Hillá Meller
New York, NY


Having grown up in the Middle East and traveled around the Mediterranean, I am a big fan of freshly made food that feeds the eyes, the soul, and the belly. It is spicy, sweet, and comforting, and it will bring the sun of the Mediterranean to your table.
I was raised in a family of 9 Moroccan Israeli matriarchs, all of whom spent a great deal of time in the kitchen, and fed many children. They taught me how to make people smile with food, how to cook for an army, and how to do it all without stress.
When I lived abroad my last semster in High School, I had to fend for myself (and for the group of hungry poor young people I lived with) so I started cooking huge meals with my mom on the phone walking me through how to cook things that I loved as a child.
I went on to cater faculty parties and run a mini-bakery in college, where scones, cupcakes, and nutella blondies sold out every night. I also cooked at the local shelter once a week. I can make really impressive complicated plates, but I prefer to make foods that really make people feel at home.
My favorite thing to eat is Avocado, but my favorite thing to cook is risotto. Not avocado risotto though.