Melissa d'Arabian Bio

Photo by: Jeremiah Alley ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Jeremiah Alley, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Mom of four, television host and cookbook author Melissa d’Arabian (www.MelissadArabian.net) embodies family home cooking at its finest. 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 budget 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 she won Season 5 of well-known culinary competition series Food Network Star, Melissa's relatable cooking show Ten Dollar Dinners premiered on Food Network in August 2009. Each episode delivers on her $10 promise: four people, ten bucks, infinite possibilities, and proves a delicious budget-friendly meal can be made without compromise. A natural extension of her popular television series, Melissa's first cookbook, Ten Dollar Dinners: 140 Recipes and Tips to Elevate Simple, Fresh Meals Any Night of the Week (Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc.), debuted in August 2012 and became an instant New York Times best seller.

Melissa also hosts Cooking Channel’s Drop 5 Lbs. with Good Housekeeping, a cooking and lifestyle series that premiered in January 2012 based on the magazine’s popular monthly column. The fresh, simple and healthy recipes she prepares further the show’s mission to make weight loss easier and more manageable. Additionally, Melissa has appeared on highly rated Food Network prime-time series, including The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Chopped, Food Network Challenge and The Best Thing I Ever Made.

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 frowned upon 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 M.B.A. 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 more than $1,000 a year — to share with local moms would also be her ticket to the newest chapter in her career and life path.

National and local media, including the Today show, CNN, People, Food Network Magazine and iVillage.com, regularly feature Melissa’s recipes and tips. She is also invited to participate in top-notch industry events, including the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival and New York City Wine & Food Festival, as well as to speak at engagements nationwide for a variety of organizations such as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, a cause very close to Melissa’s heart after losing her mother to suicide at age 20.

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. Fans can stay in touch with Melissa on Facebook and Twitter (@MelissadArabian).

The d'Arabians in France: A Family Vacation Scrapbook

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I met and married my husband, Philippe, who is from a small village in the South of France, while we were both living and working in Paris. We enjoy traveling to France not just to visit Philippe's family, but also to spend time in Paris, where Philippe and I started our lives together. Here my family is in downtown Aix-en-Provence, walking around and enjoying the quaint city.

On our “Mom and Dad before kids” tour, we took the girls to the hotel in Aix-en-Provence where I stayed the night before our wedding. I walked down these stairs as a bride back in 2003, so the girls practiced walking down the stairs as brides, too.

We took the girls to the stone church where we were married in a tiny village; the girls, of course, pretended they were brides and practiced walking down the aisle. (This love of weddings will one day be very expensive, I imagine.)

Posing outside in front of the village church

Valentine gives me a huge hug!

Charlotte walks the very stairs that I walked as a bride.

Our standard cheese platter — always served at the end of a meal (I love cheese, so you can see why I loved living in France!).

Mont-d’Or Vacherin is my favorite cheese of all time. It’s a seasonal cheese, though, and available only in winter.

At my in-laws’ house, the table is decorated with the exact same tablecloth that was used 30 years ago (we saw the photos that proved it).

Margaux, Oceane and Charlotte put on a show. I have no idea where they get the performance bug (ha ha).

Valentine loves Vacherin cheese as much as I do. “Cheese” was her first word as a baby — even before “Mama.”

My father-in-law is famous for making huge paellas for family gatherings, and we served paella at our rehearsal dinner years ago.

Seeing Valentine spend sweet moments with her great-grandmother made the 22-hour trip completely worth it.

Oceane and her cousin Arthur digging into massive lollipops from the open-air market in Nice

Two kinds of King Cake

The Provence version of King Cake is based on marzipan in a flaky pastry — it’s my favorite!

Our family in France

We take the four girls on the Metro in Paris — always a sardine-like experience!

This is a must-do pose for anyone going to Paris (get off the Metro at Trocadero to re-create this pose).

Unbelievable pastry at Angelina’s on Rue de Rivoli — not only a Paris legend, but also where I had my bridal luncheon a week before my wedding.

Oceane enjoying the best hot chocolate on Earth at Angelina’s

Margaux’s middle name is Capucine, so a trip to her namesake street in the 9th arrondisement of Paris was a trip highlight for her.

Hugs outside the famed Opera Garnier in the 9th arrondissement

Breakfast in our Paris apartment (carbs don’t count when in France, I’ve decided)

Here’s a shot of the girls with me at the bottom of the stairs inside the Eiffel Tower. We climbed more than 700 stairs that day!

We took the girls to the exact spot where Philippe and I had our first kiss 12 years ago. They insisted we re-create it. And then each girl wanted to give her dad a smooch there, too.

I snapped a photo of the girls running around and playing in the Marais (4th arrondissement of Paris), right outside the apartment where Philippe and I lived when we were newlyweds.

Top 100 Melissa d'Arabian Recipes

Melissa is known for transforming everyday meals into budget-friendly dishes the whole family will enjoy on her show, Ten Dollar Dinners. Browse through her recipes now.

Photo By: David Lang ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Melissa's First Cookbook

Visit the Food Network Store to order your copy of Melissa's premiere cookbook.

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