It could easily be said that Genevieve Meli was born knowing that her
future professional life would be in a kitchen. Her father, Gerard
Meli, was a 1977 graduate of the CIA and Genevieve grew up in her
family’s restaurant. “I wanted to be pastry chef,” Genevieve says. “When
it came time to go to college, the CIA was the only school I considered
attending. I wanted the best education possible and you get that there.”
Genevieve enrolled right out of high school and couldn’t wait to get
her feet wet. “I was antsy and wanted to start experiencing a
professional kitchen,” recalls Genevieve. “Every weekend I would go to
New York City and work for free at Gilt at the Palace Hotel with Chef
After graduation, Genevieve began to build her career working in
increasingly prestigious kitchens in some of the top restaurants in
Manhattan. At Craft, she learned all about seasonality; at Café Boulud
and Daniel she learned precision and timing; at Le Bernardin, she had
the great fortune of meeting mentor Michael Laiskonis, who taught
Genevieve new techniques; and at Jacques Torres, she learned all about
chocolate. Genevieve then served as the executive pastry chef at Davio’s
Northern Italian Steakhouse and Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria. She
attributes her continued success to another mentor, Noah Carroll ’06,
executive pastry chef at Meyers by Claus Meyer. “We have a wonderful
relationship and Noah has helped shape my career since my days at the
CIA,” says Genevieve.
On March 1, 2016, Genevieve released her first cookbook, Sweet Nature.
It is filled with gorgeous photography of her delectable creations all
set in nature. In October 2016, Genevieve began a new adventure as a
Chef-Instructor at her alma mater teaching Baking & Pastry Skill
Development to a new generation of budding pastry chefs.
“If your passion is cooking go for it and follow your dreams. The
absolute best place to do that is the CIA,” Genevieve explains. “The chef-instructors are incredibly knowledgeable, the campus is amazing and convenient to New York City, and the library has every cookbook and resource you need. Everywhere you go on campus is a learning opportunity.”
The Zagat Survey recently named Genevieve to their 2016 30 Under 30 Rock Stars Redefining the Industry list.