Eating Authors: Melissa Mickelsen

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Melissa Mickelsen

Welcome to another Monday installment of the weekly blog feature that asks writers about their most memorable meals. Joining us today is fantasy author Melissa Mickelsen whose powerful first novel, Nightingale, tells the story of a young girl raised and trained to be an assassin by the man who killed her true family. Melisa’s own upbringing in Georgia seems simple by comparison, culminating in a degree in Art History. She currently lives in Germany with her husband and a couple of cats. I was tempted to ask her how she got from this background to the story in Nightingale, but that’s not the purpose of this blog feature, and so restrained myself. But clearly, it’s a question for another day.

LMS: Welcome, Melissa. Nice to have you here. Tell me, what’s the best meal you can remember?

Nightingale

MM: The first best meal I can remember eating was at a Japanese hibachi steakhouse. It was my seventeenth birthday and I had been obsessed with Japanese culture for several years. When I learned that there was a hibachi in my hometown, I was so excited. The cook made a volcano out of onions, tossed knives, spun eggs on the hot cooktop, and flicked shrimp for people to catch in their mouths. I discovered that fried rice-and-seafood sauce is fantastic. I ate far too much food. I even managed to use chopsticks for the first time. Although I’ve been back to various Japanese steakhouses since then, that first visits sticks in my head.

My other best meal was in Paris, this past year. My husband and I had recently relocated to Germany for his job and went on our first major vacation. We wandered down a side street by the Arc de Triomphe and found a hole in the wall Italian place. I know, we should have eaten French food. But we stopped and I had the best ravioli stuffed with spinach and cheese, tossed in this light buttery sauce. It was amazing. We sat right next to the window, watching people pass by on the street. It was the first time I truly felt away from home, sitting in the middle of another country. It felt like starting over.

Thanks, Melissa. While many have observed that “hunger is the best sauce,” I’ve always found watching the people passing by as you eat can indeed add an amazing flavor to a meal.

Next Monday: Another author and another meal!

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