Melissa A. Trainer is a Seattle-based food and travel writer specializing in topics and products related to food, kitchenware, and the culinary arts. Missy is also the President of Melissa A. Trainer Communications, LLC, which is her content writing business serving large and small companies, individual small business owners and food associations throughout the region.
Missy’s articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Associated Press, The Seattle Times, The Oregonian, and many other local and national publications. A full list with links to her published works can be found here.
In addition to her freelance writing, Melissa wrote the copy and developed recipes for the consumer website for the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, www.bristolbaysockeye.org. In the summers of 2011 and 2012, Melissa traveled to the remote Alaskan region in order to do firsthand onsite research herself. Melissa met with fishermen, toured large and small processing facilities, talked to locals, gathered recipes, and subsistence fished with local families while there. Bristol Bay is home to the world’s largest sockeye run, and Melissa is proud to be part of the effort to save this precious national resource.
Since 1995, Missy has written for many national, international and local newspapers and magazines. Her areas of specialty and expertise include culinary techniques, cookbook reviews, restaurant reviews, ecotourism, Northwest seafood and shellfish, sport fishing, family camping and foraging, and regional food purveyors and farmers. While writing for Amazon’s Al Dente blog from 2009 to 2012, she blogged daily and over the span of those years wrote nearly 900 blog posts.
From 1989 to 1995, Missy served in various editorial positions at Gourmet Magazine, a Conde Nast Publication, in New York, including Assistant Editor responsible for fact checking and editing monthly recipe columns and working closely with Gourmet’s top food editors on a daily basis. Missy also authored a monthly bylined question and answer column, “The Cook’s Corner,” in which she covered a broad range of cooking topics in a style designed to appeal to cooks of all skill levels and interests. “The Cook’s Corner” repeatedly scored “very interesting” in Gourmet ‘s monthly reader surveys. Missy also composed press releases and general promotional copy, coordinated media mailings and press kits, and assisted in the magazine’s executive dining room during special advertising events for Gourmet’s Promotion and Marketing Department.
Over the years, Missy has taken countless hands on cookery classes. While working at Gourmet, Missy attended hands on cooking classes at Peter Kump’s Cooking School, which is now called ICE. She also studied with Giuliano Bugialli, Julie Sahni, Eileen Yin Fei Lo and many other well known cookbook authors and instructors. Her favorite class, however, was a one week intensive cookery course taught by Darina Allen at the Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland. The school sits on a one-hundred acre working farm in County Cork, Ireland. Missy wrote about her experience at this course for The New York Times Travel Section.
During 2005 and 2006, Missy lived in Anchorage, Alaska, where she traveled, fished, and camped extensively throughout the America’s Last Frontier, Yukon Territory and British Columbia. She also traversed the historic Alaska Canada Highway, camping in her 23-foot Aerolite travel trailer.
Missy earned a B.A. in History and Art History from Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut. During her summer breaks from college, Missy worked at Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa in Westhampton Beach, NY, where she learned to handle cold smoked salmon, slice those Outrageous Brownies, and cater large parties.
She is a longtime member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors