Merry Graham is a Southern California award-winning Home Chef, Competitive Cook & Judge, Recipe Developer, Author and Food+Wine Photographer. A mother of 4, grandma to 7, and an all around Foodie; in 2012 Bobby Flay named her
The Healthiest Cook In America!
Merry has appeared on Food Network's Clash of the Grandmas (2015), as a Top 3 finalist on The Rachael Ray Show Great American Cookbook Competition (2014), and for six consecutive years qualified as one of the nation's cooking elite at the World Food Championships (a 3-time Top 10 finalist).
Merry's passion for competitive cooking was sparked in 2009, when she began entering and finding success in recipe contests and cooking competitions. She discovered an entire community of like-minded foodie friends, and loved how unique recipe & product challenges + cook-offs pushed her culinary creativity and courage in the kitchen.
A self-taught cook, Merry was first introduced to the culinary arts as a young 20-something, when she volunteered to help the local church cook meals from a basket of unknown donated ingredients. “I was doing Chopped before Chopped ever existed”, she jokes. For the next 25-years, as a stay-home-mom to four (including twins) her culinary skills continued to sharpen as she whipped up fast, nutritious, affordable, kid-friendly meals for her family of six and was the go-to hostess of every neighborhood party. Now, with her grown children out of the house she welcomes her grandkids into the kitchen to pass along her knowledge and love for cooking.
For the past 10 years Merry has traveled the world competing in recipe contests and cook-offs, earning accolades from the food industry's finest; Pillsbury, Oceanspray, Foster Farms etc... even getting to see her name/face splashed across Times Square, when Bobby Flay crowned her the winner of Aetna's Healthiest Cook in America.
With a lifetime of experience (and experiences) Merry now enjoys developing recipes for various brands and products, acting as a culinary contest judge and consultant,
photographer and brand ambassador -
and working with a variety of companies to promote and feature their food & drink products in fresh new ways: with original recipes, eye-catching images and social media content, and cooking/hosting/party tips. She also mentors chef-hopefuls, as a food judge and teacher, welcoming young women and newlyweds into her Santa Clarita, California kitchen and sharing cooking lessons.
In her 60's, Merry shows no signs of slowing down. She swims regularly, travels the world with her husband of 41-years, cultivates friendships with other Foodies, is a "fulltime grandma", and anyone who knows her will tell you SHE IS the life and flavor of any event or party!