Melissa Cala, Chef at the Corner, Dies After Asthma Attack
|The Corner, via Facebook|
It was a work day like any other, when Meli realized she had forgotten some cookies she had baked at home the day before on her day off. She left to go back and get them in such a hurry that she left her breathing apparatus behind. A few moments later, she placed a call to 911 complaining of breathing trouble from the side of the road. By the time the paramedic got to her she was barely breathing. At the ER, the doctors did all they could with no success. Needless to say, we are absolutely crushed by this loss.
Cala worked for some of the best chefs in Miami, including chef Bjoern Weissgerber at Zuma and Michelle Bernstein, where she was chef Bernstein's executive and personal assistant for over three years. Cala was also involved with Common Threads, the organization devoted to educating children on healthy eating and nutrition through cooking.
Chris MacLeod, co-owner of the Corner, told Short Order he was shocked by the news. "It's tough to get a grip on things." Last evening, the Corner held a friends and family memorial night, with all proceeds donated to Cala's family. The Corner should resume normal business hours today.
On a recent visit to the Corner, I stopped in for a cocktail. Melie jumped from the small kitchen where she was working to say hello. "Are you hungry?" she asked. Not really waiting for an answer, she bounced back to the kitchen to whip something up. She came back with what had to have been the most gorgeous charcuterie platter I've ever seen in my life -- wedges of cheese paired with the thinnest shavings of fine prosciutto, eggs, and other savory bits. Her simple plate was filled with as much care as the most complicated five-course tasting menu. Melissa's enthusiasm for culinary arts, her new position at the Corner, and life was boundless.
Her food and her zest for living will be missed.
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