Melissa Clark is an American food writer and cookbook author. Since 2007, she has been a food columnist for The New York Times. She has written more than 40 cookbooks.

Melissa Clark
ResidenceProspect Heights, Brooklyn
Alma materBarnard College,
Columbia University
Years active2007–present

Early life and educationEdit

The daughter of two psychiatrists,[1] Clark is a third-generation Brooklynite, growing up in the Ditmas Park neighborhood.[2] Her parents were avid home cooks, influenced by Julia Child.[1] As a child, Clark spent the month of August with her family each year in Provence, France.[1] Clark is Jewish.[3]

Clark attended Stuyvesant High School[1][2] and then Barnard College, where she studied English and history and wrote a thesis on the role of food in Don Quixote. She earned an MFA from Columbia University,[4] where she took a food-writing class taught by Betty Fussell.[1]

Career and worksEdit

In her early career, Clark was a freelance writer for various publications, including the New York Times, and worked in "front of house" jobs at restaurants.[5] In 2007, she began her weekly "A Good Appetite" column at The New York Times,[5][6] She became a full-time staff writer at the Times in 2012,[4] writing about 65 recipes each year for the newspaper.[5] Clark has frequently described herself as "an advocate for the home cook"[5] and "the voice of the home cook" in interviews.[4]

In 2015, Clark gained attention for a recipe for guacamole with green peas that she had reported on a few years earlier (the recipe was created as a collaboration between chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and chef de cuisine Ian Coogan for Vongerichten's restaurant ABC Cocina); the piece was re-tweeted by The New York Times and attracted viral feedback, including tweets from President Barack Obama and former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush, who all disapproved of her addition of peas to the traditional recipe ingredients.[7][8][9] Clark's most favored ingredient is anchovies, which she praises for their versatility.[5]

Clark has written more than 40 cookbooks,[5] including Braise: A Journey Through International Cuisine (2007), with Daniel Boulud;[10] East of Paris with David Bouley; The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern with Claudia Fleming,[2] the former pastry chef at Gramercy Tavern in New York;[11] and Cook This Now (2011), which focuses on seasonal cooking.[12][13] Clark's cookbook Dinner: Changing the Game won an award in 2018 from the International Association of Culinary Professionals.[14] For The New Essentials of French Cooking, which was published in print and as a series of articles on NYT Cooking, Clark won the 2018 James Beard Foundation Journalism Award for innovative storytelling.[15]

In 2019, Clark hosted a podcast series, Weeknight Kitchen with Melissa Clark, produced by The Splendid Table.[16]

Personal lifeEdit

Clark is married to Daniel Gercke, and they have one child, their daughter, Dahlia.[17] The family lives in a brownstone in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.[18]


  1. ^ a b c d e Rebecca Shapiro, Supper Club: New York Times food writer Melissa Clark '90BC, '94SOA invites everyone to the table, Columbia Magazine (summer 2017).
  2. ^ a b c Raquel Pelzel, In the Kitchen With Melissa Clark, Edible Brooklyn (Spring 2013), issue 29.
  3. ^ A Very Unorthodox Passover, Tablet (April 18, 2019).
  4. ^ a b c Lizzy Goodman, Elbowing for Scallops With Melissa Clark, Taste (April 24, 2017).
  5. ^ a b c d e f Angelina Chapin, How I Get It Done: Melissa Clark, The Cut (October 16, 2017).
  6. ^ Jennifer Barger, Face Time: Melissa Clark, Washington Post (December 2, 2011).
  7. ^ Melissa Clark, Green Pea Guacamole, New York Times.
  8. ^ Erik Wemple, New York Times food editor: 'You don't expect to run into a pea in guacamole', Washington Post (July 1, 2015).
  9. ^ Greg Morabito & Helen Rosner, Melissa Clark Knows What You Want to Cook for Dinner Tonight, Eater (March 14, 2017).
  10. ^ New Cookbooks You Might Actually Open, Grub Street (November 2, 2006).
  11. ^ Melissa Clark, Ice Cream Is a Cold, Sweet Way to Show Off Corn, New York Times (July 31, 2013).
  12. ^ Caroline Russock, Cook the Book: 'Cook this Now', Seasonal Eats (November 2011).
  13. ^ Kirkus Review: Cook This Now: 120 Easy and Delectable Dishes You Can't Wait to Make by Melissa Clark, Kirkus Reviews (September 18, 2011).
  14. ^ Tim Carman, Food association gives top cookbook award to its CEO, prompting outrage — and a new policy, Washington Post (March 13, 2018).
  15. ^ "The 2018 James Beard Media Award Winners". James Beard Foundation. Retrieved 2019-08-20.
  16. ^ "Introducing Weeknight Kitchen with Melissa Clark". The Splendid Table. 2019-07-16. Retrieved 2019-10-18.
  17. ^
  18. ^ name="Chapin"

External linksEdit