Melissa Campana

Photo of Melissa Campana
Dublin, Ireland
University Of Arizona
Cocktails, Italian Food, Family Meals, Food Culture
  • Melissa's first freelance writing gig might have been her coolest: happy hour columnist for a local alt weekly. Once a week, she had to (had to) find and review a new happy hour hotspot.
  • When Melissa lived in Florence, Italy, her house overlooked the Sant'Ambrogio marketplace. Taking great produce and great advice home (alongside her bad Italian) every day — and trying to figure out what to do next — was a massive and delicious education in food.
  • Melissa worked at a five-star hotel in Dublin, Ireland; which, at the time, meant a 50% food and beverage discount at sister properties across Europe. She would never have had hunks of parmesan at the St. Regis Rome, or sacher torte in an old palace in Vienna, or fish caught right in front of her in Marsaxlokk, Malta, if it wasn't for that job.


While writing has always been an important part of her life, Melissa had long since graduated college before she realized she could make a living out of it. After working for a parenting magazine in Arizona, Melissa found her groove when she started freelancing for Phoenix New Times, the alternative weekly paper in her area that covered news and culture. Their food and drink vertical gave her the opportunity to interview restaurateurs, attend culinary events, and try her hand at being a food critic. She also wrote two weekly columns, one on breakfast and one on happy hour...which meant she got to bookend her day with food writing. It was an editor at New Times who introduced Melissa to the wonderful world of Mashed.


Melissa was an English major at the University of Arizona, before a semester abroad in Spain convinced her to get a degree in Spanish and Portuguese. She's been traveling, eating, and writing about both ever since.
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Stories By Melissa Campana