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Inspiring connection, community,
and conversation through culinary arts.

A Culture of Belonging

Our philosophy for kids and teens is educating students to think critically and creatively while developing self-confidence. This happens when kids are allowed to make mistakes and learn how to fix them in a low risk environment like cooking. Our unique approach uses food to teach acceptance, kindness, and connection. We create a safe and comfortable environment where others feel good about themselves and, in turn, feel safe enough to trust others, creating a space of caring and kindness through cooking, bringing a sense of belonging and togetherness. 


Our mission is to help create a culture of belonging. Teaching you to cultivate confidence, creativity, and calm in the kitchen and use cooking as the path toward connection and joy.

Does everyone in your household want different foods for the same meal? Do you feel that cooking is stressful and you don't have time, or you don't know what to make or don't have the skills? As someone who has been a Culinary Instructor and certified high school culinary arts teacher for 27 years, I have seen the challenges people encounter in the kitchen. 

We can help you overcome this. You eat daily- let's put the power back in your hands. Home cooking is healthier, and less wasteful, than ordering out and allows you to connect with yourself and your family. It's an opportunity to relax and enjoy mealtime. Not sure if you can - I'm here to help. We are on this journey together.

We offer space to question, learn,

and deepen your knowledge while learning to follow

your intuition in a relaxed and nurturing environment.

Ready For More?

Get in touch to find out about all the ways to make your cooking experience better 

These aren’t your typical cooking classes.

Gathering inspires belonging, connection,

community, and conversations.

These are an ideal way to inspire, excite, and get your kids cooking. Students learn knife skills, cooking techniques, how to choose produce, how to read a recipe, and how to cook without recipes.  My goal is to help students cultivate curiosity, confidence, creativity, and calm in the kitchen. 

Your kids will have a blast, develop autonomy, and gain essential life skills. Students develop friends, have a caring space to ask questions, and express themselves in a nurturing environment. These hands-on camps will inspire your child to explore new ingredients and flavors and develop a lifelong healthy relationship with food.

Woman Unloading Grocery

Gathering together in person adds community to our cooking classes; sharing food unites us as friends, families, and communities. These classes are ideal for those who want to hone their culinary and baking skills by focusing on techniques guided by a pro. We offer one on one, group classes, or private group classes.

A note-

Gather Culinary is an homage to my family, especially my grandparents, who gathered around tables, gardens, fields, milking stalls, and more. Gathering is powerful. It helps us connect and develop a community. Cooking, baking, and eating together create these connections. I hope you check out my cooking classes, camps, and retreats. Feel free to email me to say hi or if you have questions.

With love,


Melanie in her kitchen making chocolate candy
Assorted Pumpkins

Recipes we love

Chopping Vegetables

Client Love

I had the pleasure of attending Melanie’s culinary class at The Network of Women NYC retreat. Her deep knowledge and feisty, boisterous personality made the whole experience a beautiful group effort filled with laughter, education, and insanely delicious, nourishing food. I have shared her recipes with loved ones since with great success, and highly recommend connecting with Melanie!

"Eating at Melanie's culinary events is like stepping into a NYTs story about an exclusive private gathering or a glossy magazine fashion-forward alt-universe that elicits the feeling, "ah, this is exactly what life should be like..."

We gave our son Michael a gift certificate for a week long cooking camp for Christmas. He has a strong interest in cooking and LOVED the camp from day 1! He brought home all his recipes and foods he prepared with Melanie. She is so patient and an excellent teacher that made his love for cooking even stronger. He will be signing up for more classes!

I had the pleasure of working alongside and learning from Melanie as part of a corporate group at a volunteer event for a local charity. Melanie is a natural teacher, and guides culinary learners in a practical, knowledgeable and empowering way. Not only that, but her business reconnects people to their health, the beauty and joy of cooking, and to each other. She is also a values-driven entrepreneur who cares as much about giving back as she does about building her own business. Highly recommend you reach out to Melanie for personal or professional needs!


Meet the team

Melanie Underwood

Founder, CEO

Allison Thomas Rodriguez

Chief Community Officer




Culinary Educator

Rachel Marcucilli

Culinary Educator

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