We had the good fortune of connecting with Melissa Ward and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Melissa, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
This question really hits home for me. I’ve been struggling with the question of “do I offer something people want to see?” a lot lately. It’s so challenging to take something you truly love and put it out there for others to see, judge, and essentially vote on – love or hate. Cooking and entertaining are my passions. It’s that simple. Before starting my blog, I was already spending most my free time in the kitchen and finding any reason to have friends over and entertain. I played with the idea of starting my own blog for over 8 years. I work full time, I’m the primary bread winner in our family, and I have 2 toddlers. Needless to say, I really don’t have the time for anything else. One day my husband asked me what I would do if money didn’t matter — the answer was easy: I’d have a cooking blog. The realization came to me that if I would have started this 8 years ago, who know’s where I’d be today. Do I really want another 8 years to go by without trying. So, I made the decision to go all in. No, I couldn’t quit my job, but I could take every free moment I had to put into the blog, so that’s just what I did. I’m nowhere near where I wanted to be one year in but I can say I challenged myself, learned a ton, and honed in on my style. So, all that being said, when I ask myself to keep going or give up, the answer is obvious. This is my passion, so I keep going.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m all about good food. Honestly, I’m food obsessed. I love bringing my favorite people together through food, wine, cocktails, and great conversation. I truly believe that food brings people together in a special way. I also believe that entertaining should not be stressful, rather enjoyable. My goal is to share delicious and easy recipes along with tips to make it easier if you’re having a dinner party, or any get together. My # 1 rule: Be a guest at your own party.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I live for planning trips with friends! I can get kinda crazy and want to plan every second of every day so sometimes my guests have to reel me in. I believe that exploring a city through food is the best way learn the culture of a city, so when I have friends in town, the itinerary is food, wine, cocktails, and more food. I love to start my day being active, whether that’s a workout class, a walk on the beach, a hike, anything that gets my blood flowing. So when friends visit, I usually try to do a beach walk or a hike. I try to pick a not too touristy spot – Palos Verdes has some beautiful paths that a lot of people don’t know about. Next we’re doing some sort of boozy brunch! Some of my favorites include Love & Salt, The Hook & Plow, The Rockefeller, Gabi James, and Rose Cafe. Next up, a drink with a view! There are so many great places in LA for this but my favorites to take guests to are Rosenthal Wine, Simmzy’s MB, And finally, after all this fun in the sun it’s time to replenish with dinner and I’m going to Felix, AOC Wine Bar, Pizzana, Madre, Night Market, Little Sister, Scopa Italian Roots, anything by the magnificent Nancy Silverton, and MB Post, Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My husband deserves so much credit. He supports me in my career, ambitions, and dreams all while being an amazing father and pursuing his own dreams. He’s 100% the rock of our family.

Website: https://www.nooneleaveshungry.com
Instagram: @_nooneleaveshungry_
Twitter: @no1leaveshungry
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/no1leaveshungry

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.