Gala Chef Q & A: Melissa Perello

Melissa Perello

Melissa Perello, Frances, San Francisco


What’s your go-to guilty-pleasure food?

Ice cream and doughnuts.


Describe the last great meal you ate.

Some memorable dishes of late: tiger salad from Mission Chinese, chicory salad with dates and crispy chicken skin at Rich Table, smoked potatoes with pickled ramp mayo at Bar Tartine,a guinea hen dumpling at State Bird Provisions, yogurt at Manka’s Inverness Lodge, and a Meyer lemon semifreddo that my pastry chef made.


What’s the dish you’re most proud of?

I like to think that I dominate in the whole soup category.


What’s your favorite movie snack?

Salty buttered popcorn (homemade when possible).


What’s your earliest food memory?

My grandmother’s peanut brittle.


What do you eat for breakfast?

Does coffee count?


What’s your favorite healthy food?

Kale and yogurt. Not necessarily together though.


What was your first job in the culinary world?

Prep cook at a country club in Houston.


What movie are you ashamed to admit you love?

Twilight. Um, all of them.


What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?


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