Raised in Birmingham, Alabama by a Jewish mother and an Italian father, Melissa gained an early appreciation for food and its impact on a person’s life. While still in high school, she apprenticed with world-renowned chef Frank Stitt and was smitten with a passion for cooking. While attending Johnson & Wales University, Melissa had the opportunity to work for The Governor’s House Inn and at Cooking Light magazine in the test kitchen. In 2004, graduating with a degree in Culinary Nutrition, Melissa received the top honor of Apprenti Cuisinier. Then came Emory University Hospitals dietetic internship. In 2007 she made the move to New York City to pursue her career goal of becoming a personal chef. Now Petitto custom designs menus to fit her celebrity client’s lifestyles, health needs, and desires. She shops for the freshest ingredients at local groceries and cooks the meals in each client’s home. Recently she has traveled to South Carolina to work at the Hilton Head Health Institute, where she lectures, presents food demonstrations and consults with individual clients. Whether cooking dinner for an individual client or a dinner party for 25, Chef Melissa Petitto, R.D. exudes the passion she feels for nutritious food and its role in a family’s life.