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
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.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Miami dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.