Chef Melissa Fernando at The Philadelphia Museum of Art

Chef Melissa Fernando at The Philadelphia Museum of Art

Photo: Chef Melissa Fernando

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Chef Melissa FernandoPhiladelphia, PA - The Philadelphia Museum of Art's new local Chef in Residence Program is underway, and the museum is excited to welcome Chef Melissa Fernando, owner of Sri's Company. Visitors at the Philadelphia Museum of Art can experience Chef Melissa Fernando's signature dishes in its newly renovated Café.

Sri's Company at the Phila Museum of Art

Melissa Fernando learned how to cook later in life because she was passionate about bringing native Sri Lanka cuisine to Philadelphia.

Fernando cooks Sri Lankan food to create a sense of home, although she has no memories of when the Island was her home, born in Sri Lanka during a civil war. She and her family moved to Chennai, India, to escape the violence.

Melissa Fernando did what she could to create a home apart from her Sri Lankan family throughout her life. When her grandmother passed away almost ten years ago, Melissa was living in Philadelphia. She longed for the love and belonging she felt when she was with her.

As a solution and a way to cope, she started to cook Sri Lankan food to experience the familiar tastes and smells for comfort. Melissa now recreates her favorite dishes and meals from childhood. She strives to cook authentic Sri Lankan food, play with the dishes she loved, and remember her many visits to the Island.

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