About Melissa

Melissa Muller spent her early years hearing about the international tax treaties that her father composed from his Wall Street law firm. While an official “desk” in his office was waiting for her, Melissa had another destiny in mind. Although exposed to foreign travel and study abroad from a young age, every year Melissa felt the need to spend her summer months in her maternal grandmother’s small village in Sicily, in the island that would later inspire both her studies as well as her professional realm.

She studied anthropology at Columbia University, where she also obtained a master’s degree in journalism. Her research focused on the gastronomy of the Mediterranean regions. She was intrigued how Sicily is a unique crossroads of civilizations and how its history is visible and tangible in the island’s cuisine. Through food, Melissa had found a way to travel through the past centuries of Sicily.

After her studies, Melissa chose to open a Sicilian restaurant in New York that become a laboratory where she shared her love of Sicilian cuisine, along with her cultural research of the island. Meanwhile after several years of intense research, she wrote a cookbook, “Sicily: Recipes Rooted in Tradition," published by Rizzoli.

A time came when her distance from Sicily no longer satisfied her soul, and although she had created a corner of Sicily in Manhattan, Melissa made a life changing move to her beloved Sicily. Today she lives with her family at Feudo Montoni, her husband Fabio Sireci’s organic farm and winery, where she plays an integral role in the winemaking and cellar activities, and is specifically dedicated to the cultivation of heritage Sicilian plants and the creation of food products. The farm is a perfect observatory to enter even more deeply into the culture of Sicily, and she is documenting long-lost traditions to share this richness with the world. She is assembling her fieldwork in a second book, a work of narrative non-fiction with recipes intertwined that will focus on the uncontaminated rural heart of Sicily that is now her home.

 

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