Profile for MelissaDenchak - FineCooking.com

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MelissaDenchak

Melissa Denchak, New York

associate editor

MelissaDenchak

As an assistant editor at Fine Cooking, I work on our Marketplace section, departments like Repertoire and Test Drive, and features. I received my culinary diploma from the Institute of Culinary Education before interning at Financier Patisserie, a French pastry shop based in lower-Manhattan (and fabulous spot to satisfy a raging sweet tooth). Prior to Fine Cooking, I worked as an assistant editor at Departures and Black Ink magazines. I've also freelanced for Publishers Weekly, SpaFinder, and Budget Travel, and interned at Food & Wine.

I’ve always been food- and travel-obsessed. Even as a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay, I spent enormous amounts of time hunting down the best chipa (a manioc-based bread) and begging my host mom to make her sopa Paraguaya (a creamy cornbread with cheese and onions)—my versions just never quite cut it. I’m thrilled to be part of the Fine Cooking team, though fantasies of opening a bakery-bar in Madrid are never far from mind.

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Jersey Ketchup

Jersey Ketchup

Known for its great Jersey tomatoes, the Garden State now boasts ketchup, too.

Cool Cooler

Cool Cooler

The gel-lined PackIt Social Cooler folds into a compact shape for storage in the freezer until you’re beach- or picnic-ready.

Leakproof Springforms

Leakproof Springforms

A new take on the springform cake pan, the PushPan from Kuhn Rikon is uniquely designed to prevent leaks.

Top-Notch Tap Water

Top-Notch Tap Water

This vintage-looking, BPA-free bottle makes tap water taste better.

Handcrafted Cutting Board

Handcrafted Cutting Board

Made from larch, a durable, antimicrobial wood that was once used for boat building, this cutting board will last a lifetime.

Contemporary Composter

Contemporary Composter

Many countertop scrap bins look like mini trash cans, but the 3-quart EcoCrock is a more stylish container for collecting compostable food waste.

Tropical Vinegar

Tropical Vinegar

This unusual banana vinegar from Veracruz, Mexico, is tart, with a delicate sweetness, subtle caramel notes, and a nuanced banana flavor.

Under Cover Blade Guards

Under Cover Blade Guards

These colorful blade guards are a simple solution for storing and transporting knives of all sizes.

Spring Tonic: Rhuby

Spring Tonic: Rhuby

Based on an 18th-century recipe for rhubarb tea, Rhuby is a sweetly aromatic spirit with a slightly tart kick and delicious floral notes.

Brown Rice = Better Risotto

Brown Rice = Better Risotto

For risotto with a deliciously nutty, slightly chewy texture, we love Integrale organic brown rice.

A Freestyle Fruit Basket

A Freestyle Fruit Basket

Inspired by the rings that form when a rain drop hits water, the Fruity fruit basket from Normann Copenhagen has a simple, open design that allows plenty of air to circulate around fruit.

Wine Glass 101

Wine Glass 101

With the new Key to Wine set from Riedel, oenophiles can experience how the shape, size, and rim diameter of a glass impacts their favorite wines.

Cheese: Emerald Isle Blue

Cheese: Emerald Isle Blue

Handmade in Ireland’s County Tipperary, Kerrygold Cashel Blue is a crumbly, semi-soft cheese.

High Tea

High Tea

We can’t get enough of the full-flavored, wildly fragrant, and beautifully packaged organic teas from Bellocq.

Gluten-Free Flour from The French Laundry

Gluten-Free Flour from The French Laundry

C4C flour is a gluten-free blend that includes rice and tapioca flours, potato starch, and cornstarch.

Super Sprouts

Super Sprouts

The California company truRoots soaks its organic grains until they sprout which makes them more nutritious.

A Spoon Roost

A Spoon Roost

Add a touch of whimsy to any kitchen with this porcelain spoon rest.

An iPad Holder for Cooks

An iPad Holder for Cooks

We love cooking from our iPad, not cleaning it, which makes this kitchen cabinet iPad mount a must-have.

Stir Things Up

Stir Things Up

These offbeat spatulas have a colorful silicone coating, so they’re heat resistant and perfect for nonstick surfaces.

Edgewares Better Zester is a Greater Grater

Edgeware's Better Zester is a Greater Grater

The nonstick coating and razor-sharp teeth of the Better Zester from Edgeware make for exceptionally smooth grating.

Fungi for Dessert?

Fungi for Dessert?

These candy cap mushrooms have an intense maple aroma and a slight earthy flavor that lends itself surprisingly well to desserts.

D.I.Y. Butchering Thanks to Wüsthof’s

D.I.Y. Butchering Thanks to Wüsthof’s

Go whole hog and break down your own poultry and large cuts of meat with Wüsthof’s new three-piece butchering set.

Move Over, Bacon

Move Over, Bacon

Surry Farms’ Jowciale is buttery rich and deliciously porky.

The Recipe Rock Makes for Clutter-Free Cooking

The Recipe Rock Makes for Clutter-Free Cooking

The Recipe Rock holds recipe cards and 8x11-inch printouts upright and perfectly angled.

Le Creuset:  Half-Pint Pottery

Le Creuset: Half-Pint Pottery

Festive and elegant, these snowflake-embossed 8-oz. cocottes from are perfect for holiday hosting.

A Petite Pan

A Petite Pan

This nonstick pie pan is great for mini fruit pies, pot pies, quiches, or tarts.

Not So Simple Syrups

Not So Simple Syrups

These small-batch, all-natural syrups from Brooklyn-based Royal Rose Syrups aren’t just for cocktails.

Mixing Bowls, Redesigned

Mixing Bowls, Redesigned

All-Clad’s new stainless-steel Spherical bowls make for easy mixing.

Easy-Read Timers

Easy-Read Timers

These 60-minute kitchen timers let you monitor cooking time at a glance.

Chalkboard Canisters

Chalkboard Canisters

These playful, understated ceramic canisters are perfect for storing kitchen goods.

Handcrafted Rolling Pins

Handcrafted Rolling Pins

Each of these hand-turned beauties from Vermont Rolling Pins is fashioned from a single piece of wood.

Hunt, Gather, Cook: Finding the Forgotten Feast

Hunt, Gather, Cook: Finding the Forgotten Feast

A spinoff of his award-winning blog, Hank Shaw’s new book is an introductory course in how to fish, forage, and hunt for your own food—and then reap the rewards in the kitchen.

Clever Corn Holders

Clever Corn Holders

You love steaming hot corn on the cob—just not when it falls off the corn holders and into your lap.

Remote Grilling

Remote Grilling

Forget hovering over the grill—the new iGrill probe thermometer will keep an eye on those steaks for you.

 New World Olive Oil

New World Olive Oil

This single-varietal Arbequina extra-virgin olive oil from Las Doscientas is made from hand-picked olives.

Just Nuts

Just Nuts

This chunky Marcona almond butter will make you rethink PB&J.

Lightning-Fast Grill Lighter

Lightning-Fast Grill Lighter

This plug-in fire starter will blow superheated air that’s hot enough to light briquettes in seconds, no lighter fluid required.

BBQ Tools That Last

BBQ Tools That Last

These handsome grill tools by Zwilling J.A. Henckels (the knife pros) are for the serious griller.

Clearly Indispensable

Clearly Indispensable

Use this gorgeous glass drink dispenser from Roost to show off your summer drinks.

Cold as Stone Shot Glasses

Cold as Stone Shot Glasses

These modernist Ekke shot glasses are made of soapstone, not glass.

A Rare Bean Chocolate Bar

A Rare Bean Chocolate Bar

Made from Pure Nacional, Fortunato No. 4 is a full-bodied dark chocolate with fruity notes and a silky smooth texture.

The Perfect Table Setting

The Perfect Table Setting

These vintage-inspired, double-sided “Cutlery” placemats from Cake Table & Home are made from 100 percent recycled paper.

A Better Bowl

A Better Bowl

Bambu’s new line of bowls is made from water- and stain-resistant natural cork.

Real Ginger Ale

Real Ginger Ale

This all-natural ginger ale is refreshing, slightly sweet, and packed with gingery heat.

Biscoff Spread: A Spoonable Snack

Biscoff Spread: A Spoonable Snack

Move over peanut butter—our new favorite spreadable treat is made from crushed Belgian spice cookies.

A Quesadilla for Lunch

A Quesadilla for Lunch

I'm not usually wooed by quesadillas, but this one definitely caught my eye.

My New Go-To Scones

My New Go-To Scones

Greek yogurt, fresh grapefruit, and honey are a delicious combination in these homemade scones.

An Updated 18th-Century Classic

An Updated 18th-Century Classic

What's a Hasselback potato without the potato? If you're using a beet instead, it's a stellar-looking update.

Texture Matters

Texture Matters

Chunky and hearty or velvety smooth: Which kind of soup do you prefer?

Made to Measure

Made to Measure

Bakers will appreciate this clever digital scale, since it doubles as a bowl that lifts off to transfer ingredients.

Over the Top

Over the Top

Dried red chile threads add a touch of heat, a hint of smoky flavor, and a pop of color when used as a garnish for soups and salads or mixed into egg dishes or stir-fries. For deeper flavor, toast the threads in a skillet for a minute or two before using.

Countertop Chic

Countertop Chic

With its handcrafted ceramic utensil holder, Beehive Kitchenware Company turns utilitarian storage into handsome kitchen decor.

Worth its Salt

Worth its Salt

For blue Iranian rock salt, black salt flakes from Cyprus, or pink Pakistani Himalayan salt, check out The Spice Lab, a gourmet purveyor that sources exotic salts from 40 countries.

Fondue for Two

Fondue for Two

This adorable stoneware tumbler of chocolate fondue from Aux Anysetiers du Roy (a Paris gourmet shop) heats up in minutes and is the perfect size for sharing.

Retro Relaunch

Retro Relaunch

Although it was introduced more than 50 years ago, the recently relaunched Krenit bowl by Danish design company Normann Copenhagen is coolly contemporary.

Dear Red Velvet Cake, Will You Be Mine?

Dear Red Velvet Cake, Will You Be Mine?

This Valentine's Day Red Velvet Cheesecake is made for a Monday.

Color (and Eat) by Number

Color (and Eat) by Number

Blogger Kim Neill creates edible Pantone "color chip" cookies.

Irish Soda Bread, Updated

Irish Soda Bread, Updated

For this rugged, dark-golden soda bread, I'd gladly tweak a family recipe.

Tea Time

Tea Time

With elegant curves and swooping spiral handles, Kähler’s Storia tea service is a throwback to Art Deco design.

Prime Meat

Prime Meat

Bold and aromatic, Salami della Musica is handmade in limited quantities by artisan salami-maker Cristiano Creminelli. With a mixture of pork, pork liver, and cloves, it tastes one part salami, one part rich pâté.

Go Fish

Go Fish

This white-glazed stoneware fish trivet by design guru Jonathan Adler keeps hot serving dishes off the table—but with a sense of humor.

Into the Pot

Into the Pot

Le Creuset’s first-ever cassoulet dish has the slope-sided shape of a traditional French cassoulet pot and a wide surface area that allows for plenty of crunchy crust. It comes with four serving bowls.

Fork It Over

Fork It Over

This seven-piece lobster set from kitchenware company WMF comes with a lobster cracker and six slender forks that will help extract every last morsel of tender meat.

In Good Spirit

In Good Spirit

For more than 600 years, aromatic bison grass has lent its sweet, herbal essence to Zubrowka, a Polish vodka distilled from rye.

Antique Charm

Antique Charm

Wedgwood’s lovely Cuckoo plate, made of fine bone china and trimmed with burnished gold, is the perfect size for small sandwiches or canapés.

Ramen, I Love You

Ramen, I Love You

Steaming bowls of ramen are incredibly comforting, especially when temps turn frigid. These homemade noodles will bring you one step closer to ramen bliss.

Hail to the [Leftover] Holiday Cranberry Sauce!

Hail to the [Leftover] Holiday Cranberry Sauce!

How leftover cranberry sauce begets pancakes, cocktails, and more.

Nutmeg Juice

Nutmeg Juice

In the U.S., nutmeg is key to decadent pumpkin pies and rich egg nog. In Malaysia? It's the base for fresh, tangy juice.

Savory Oatmeal

Savory Oatmeal

Figs, pine nuts, cheese...and oatmeal? Sounds good to me.

Go buckeyes!

Go buckeyes!

Forget Ohio State's mascot. These are buckeyes that would really make me cheer.

Aged Kentucky Ham

Aged Kentucky Ham

Nancy Newsom’s robust prosciutto-style bone-in hams are cured with salt, brown sugar, and hickory smoke, and then aged for 12 months.

Nudo Italian Olive Oil

Nudo Italian Olive Oil

By adopting one of Nudo’s olive trees in the Abruzzo or Le Marche regions of Italy, you’ll receive the harvest from it (and its neighbors) over the course of one year, including a tin of olive oil from the first cold press and flavored oils like zesty mandarin and spicy chili.

Venison Pâté

Venison Pâté

Served with a crusty French baguette, Les Trois Petits Cochons’ decadent and savory cranberry-and-pistachio-filled venison pâté will be the hit of any hors d’oeuvres table.

Artisanal Rum

Artisanal Rum

With a rich, butterscotch flavor, Berkshire Mountain Distiller’s rum has a dryness that’s pure pleasure in a glass.

Oregon Goat Cheese

Oregon Goat Cheese

Rivers Edge Chèvre’s Sunset Bay goat’s milk cheese is creamy, perfectly salty, and complemented by the warmth of Spanish pimentón (smoked paprika).

Cherrywood-Smoked Bacon

Cherrywood-Smoked Bacon

Smoked over fresh-cut cherrywood logs for a full day, Nueske’s new all-natural cherrywood-smoked bacon is complete porcine bliss.

Dragonfly Sugarworks Vermont Maple Syrup

Dragonfly Sugarworks' Vermont Maple Syrup

Dragonfly Sugarworks offers four grades of organic maple syrup, from a dark, gutsy Grade B to an amber-colored, more delicate grade called Vermont Fancy.

Robert Lamberts Salt-Preserved Limes

Robert Lambert's Salt-Preserved Limes

Robert Lambert’s salty-sour Rangpur limes (think tart mandarin oranges) are cured with juniper berry, bay leaf, rosemary, and lavender before they’re preserved in salt.

Boozy Dark Chocolate

Boozy Dark Chocolate

Nina Wanat, the founder of San Francisco-based BonBonBar, uses top-shelf single malt Scotch, bourbon, and dark rum in her handmade confections.

Tishbis Wine Preserves

Tishbi's Wine Preserves

The Cherry Shiraz preserves from Tishbi Winery (a family-owned estate in Israel) have big pieces of sweet-tart cherries and pleasant, lingering notes of red wine.

Sarivole Organic Bakerys Oven-Fresh Cookies

Sarivole Organic Bakery's Oven-Fresh Cookies

Sarivole Organic Bakery’s baked-to-order cookies—in flavors like peanut butter oatmeal and chocolate coconut almond—arrive fresh, chewy, and delicious.

Happy Goats Goats Milk Caramels

Happy Goat's Goat's Milk Caramels

Handmade in small batches with milk from free-range goats, Happy Goat’s caramels are tangy, chewy, and far from ordinary.

Pop it Yourself: Truffled Popcorn

Pop it Yourself: Truffled Popcorn

479° Popcorn’s black truffle Pop It Yourself kit comes with heirloom popcorn, La Tourangelle black truffle oil, and truffle-infused sea salt.

Preserving Fresh Nuts

Preserving Fresh Nuts

Come autumn, the harvest of almonds, pecans, and hazelnuts begins in earnest. Turn your favorite nuts into a rich butter to be savored for months to come.

Got Leftovers?

Got Leftovers?

Use up leftover grilled meat and crisper drawer odds and ends in a delicious no-cook meal.

A [Mulberry] Tree Grows in Brooklyn

A [Mulberry] Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Have you ever tried a mulberry? If you haven't, you should.

They Draw And Cook

They Draw And Cook

I can’t stop thinking about figs. On Friday, we sampled white, sun-dried ones from Italy. The day before, we tested a delectable golden fruitcake that was filled to bursting with them. And about a week ago, I came across...

Recent Comments

Re: Texture Matters

Absolutely--I can't wait to try it! Meatball soup...yum... : )

Re: The Fastest and Richest Chocolate Mousse Ever

I can't wait to try this!!

Re: Hot Chocolate--On a Stick!

Love these--such a cute idea!

Re: Two Thanksgiving Cake Centerpieces

The recipe is surprisingly thorough. But still, ew.

Re: Savory Oatmeal

Thanks! I think coming at my oatmeal as if it was regular rice/risotto will definitely help me generate some delicious ideas. I love the sauteed mushroom, soy sauce, and scallion suggestion!

Re: Grilled Cheese, Please

Butter, mayo, who cares? It's a little after noon, and I want these for lunch! (That said, I love butter and I love mayo. Could I pick both? Or is that gross?...)

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