After a youthful love affair with all things Julia Child, Melissa Silva-Torcedo catapulted her passion and love for the art of cooking into a successful career in the food industry starting in 2003. At the inspiration of her muse she graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena, California in 2005.
Before hosting Cooking with Mel, Melissa put her cooking skills to work at 5-Star Restaurants in Los Angeles and San Diego, working alongside some of the best Chefs in the industry. She’s also an author of two gourmet cookbooks.
Says Chef Mel, "Showing people how to turn ordinary food into extraordinary meals – that’s my passion. Home cooked gourmet meals can not only be quick & easy-to-make, but affordable too."
Always the willing hostess and at her family's behest, Melissa caters to family and friends on a regular basis, to cries of "More! More!" for her signature dish of Macaroni and Cheese. Chef Mel’s baking skills are also eagerly sought for birthday confections − especially her delicious cupcakes.
Melissa enjoys frequenting local restaurants to sample what’s new and fresh in the industry, often recreating her favorites with her own unique twist!
Robert Mullins is an Award Winning Professional Chef who’s passions include teaching, cooking and BBQ. His inspiration for Bobby Big Pants comes from 20 years of Smoking and BBQ while teaching culinary arts and practicing as an executive chef. R&D is the key to Mullin’s development of Bobby Big Pants and is the result of thousands of hours of brining, smoking, researching and developing. Chef Robert Mullins, a Seattle native, is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Chef Mullins is a teaching chef at the college level and a private chef’s school. He’s also a manager at the Le Cordon Bleu, Seattle campus. His extensive experience includes private catering, personal chef, restaurants, and the cruise ship MV Mist Cove out of Alaska.
Chef Robert Mullins, a Seattle native, is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Chef Mullins teaches both through local community college and private chef’s school. He’s also the Purchasing Manager for the Le Cordon Bleu, Seattle campus. His extensive experience includes private catering, personal chef, restaurants, and the cruise ship MV Mist Cove out of SE Alaska.
After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a journalism degree, Jaime Ferrara decided it was time to make the donuts, literally. While managing a German-owned bakery on an American military base in Italy, she realized the food business was her calling. Meanwhile, she took every opportunity to learn by osmosis the real meaning of good food: from boiling octopus at five o’clock in the morning at a favorite osteria to learning how to make zucchini flower risotto at the landlord’s house.
A former Army reservist, Ferrara deployed to Bosnia, where her condiment fetish began. She toted around an arsenal of gourmet sauces and toppings in a vintage ammunition pack to create her own signature meals out of boring mess hall chow.
Settling on Florida’s Space Coast, Ferrara became director of catering at a gourmet shop, sous chef at a fine-dining restaurant, and she flipped a mean omelet at a country club, before venturing on her own as a personal chef and owner of a corporate catering operation.
A self-proclaimed super-power, Ferrara has the keen ability to remember acquaintances’ food allergies, dietary restrictions, and personal taste preferences. Armed with culinary ingenuity and practical mom know-how, she has compiled an eclectic blend of menu offerings that are clever and tasty. Striving to perfect the art of balancing a 21st century American health-conscious diet, Ferrara focuses on the use of quality fresh ingredients while bringing a handful of healthy alternative condiments mainstream. She does, however, recognize that life is about simple pleasures, and she gives a nod to old-fashioned, homemade baked goodies.
When not cooking, she enjoys Bikram yoga, and good times with her sons, husband, parents, and friends in sunny Florida.
Mr. Giani has a passion, dedication and determination for cooking with the freshest ingredients, and an acute understanding of the pairing of these dishes with fine wines.
By the time he was 14, David Giani was accepted by, the prestigious Aurelio Saffi culinary school in his hometown of Florence, Italy, and apprenticed at some of the most famous restaurants in Italy.
He is an experienced professional chef, with an uncanny ability to create new recipes; while adhering to the tradition and culture of the Florentine kitchen. His love for cooking dishes from scratch has allowed him to create and open a Tuscany Cuisine restaurant called "Fioretto Trattoria" in 2004.
Chef Giani now helps others to develop menus and dishes through Chef Design, Inc. as a Professional Culinary Consulting. He also authors various Internet food blogs.