About Melissa

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Growing up in an Italian family, I have always been surrounded by good food. Some of my best memories are centered around food.

I knew from the start that I wanted to be a chef. I joined the Navy with the promise of a great cooking school and career in food. After that experience I knew there was more to cooking than rehydration and opening #10 cans. I got a job cooking at a natural foods co-op, surrounded by like-minded beautiful people. I learned how to cook with fresh, organic, natural foods. There I met my husband and we fell in love over a cup of fresh northwest blueberries and a spelt blackberry scone. I had found my place.

With the birth of our first child, I felt the rush to get my schooling finished.

I attended Bastyr University, a world-renowned natural medicine school and great inspiration. There I earned my Bachelors of Science in Nutrition. In the Whole Foods cooking class (no relation to the megamart store), my favorite class, I made a connection with the instructor, Cynthia Lair (www.cookusinterruptus.com) and was invited to become the kitchen steward. She saw my passion, shared her wisdom, and encouraged my growth.

Once finished with my BSN, my husband was offered an amazing job in Southern California and we accepted. We spent seven years in Los Angeles, where I  had the wonderful opportunity to run our children’s elementary school garden.  It lay, unused and overgrown.  I saw it as perfect chance to bring nutrition education, healthy eating, and a connection to the earth to urban children.   Though it was an unpaid position, the children’s enthusiasm and continuous “When are we going to the garden again, Miss Melissa??” made it well worth it.

Another perfect opportunity fell into my hands while searching for a community of like-minded foodies in LA.  I came across the local chapter of the Weston Price Association, of which I had heard of while at Bastyr.  I contacted the chapter leader to discuss her business, Real Cooking, which I had read about online.  We chatted for a bit and she ended up offering me a job.  I learned to prepare meals for families who didn’t have the time or passion to make high quality food.  I have continued on from this, working on my own, preparing meals for families, with the best quality ingredients, most often times directly from the farmers market. I have formed relationships with the local farmers and ranchers and feel very connected to the whole local food system.  I feel this is the way it is suppose to be.

We have since moved back to Washington, in the far southeast corner of the state, in a small town called Walla Walla.  A lush valley of vineyards and farmland, there is a vibrant food scene here and my local farm or ranch is mere miles away.  I have begun to immerse myself into the local food community, with the preparation of food for events, teaching cooking classes, tending our own plot in the community garden, and writing a bi-monthly local food column for the  newspaper.

Everywhere I go I look for food opportunities.  I suppose it’s in my blood, and I feel so lost without it.  I spend at least half of each day planning, shopping, preparing or just thinking about what food I am going to make next.

My life is food and I am happy to be where I am today, sharing with others and doing what I love so.

Contact Melissa at jadenluna(at)yahoo(dot)com

18 Comments on “About Melissa”

  1. lavae
    November 16, 2007 at 4:30 pm #

    Great blog, Melissa. I’ll be checking back. I love Luna’s apron.

  2. Shelby
    February 9, 2008 at 3:43 am #

    Melissa great job. I wish you were cooking for me.

  3. Mom
    March 1, 2008 at 1:27 pm #

    You continue to amaze me- keep it coming. What am inspiration you are to anyone who reads this.

  4. Deb
    March 1, 2008 at 2:04 pm #

    You continue to amaze me Melissa- what an inspiration you are and what fun it is to visit your blog.

  5. Steve Davis
    April 11, 2008 at 10:50 pm #

    Meese – Great work! Your passion for food and cooking bubbles up like the juice in a warm blueberry pie.

  6. jeri lynn
    November 17, 2008 at 4:24 am #

    i’m so impressed! everything about you is warm and sweet:). i’m so glad you’ve come to la to spread your sunshine, and so glad you stayed longer than you originally planned. we’re happy to have you here as long as you want to stay!

    thanks for everything,
    jl

  7. Angela
    February 11, 2010 at 5:23 pm #

    Love your blog. It helps me feel like I can stay connected to you —-even if it is just a little bit.

  8. February 17, 2010 at 10:28 am #

    Do you have a questions section? I am posting this here for now.
    Recently friends have informed me that the krispy crunchy burnt coating that I grill into my steaks causes cancer Now I am scared that my krispy cooking habits will have negative consequences for my wife and I. And what about drinking Guinness? Thats has burnt hops. Am i going to die?

    • melissadavisfood
      February 24, 2010 at 8:12 pm #

      A questions section is a great idea. I’m going to look into adding it. Your friends are right, burning food does make it carcinogenic. A little chard on the tips of your grilled veggies probably won’t give you cancer, but if you are burning your meat every night and there is a good amount of char there, that’s a different story. All things in moderation. Just make sure you are eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables (different colors offer a variety of bioflavanoids/antioxidants) and other foods with high amounts of antioxidants, such as garlic, tea, whole grains, red wine, and cacao. Then a well done steak once in a while won’t be such a concern.

  9. marcia
    July 25, 2010 at 4:00 pm #

    ditto Shelby’s comment!!!
    love from Kalispell

  10. Tanya Roesijadi
    February 6, 2011 at 2:21 pm #

    Hey Melissa! Great to see you at the farmer’s market. I tried to find you on facebook, but it was a little like finding a needle in a haystack 🙂 But when I entered Melissa Davis personal chef – I was directed here! I am on FB and I bet if you just type in my name my profile will come up. Hope to see you sometime when you are back in the NW!
    Tanya

  11. Jennifer Berg
    November 10, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    Wow, I love it! How did I not know you had a blog before now?!?!?!?! Great stuff and close to my heart (food of course!) I’ll be checking in often!

    • melissadavisfood
      November 11, 2011 at 10:40 am #

      Hey Jen!
      I’m glad you finally found my blog. 🙂 Hope you enjoy and let me know any feedback you have!

      • Jennifer Berg
        February 13, 2012 at 4:23 am #

        Hi Melissa,

        I’m with Ben, are you going to add a Q&A section? 🙂

        I’m wondering about soy. I’ve been drinking soymilk and regular milk for years, (I even used to make my own), but now I’m hearing that non-fermented soy, like milk, tofu, etc, is acutally bad for me? I thought it was super-healthy, complete protein. If you have any information, I’d really appreciate it!!

        Jennifer

      • melissadavisfood
        February 20, 2012 at 10:18 am #

        Hey Jen!

        You are correct about soy not being the superfood it has been labelled to be. The phytoestrogens in soy disrupt endocrine function and the high levels of phytic acid reduce assimilation of many needed vitamins and minerals. To read more about the dangers of soy, check out the Weston Price Association website:

        http://www.westonaprice.org/soy-alert

        ________________________________

  12. Deb Kumpula
    January 3, 2012 at 10:33 pm #

    I like the update since you moved to WW.

  13. August 25, 2012 at 6:48 am #

    Hey Melissa, I didn’t know you have a blog, very cool. I am finally cooking here in Madison, once I got my head around cooking without a kitchen. Keep up the good work, happy cooking!

    • melissadavisfood
      August 25, 2012 at 6:58 am #

      I’m so glad to hear you are well and settling enough to start cooking! Cheers!

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