“Every time I make a recipe, I never make it again, because I’m always trying to improve upon it.”
Melissa Clark is an accomplished cookbook author and food journalist. While Clark was in Columbia University for graduate school, obtaining her Masters of Fine Arts in writing, she started a catering business. Her experience in restaurants and fondness for cooking gave her a solid foundation for her future career. As the internet took off, she found work as a freelance writer, creating cooking content for magazines. Her work soon garnered respect and has given her the opportunity to combine her appreciation for food with her penchant for writing.
Clark’s passion for food is apparent in her writings. She writes The New York Times column “A Good Appetite”, and is a contributor to numerous magazines, including Food & Wine and Martha Stewart. To date, Clark has authored over 37 cookbooks, including the 2017 Dinner: Changing the Game which Michael Solomonov dubbed an “expertly useful tool for the home cook.” Clark wanted people to forget the old standard of a protein with two sides and “up their dinner game” with her recipes. For many of her books, she collaborated with celebrated New York chefs, such as Daniel Boulud, David Bouley, Claudia Fleming, and Bill Yosses, to name a few. These chefs have taught her their secrets and she found she learns the most by watching them in the kitchen. These experiences made her realize the importance of visually learning how to cook, and she shares weekly video demonstrations in The Times.
Clark is the recipient of the coveted James Beard Award, as well as a Julia Child Cookbook award, for her work with Peter Berley on The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen. She has been recognized by the International Association of Culinary Professionals. She is a frequent guest on The Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC and the NPR show, The Splendid Table. And, while she is respected in her field, she is happy to get feedback for her work. She utilizes comments and criticism to constantly improve her recipes and tailor ideas to her readers’ desires.