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Melissa d'Arabian      

Celebrity Chef and Host of "Ten Dollar Dinners" on the Food Network; Winner of "The Next Food Network Star"

Celebrity chef, television host, best-selling author, speaker, writer and mom of four Melissa d’Arabian is an expert on affordable and healthy family home cooking. 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 savings 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 “The Next Food Network Star” in August 2009, Melissa premiered her inaugural cooking show “Ten Dollar Dinners” proving a delicious budget-friendly meal can be made without compromise and always delivering on her $10 promise – four people, ten bucks, infinite possibilities. A natural extension of the relatable television series, Melissa’s first cookbook “Ten Dollar Dinners: 140 Recipes and Tips to Elevate Simple, Fresh Meals Any Night of the Week” debuted in August 2012 as an instant New York Times best seller. Her highly anticipated second cookbook – “Supermarket Healthy: Recipes and Know-How for Eating Well Without Spending a Lot” – will be available on December 30, 2014.

Melissa provides a strategic step-by-step approach to combatting picky eaters in her acclaimed series “The Picky Eaters Project: Melissa’s Mealtime Redesign”, and also serves as a reoccurring judge on Food Network’s primetime competition series, “Guy’s Grocery Games.” In January 2012, Melissa began hosting Cooking Channel’s “Drop 5 lbs. with Good Housekeeping,” a healthy lifestyle series based on the magazine’s popular monthly column. She’s also appeared on Food Network primetime series including “Chopped,” “Cutthroat Kitchen,” “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” and “Food Network Challenge.”

Melissa writes “The Healthy Plate,” a nationally syndicated column for The Associated Press. She’s also a featured expert on as well as a contributing writer for Food Network’s FN Dish blog and Parade’s food-focused sister magazine, Dash Recipes.

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 never a temptation 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 MBA 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 over $1,000 a year – to share with local moms would also be her ticket to the newest chapter in her career and life path.

Today, Melissa is a sought-after expert regularly featured in national media. Whether during interviews, events, or speaking engagements, Melissa authentically shares her diverse life experiences and wide-ranging expertise on topics including food, money saving, family, healthy lifestyle, business, and faith. She also lends her voice to causes close to her heart such as childhood hunger alongside Share Our Strength’s No Kind Hungry campaign and suicide awareness with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

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.

Speech Topics

Faith & Religion

Melissa’s primary goal is to be on the path God wants her to be on, which affects her daily decisions as a woman, wife, mother and professional. She shares inspirational and motivational messages based on her personal journey of faith through family, work, challenges, and beyond.

Business & Leadership

As an MBA graduate and former corporate finance and strategy professional turned stay-at-home mom turned food television star, Melissa shares insights on Playing a Game You Can Win, Infusing Your Life Mission into Your Career, Emotional Intelligence, How an MBA Helped Her Win “The Next Food Network Star,” Work-Life Balance: The Realistic Modern Lifestyle, among other thought-provoking topics.


Connecting with other women on their paths to success is Melissa’s personal life mission. She shares insights and strategies on how she ensures her life’s actions and choices support that mission and how others can do the same – no matter their life mission. She also shares thoughts on supporting other women, establishing meaningful relationships and positive role models.

Family & Kids

Straights from her own home bustling with four little women, Melissa shares ideas on everything from combatting picky eaters and great strategies for family travel to keeping the romance alive and how her own family life growing up affects her parenting today.


A trusted resource for home cooks everywhere, Melissa enjoys sharing elegant and nutritious yet simple and affordable meal ideas as well as time- and money-saving strategies to ensure we are spending with purpose and managing our resources well.


Melissa connects with college students on topics of personal and professional growth, strategies for success, cooking on a college budget and with limited resources, as well as her personal experiences as a college student and how those experiences have shaped the person she is today.


Melissa speaks from personal experience having lost her mother to suicide while in college. She shares messages of hope, suicide prevention, how to help those in need, and how to help those left behind.

Childhood Hunger

Melissa grew up poor and often without the food she needed every day. Melissa speaks about her personal experiences including those who helped her and how she and her family managed. She also sheds light on the childhood hunger statistics today in the United States and how we all can help end childhood hunger.


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D'Arabian's beliefs guide her every action, including the huge trauma of facing her ... the pain of it is never far away for Food Network host Melissa d'Arabian.

Melissa d'Arabian Picky Eaters Advice

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