Mom of four, television host and cookbook author Melissa d'Arabian (www.MelissadArabian.net) embodies family home cooking at its finest. With a lifelong passion for cooking and varied life experiences, Melissa naturally connects with today's diverse families as she shares empowering food and lifestyle solutions that are part of a bigger story about how to eat well, be a responsible consumer and spend with purpose – all while putting satisfying family meals on the table every day. Her distinctive ability to utilize tried-and-true techniques, smart grocery store budget strategies and superior resource management skills while creating approachable family-friendly recipes as flavorful and elegant as they are affordable have made Melissa a trusted, go-to resource for home cooks everywhere.
After winning season five of well-known culinary competition series The Next Food Network Star, Melissa's relatable cooking show Ten Dollar Dinners premiered on Food Network in August 2009. Each episode delivers on her $10 promise: four people, 10 bucks, infinite possibilities, and proves a delicious budget-friendly meal can be made without compromise. A natural extension of her popular television series, Melissa's first cookbook, Ten Dollar Dinners: 140 Recipes and Tips to Elevate Simple, Fresh Meals Any Night of the Week (Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc.), debuts in August 2012.
Melissa also hosts Cooking Channel's Drop 5 lbs. with Good Housekeeping, a cooking and lifestyle series that premiered in January 2012 based on the magazine's popular monthly column. The fresh, simple and healthy recipes she prepares further the show’s mission to make weight loss easier and more manageable. Additionally, Melissa has appeared on highly rated Food Network prime-time series including The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Chopped, Food Network Challenge and The Best Thing I Ever Made.
Raised by a single mother who was putting herself through college and medical school, Melissa grew up in Tucson, Ariz., with a coupon-cutter mentality and on a shoestring budget in a humble home where waste was frowned upon but where cooking together was a favorite pastime, life lessons that have always remained at her core. Melissa received her bachelor's degree in political science from The University of Vermont, and then spent a year at sea as part of the entertainment staff on cruise ships before going on to earn her M.B.A. at Georgetown University. Her professional career began in consulting, and Melissa eventually worked in corporate finance at Disney in Burbank, Calif., and in merchandise finance at Euro Disney outside of Paris where she met and eventually married her husband, Philippe. After having four daughters in three years, Melissa changed paths to focus on being a stay-at-home mom and quickly realized she was hardwired to streamline the family's expenses (just like her mom had to do) so they could live on a single income. She could never have guessed that a home video of her making yogurt – a simple yet successful strategy that saved Melissa more than $1,000 a year – to share with local moms would also be her ticket to the newest chapter in her career and life path.
National and local media including the Today show, CNN, People, Food Network Magazine and iVillage.com, regularly feature Melissa’s recipes and tips. She is also invited to participate in top-notch industry events including the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival and New York City Wine & Food Festival, as well as to speak at engagements nationwide for a variety of organizations such as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, a cause very close to Melissa's heart after losing her mother to suicide at age 20.
Living just outside San Diego, Melissa and Philippe have four daughters – Valentine, Charlotte and twins Margaux and Océane – who double as Mom's official taste testers. Melissa believes in the power of the family meal, and always serves food with the goal of nourishing both body and soul – cooking for the person, not the plate. She connects closely to her Christian faith and strives to live her life with meaning and purpose. Fans can stay in touch with Melissa on Facebook and Twitter (@MelissadArabian).