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Inside the Plated Kitchen: Melissa Lanz

Chef Melissa Lanz of TheFresh20.com

While working in corporate America, Melissa Lanz struggled to find time to devote to meal planning. She found herself turning to frozen foods and takeout more often than she desired. Realizing she – and families across America – needed a change for the better from the “takeout rut” and find that easy recipe or quick recipe, Lanz founded The Fresh 20 to assist families nationwide with healthy meal planning.

With a passion for food and family, Lanz travels around the country to promote education in nutrition and healthy cooking. She established and currently runs the Family Food Summit, a series of online conferences aimed at demystifying healthy cooking at home.

Our shared passion for fresh ingredients and simple recipes led us to this delicious partnership. Read on for our exclusive interview with this passionate entrepreneur:

Q: What made you want to become a cook?

I like to eat. My dad’s family was always cooking and laughing and entertaining. Every major moment of life is surrounded by food. I wanted to be a part of that process.

Q: What’s behind your culinary inspiration?

A: I lived in Paris for two years and fell in love with artisan food craft and the attention to detail French cooks have. It’s a society that loves to eat and they take quality seriously. I picked up some culinary tricks while living in the city.

Q: Which recipe in this week’s box is most personal for you? What inspired it?

The coconut-curry style fish is my favorite because it represents my effort to reduce take out by making dinner at home.  I used to rely on takeout way too much and now I create the same flavors with healthier ingredients than most restaurants can deliver.  AND I know what goes into the meal.

Q: Is there a chef that you really admire or look up to?

A: I think Julia Childs is an iconic chef that exemplifies what cooking is all about: curiosity and satisfaction.

Q: What’s one piece of advice you would give to an amateur chef?

A: Don’t be afraid to experiment with flavor. If something sounds appealing to you, try it out. There are no rules in cooking. Baking has rules, cooking has none.

Chef Challenge: Buy a whole fish and figure it out! It’s the one task I was always afraid of, but once I worked with a whole fish, it demystified a lot about cooking in general!


- Pareesha Narang




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