Melissa Kelly is the Executive Chef of the Old Chatham
Sheepherding Company Inn, a position she has held since the 1995
opening. On May 3, 1999 Melissa won the American Express Best
Chef: Northeast Award at the James Beard Foundation Awards in
New York City. These awards are the culinary equivalent of the
Academy Awards. She was a 1998 nominee for the award.
Chef Kelly grew up on Long Island where her earliest cooking
lessons took place in her Italian grandmother's kitchen. First
in her graduating class from the Culinary Institute of America,
Chef Kelly's post-graduate education took place in some of the
top restaurant kitchens in the country. At the Greenbrier Hotel
she learned "two valuable lessons -volume and speed." At Larry
Forgione's An American Place she learned cooking history and
lore, and at Alice Waters' Chez Panisse she found a style- "simplicity,
Sous Chef at An American Place then Executive Chef of Forgiones's
Beekman 1776 Tavern, Melissa was named one of the upcoming chefs
of the 90s by Food & Wine magazine. As Executive Chef
at the Old Chatham Sheepherding Company Inn she continues living
up to this prophecy.
In 1996, because of Melissa, the Inn was named one of "The
Best New Restaurants" by Esquire and "Gourmet Retreat
of the Year" by Andrew Harper's Hideaway Report, who
named the Inn a "Grand Winner" in 1997. In fact, Melissa's culinary
skills have been recognized by many publications, too numerous
to mention here, but a feature article in The New York Times
called her a "sorceress," and a recent article in The Boston
Globe said she is, "an undisputed culinary star," and the
inn, "is a mecca for food lovers, because of Melissa Kelly."
Chef Kelly's cuisine can be summed up best in the words of one
reviewer as "worth a drive from just about anywhere."
The Old Chatham Sheepherding Company Inn, located in Old Chatham,
New York, is a member of Relais & Chateaux and a Mobil Four-Star