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Whole Foods Class: A Story In Photos

Posted Nov 01 2012 7:58pm
Nov 1, 2012 Posted by on Nov 1, 2012 in Blog | 12 comments

On October 10, one of my foodie dreams came true: I taught a cooking class! At the Whole Foods Culinary Center, no less. You know I have an overactive imagination, so in my mind, I was Julia Child incarnate. I was the star of my own TV show. I was the anti-Rachel Ray. I was the punk rock Martha Stewart.

In actuality, it was the attendees who were the stars. They asked great questions during the Paleo 101 segment, were kind and patient with me as I got used to cooking in front of a roomful of people (36 attendees! all looking at me expectantly and sipping wine!), and made appreciative oooh and aaaah sounds as they sampled recipes from Well Fed like Asian Slaw with Sunshine Sauce, Paleo Pad Thai, and Ginger-Lime Grilled Shrimp.

The extra magical part? I was merely demo-ing the food. Behind me, in the real kitchen where the real work gets done, real chefs were preparing the food. And just as the words Sunshine Sauce left my mouth and were still hanging in the air… voila! the badass crew would appear with food samples to place in front of each person in the audience — providing a welcome distraction from me fake-cooking at the front of the room.

Here are a few snaps that Dave took to capture my debut as the next Paleo Cooking Star.

This is me in front of the Culinary Center. I look a little nervous, no? I was! I also look like a pinhead with my hair like that, but it just won’t do to have long hair swinging around while cooking.

I still get a kick out of seeing Well Fed out in the wild. And our friendly little book is in very good company in the book section of the Culinary Center. My foodie heroes are on those shelves!

Me, trying to pretend to be cool, while waiting for all of those seats to be filled up. Cute room, right?!

The Whole Foods crew who made me look like I knew what I was doing. They did a beautiful job prepping the food for my demo, and according to Dave, the food they made to serve to the guests tasted awesome. I didn’t get to eat anything, thanks to (a) needing to talk and (b) the annoying autoimmune protocol. That’s right! I had to make Sunshine Sauce without taking a single bite. That is cruel and unusual punishment.

At the front of the house… the class! Thank you to everyone who came to class and asked questions and made it so much fun for me — really appreciate it!

And back stage… the real cooking getting done.
And really, really backstage: dish duty.

And totally stealing the show: cutest girl ever.

My Paleo Thanksgiving class at Whole Foods is already sold out (!) but we have hands-on classes planned for the new year, one in January and one in February. I’ll let you know as soon as the Whole Foods class schedule is published so you can sign up. I think the hands-on classes are going to be a blast. We can chop together!


I should also mention that I’m experimenting with private paleo cooking classes — my first victim cooking partner is later this month — so if that’s something you’re interested in trying, hit me up on email. I love to get out of my office-gym-home triangle and meet you beautiful people. Maybe we can… ahem… cook something up together.

  1. Chris says:

    Damn, the thanksgiving class is already sold out? Unacceptable! I was looking forward to that. Well I guess I’ll have to be quicker on the draw next time. Well I can vouch for the food, it was amazing. The Whole Foods staff did a great job preparing it. You definitely need to have more classes.

    • Mel says:

      Definitely put yourself on the waiting list for the Thanksgiving class if you want to go — we had some cancellations last time and two people from the waiting list go to go!

  2. Meredith says:

    SO cool! It’s great that Whole Foods is finally allowing paleo into the spotlight. Those lucky customers who got to taste your recipes… coming to NY anytime soon?

  3. You should rent some space and start your own cooking classes…just an idea but I think it would BLOW up.

  4. Congrats, Mel! Too bad I live in New York or I would be at the Thanksgiving cooking demo with bells on. Don’t worry, my mom and I are already furiously planning our first (mostly) Paleo Thanksgiving.

  5. Melissa says:


    I am sad I missed the first class and the other one is sold out!

  6. heather says:

    We have to get you on master chef next season…that’s the show where non professional chefs compete for big prizes and $$$. You’d be fabulous!

  7. Mel:
    You are an inspiration! I know it is a bit nerve-wracking to put yourself out there like that in front of a whole room full of people, but your food message is so important. Go on with your bad self! Na zdraví!

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melissa joulwan

Melissa "Melicious" Joulwan •

Paleo Thanksgiving Demo Cooking Class
Thursday, November 15 - 6:30p-8:30p
Whole Foods Culinary Center | Austin, Texas Details

Field and Feast w/ Cecilia Nasti
Saturday, October 27, 11:55 a.m.
Sunday, October 28, 1:00 p.m.
KUT FM 90.5 | Austin, Texas
Field and Feast website

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