J Michael Melton

Head of Culinary
Impossible Foods

“I grew up in the small town of Gaffney, South Carolina and my entire childhood was focused around food.

Both my parents and my uncle are involved in the restaurant industry. My parents began a catering business when I was very young, and converted a 100-year-old lumber company building into a commercial kitchen and 45-seat dining room in my late teenage years. I was involved in all facets of the buildout helping my grandfather, a retired electrician, who contracted all the work to be done. Little did I know, these experiences would give me such a deep love for the restaurant world.

My very first job was as a dishwasher and busboy at a neighborhood Italian restaurant, and it was there that I became so enamored with the amount of hustle required for this type of work. I also helped my parents with catering events, and worked in my uncle’s restaurant throughout high school and college.

After completing a Business Management degree at Presbyterian College, I found myself back behind the doors of restaurants, and eventually packed my bags for Colorado to complete an accelerated degree at Johnson & Wales University in Culinary Arts. I worked with some great chefs and organizations throughout Denver and Vail. Once I had the opportunity to become Chef/Partner of my own concept, I packed my bags and moved back to South Carolina to create Culina Modern Comfort Food.

Later, I accepted a Sous Chef position at Plum/Plum Bar/Ume in Oakland, and I had the pleasure of working for the Daniel Patterson Group. Upon leaving, I used my Food and Beverage knowledge to shift my professional focus to sales. I then spent 2 years working for Sysco Foods as a Marketing Associate.

Most recently, I accepted a Regional Sales position at Impossible Foods-creator of the Impossible Burger. I have since transitioned to the role of Technical Sales and Culinary Manager, and I am excited to be a part of a company offering a cutting edge product that has the momentum to change the food world as we know it”