The International Speaker Series is more than just words. It's an exchange of ideas--an inspirational feeling that permeates the room and ignites people's hunger for more.
Melinda Sandifer, Executive Chef and Owner of Miss 'Ipi Chef, knows how to deal with that hunger.
For over 25 years, Melinda has used her love of cooking to bring people together around the table. She's worked in communities around the United States--from Seattle to Houston, Atlanta to Portland. But her family roots in Mississippi have always drawn her back to good old-fashioned southern cooking.
Melinda's recipes have been passed down for generations, as well as traditions that surround her cooking process. Like her mother before her, Melinda instilled those same values with her children at a very young age; from going out in the field picking fresh fruits and vegetables, teaching them how to cook tasty meals to baking homemade desserts.
Today, Melinda owns a successful catering business in North Portland called "Miss 'Ipi Chef." WorldOregon chose to work with Melinda to cater the 2019 International Speaker Series receptions for premier and patron level ticket holders.
Melinda and her team are the backstage heroes of our reception program. They make sure that people can focus on their hunger for knowledge, and not on their stomachs. This allows us to have better conversations around important global topics, while creating an informal atmosphere that facilitates new connections and a stronger WorldOregon community.
We asked Melinda what food she is most excited to serve our reception guests.
"I'm most proud of serving my mother's recipes that were handed down from our family, especially our sweet potato pie and salmon cakes."
Judging by the empty tray at the end of the reception, it would appear the reception patrons felt the same.
Melinda looks forward to growing her business here in Oregon and exposing people to a new twist on Southern cooking. She continues to believe in the power of food to promote good.
"Food is a historic way for people to come together. If you happen to be at an event, and meet someone you may not have met on the street, you could have a conversation that you both relate to or believe in that can change your life."