennebunkport, Maine and worked at time, award winning Windows on the Water where I got to serve George and Barbara Bush.

Years ago, while living in Western Massachusetts, friends of mine would get together and cater small local political fundraising events.  I also volunteered at the downtown co-operative grocery store and helped prepare weekly meals for the homeless.  In those years I learned a lot about catering and portioning foods for larger groups.

Food is love for me and those I cook for.  I’m so grateful to be developing my personal cooking business in Alexandria, Virginia and surrounding area where I can make a difference in my community by allowing busy professionals and families to spend their free time doing what they want to do instead of shopping, cooking and cleaning.