About Melly Cooks
My love of food began from a very early age. I remember seeing all my mom’s cookbooks in the kitchen, flipping through them, and wishing I could create what was on the pages. My most precious memories involve waking up very early on the morning of a holiday with the ladies in my family, making a bountiful meal, sitting around the table with my loved ones, and enjoying the most delicious and traditional of foods. My grandmother is still the matriarch of the kitchen, who could prepare the most delicious things without ever using a recipe. She is 96 years old and can still cook better than any of us can. She is definitely my inspiration.
My mom recognised the love I had for food when I was a little girl, so she used to order me recipe cards that I could collect every month. I was so excited when they arrived in the post. I would organise them into my little recipe card box. The first meal I ever made for my family from those recipe cards was a chicken pot pie. My brothers devoured it. I knew then that one of the most satisfying feelings was watching others enjoy the food that I made.
When my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, I could not stand idly by and watch her become more and more ill. The way I show love is through feeding people, so I decided I would help the best way I knew how. I researched how food could be utilised as medicine. The chemotherapy would make her gravely weak, so I fed her so many antioxidants and kale that she told me she was going to turn green from all the vegetables I was forcing her to eat. I believe that taking a holistic approach to cooking truly gave her body what it needed to fight the terrible disease. From then on, I developed a passion, an almost need, to help people through food.
I have always loved worldly cuisine. I believe that you can find out a lot about a culture through the food that they eat. My repertoire of recipes didn’t expand as much as it has now until I traveled. I embarked on a 14 month backpacking trip around the world. I was of course excited to see landmarks and meet amazing people, but I was always the most excited about what I would eat. The smells, tastes, endless ingredients and cooking methods spawned an almost insatiable quest to learn more. From the many uses of corn in Ecuador to the Bangladeshi/South East Asian curry in Myanmar; there are infinite possibilities of flavour sensations to be experienced. I also developed 2 ½ months worth of stew recipes from camping around Southern Africa and cooking on an open fire.
When choosing a career path, I thought I wanted to be a lawyer. I studied law up to a postgraduate level. I guess I thought I had to choose a ‘stable’ career. I thought that doing something with food was simply a hobby; something I could do on the side. After meeting my man and traveling the world, I realized that there is so much more to life than this so-called stability I was after. I saved up enough money from working in a horrendous office job, quit that job, and decided that I was going to dedicate my time to cooking and blogging and learning everything else in between. It’s been such a eye-opening experience. Learning about social media and photography and this entire world I intend to be a part of.
My recipes are plant-based and mostly gluten free. I want to show the world how exciting vegan food can be. It’s not just boiled greens that lay sadly on a plate. There is so much creativity required in vegan cuisine. I love putting a vegan twist on cultural classics from around the world and I love the challenge of recreating these global dishes using animal friendly products.
Food makes me happy. It’s my passion. I take great pleasure in feeding people and teaching them how to promote health through good eating habits. Melly Cooks is my very own food revolution. The world of food has inspired me and now it would be a great joy to inspire you.