Chef Roma Melrose

Roma Mukherjee Melrose

Chef Roma Melrose

I was originally from India Kolkata. My late father had been a bank officer all his life and from a very small age our family traveled all over India. My mother learned and practiced many different styles of Indian cooking and she gave me my first chance to cook in Delhi India at the age of five.

I faintly remember her standing by me and I was up on a stool as I could not reach the counter and she was telling me to put in this spice and that spice and to run and fetch water and hold her hands while she stirred the pot. I was just five years old. To this day I feel her hands still holding mine and that was my first inspiration I had to be a chef. When everybody was home that night, they said that was the best meal they ever had. They were proud of me and I was proud of myself. I have loved food, parties and people ever since. Whenever I get a chance to help my family and friends with food I really enjoy making their special occasions memorable. I am always learning, planning and organizing.

Some time in the 60’s when I was at high school at Loreto Convent in Kolkata me and my friends took some clothes and shoes to Mother Theresa’s Institution, not very far from where we lived. Mother asked me “have you cleaned the shoes?” I said “no”. Mother said, “whenever you give something to somebody, make sure it is very clean”. I learned a lesson. This attention to love, cleanliness and detail I put into all of my food.

I moved to Boulder, Colorado, from Kolkata, India, in 1988. Catering is our family profession and has been since 2001. I owned an award winning restaurant from 2002 to 2004, Royal Bengal Kitchen, and then again went back to catering as my final profession.

Whenever I get time I like to also teach cooking from different countries. I have taught at the Cooking School of the Rockies, The Cooking School of Aspen, The Seasoned Chef, What’s Cooking, and Naropa University.

I love to travel and learn about food from all over the world, and so my cooking menus keep growing.

John Lehndorff, the award winning Colorado Restaurant Critic, Food, Dining, Music and Travel Writer, editor and author of Denver Dines wrote: “Longmont cook is Boulder County’s salsa queen”

John Lehndorff also wrote “Roma is a spice magician and a culinary healer who creates amazingly complex fare with layer upon layer of flavor. Whether cooking at home, for catering or at her restaurant, her food always makes my taste buds dance. She cooks the real stuff and throws her soul into the process.”

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