Melanie Lionello | Who's Your

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Melanie Lionello

Nutritionist and food blogger
Melanie Lionello is a nutritionist and food blogger at her website Naturally Nutritious. Melanie has a passion for healthy and delicious cooking, showcasing her creations on her Instagram – a drool worthy burst of colour and incredible looking dishes that she shares with over 90,000 followers! Melanie’s passion and eagerness for food knowledge led her to university where she completed a bachelor’s degree in human nutrition and is now completing her honours project in turkish food culture.

Melanie Lionello

Home is…
Melbourne, VIC

What do you do?
I am an avid ‘Instagrammer’ and recipe developer. I spend my days creating tailored recipes for different businesses and sharing my own creations online.

How have your eating/cooking habits changed since starting your blog Naturally Nutritious?
I became a lot more aware about what I was using as my ingredients, I now always try to use natural, wholefood ingredients that serve my health as well as my tastebuds.

You grew up around cooking. Who is the best cook in your family, and what is your favourite meal that they cook?
This is SO tough! I would have to say my Nonna, she is amazing! My favourite dish is her lasagna because she makes the silky, tender pasta from scratch, as well as every other component. It is an absolute labour of love and the end result is phenomenal.

What quote or mantra has resonated with you the most?
The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.” -Vidal Sassoon. Every success that has come my way has been from hard work, perseverance, and resilience. I love this quote because it rings so true to me.

You are currently completing your honours project in Turkish food culture. What are the main elements of Turkish food culture and why does this interest you? Do you have a favourite Turkish dish?
Turkish food culture is very regional so there are different elements for each location, it’s very hard to pinpoint! Istanbul is the melting pot of all cuisines surrounding Turkey and this is residual from the Ottoman Empire where the Imperial Kitchen would feed up to 10,000 people a day! They had a chef for individual dishes such as the chef who would only prepare the jams, the chef would only prepare the baklava, and the chef who would only prepare the pilav.

Turkey interests me because their history is so vast and long-reaching, it was once one of the greatest empires the world had seen, and it’s past is a rich tapestry threaded with many incredible events that has shaped Turkey as we know it today.

My favourite dish would have to be ‘icli kofte’, little arancini-like balls of bulgar with lamb and mint inside, and fried. It’s served with yoghurt, and a red pepper paste mixed with butter. It’s amazing!

As a self confessed foodie, what would your last meal on earth be?
Ooooh this is so tough! Probably homemade pasta with my mum’s Bolognese and some ‘stracchino’ cheese, sourdough bread, and nuts to follow with a glass of red wine

What’s your number one tip to following a natural diet?
Eat less out of a packet, and more from nature.

Also an avid traveller, what is the best view you’ve seen on your travels
When I was in Croatia, I hiked to the top of a mountain on the coast of one of the islands with friends where some castle ruins were and you could see for miles in all directions. The sun reflected off the ocean like a sheet of glass and you could see where the horizon fell away in every direction. I’d never seen so much of the world at once – the mountains, the valleys, the forests, the ocean, and the towns. It was phenomenal.

We love your Instagram feed! What are your top 3 tips on getting the perfect snap?
- Natural lighting for sure!
- Making sure your pic is in focus,
- And using some colour to make your dish pop!

Where are you planning to go for your next holiday?
I’m going to Bali for New Year’s because my partner surprised me with it for my birthday! After that I’ll be heading off to the US, I’ve always wanted to see and experience the food, music and culture in New York, New Orleans, and some of Texas.

What’s your favourite restaurant and why?
I have lots but the one place that NEVER disappoints would be Spice Temple on Southbank in Melbourne.

  • Cooking can become quite physical! Who’s your masseuse when you need to rest your tired body?
  • Joanna from Still Beauty gives the BEST massage in the comfort of your own home. I can’t recommend Joanna highly enough.