Melissa grew up in rural South Carolina, born with a whisk in her hand! Over the years, her love for cooking and competition has been carefully crafted into an award-winning obsession.
Melissa has used her culinary skills to compete in cooking and recipe competitions locally and nationwide. Her craft has earned over 320 State Fair Blue Ribbons, 160 Red Ribbons and titles of Spam Champion, Fleishman's Yeast Baking Champion, Hidden Valley Ranch Recipe Winner, and the Chicago Cutlery's "The Cut" Sandwich National Grand Champion to name a few. Melissa has had over 100 recipes published in national publications such as "Taste of Home", "Southern Living", , and "Healthy Cooking" books and magazines and was recently featured on the cover of Taste of Home for her Gruyere & Egg Burger, deemed best burger in the country.
Melissa created her blog, The Front Porch Gourmet, to give her friends, family and readers a place to talk food, feel at home and share a little Southern humor. She shares all types of recipes from Mama's Southern Fried Chicken to an elaborate Beef Wellington. Melissa has also recently partnered with another blogger to create the blogsite focusing on gourmet food, luxury travel and lifestyle.
You can typically find Melissa teaching classes locally in Alpharetta, Woodstock, Dunwoody and Atlanta, and also abroad along 30a in Destin, Nashville, Florida for ResortQuest, or in the Highlands of North Carolina for the Center for Enriched Learning.
Melissa is a devoted wife to her husband Keith and together they have raised 3 amazing kids, are completely enamored with their four grandchildren and are servants to "Princess Piper" their goofy Great Dane!
When asked why she feels the need to share her passion for cooking with others, she simply quotes her grandmother replying, "Ya know, life is too short to eat ugly food."