Kristina Mellegard

Kristina Mellegard

is a private chef and certified health coach working across all the Manhattan boroughs. She has a voracious appetite both for food as well as for life and has developed a unique style of cooking due to her cumulative life experiences. Through Kristina’s interests in eating delicious, satisfying meals while optimizing health, she has learned how to create nutritionally dense meals without sacrificing enjoyment.


In 2010, Kristina moved to New York City to attend Fordham University for Business and communications. She quickly became aware of the surrounding community just outside the gated walls of Fordham and grew very impassioned about food access issues affecting the Bronx residents. Over the course of two years, Kristina learned more about nutrition, health and policy, all while dedicating the majority of her energy to cooking large dinners for her friends each night. In her sophomore year, Kristina made the decision to switch to The New School For Public Engagement and enroll in their newly designed Food Studies program.  Her goal was to change the way America consumed food and in turn, to help improve the overall health of its people. During Kristina’s time at The New School, she learned about all aspects of the culinary industry including entrepreneurship, hospitality management, law and policy, culinary history, editorial writing, and cultural identity in relation to food.

Kristina wanted a more hands on approach to cooking so she chose to spend six months in Florence, Italy, studying culinary arts. This experience changed her life and affirmed her love for cooking. As soon as she finished her undergraduate degree, Kristina enrolled in the International Culinary Center and earned a culinary degree in the Bay Area of California. She returned to New York City to search for work and had a multitude of wonderful and contrasting experiences, from cooking on the line at urban Italian fine dining restaurant Locanda Verde, to working in the test kitchens for Every Day with Rachael Ray Magazine, as well as in the office doing social media for Marcus Samuelsson Hospitality Group. She also participated as a contributing author to the Oxford University Press book Savoring Gotham: A Food Lover's Companion to New York City. Eventually Kristina joined forces with Laura Geraty, RD and founder of What We Eat LLC.  as a private chef, cooking for families and office spaces around the boroughs.

In fall of 2018, Kristina attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a certified health coach. She felt that the additional knowledge would compliment her offerings in the kitchen. Clients can now receive delicious food as well as personalized guidance on food choices, stress management and the implementation of positive lifestyle practices.

Kristina has traveled the world exploring different cultural identities in relation to food and has drawn inspiration from all cuisines to highlight local seasonal ingredients to their highest potential. She now lives in Williamsburg Brooklyn, combining her loves of farm-to-table cooking with sustainable gardening, natural beauty product production and pottery on the wheel. Her goal is to find fulfillment and ultimate health through natural pathways. The Yum Project is a way to share findings and aid others in their similar quest for all delicious and joyful experiences.