Melba Wilson

Melba's Restaurant

Melba Wilson was “born, bred and buttered in Harlem.” Today she proudly represents her New York neighborhood as one of the most successful African American women in the restaurant and catering business.

Melba's first opportunity to learn about the restaurant business was at Harlem’s famous Sylvia’s Restaurant, where she held a variety of service and managerial positions. It was Melba who conceptualized and launched the popular Sunday Gospel Brunch.

Michael Lomanco, former Executive Chef of 21 Club and Executive Chef of Windows on the World Restaurants contacted Melba in 1999 to produce and manage a weekly Sunday brunch. Within six months the Champagne Gospel Brunch generated a sixty-five percent increase in revenue. This experience combined with her ability to organize, produce and execute promotional events led to partnerships with renowned restaurateurs, Drew Nieporent and Robert DeNiro of the Nobu empire, Corton, Centrico and TriBeca Grill – as well as Godfrey Polistina of Carmine’s, Virgil’s, Cesca, and Quest Restaurants.

In 2004, Melba decided to strike out on her own. Today she is the proud sole owner of three Harlem based businesses, Melba’s Restaurant, Melba’s Catering and a 350-seat dining hall and cafeteria on 125th street called Melba’s 125. Melba’s Restaurant has won rave reviews from New York Magazine, Time Out, The New Yorker, The Daily News, Zagat and Interview Magazine. The restaurant was also named Best Brunch for Kids by Time Out New York, Best Soul Food by Zagat and has featured recipes in the “Go Green East Harlem” Cookbook as well as the “Bobby Flay’s Throwdown” cookbook. Melba’s Catering has an extensive list of clientele including Target, Nike, American Express, The Weinstein Company, Pfizer, Time Warner, Bank of America, Columbia University, Universal Records, The Archdiocese of New York and several recording artists including Ne-Yo, Jay-Z and the Zac Brown Band.

Melba appears on national news and cooking shows. She has been featured on The

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