Malene Younglao (301654)

Just when we thought Ms. Mother Nature might give us a break, since we are in a pandemic, she said, “Oh, no ma’am!” She gave us snow, more snow and is topping us off with even more snow. How novel. However, frontline and essential workers continue to hold us down. Please continue to thank them when you see them.

You know the saying, “when it rains, it pours.” Well, for AmNewsFOOD, our staff of talented writers has doubled (from one to two…but we are taking the win) and then exponentially grown by the multiple talents of each. I am beyond excited to see what they both bring to the page.

Last week we met Chef Eileen Barret, acclaimed baker from East Harlem’s Aromas Bakery. She will be blessing us with her cooking and baking skills plus her passion for teaching nutrition. Look out for her first piece next week.

This week we introduce you to Malene Younglao, a Trinidadian-American food and wine professional. She is my spirit-lioness with a wealth of knowledge in farming, wine, hospitality and general “badassery.” In her words:

“I am a 360° representation of farm-to-fork and bud to bottle. I am passionate about food and wine, dedicating the last 12 years of my life to exploring all of its nuances and knowledge. This is my life’s pursuit.

“Rooted in joy and soil, I am a farmer, food justice activist, horticulturist, certified sommelier and now developing winemaker. I have worked in the food industry on every level, working closely with many top New York chefs such as Adam Schott, Andre Fowles and most notably as the beverage director for Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s flagship restaurant, Red Rooster Harlem, and Marcus B&P in Newark New Jersey.

“I have also worked with many other reputable restaurant brands in both front of the house leadership and executive management. I have done the work. As a high achieving Black woman in this space I have a very unique insider perspective. Plus, I love what I do and I find joy in sharing that love with others.” 

Additionally, Malene is a mother, a former model and indie punk musician––one of the first women to headline the AfroPunk Music Festival. She is passionate about diversity and inclusion in food and wine. When she isn’t in the vineyard, farm or kitchen she devotes her time to the fight against food insecurity and supporting wellness in underserved communities. This is the definition of “badassery.”

Welcome Malene! Now let’s do this!

Do you know a food, beverage or hospitality expert with something to say? Please send them our way as AmNewsFOOD continues to expand the team.

Happy eating, stay safe, wear a mask and thanks for reading!

Kysha Harris is a food writer and editor, culinary producer, consultant and owner of SCHOP!, a personalized food service in NYC for over 18 years. She is the new Food Editor at Follow her on Twitter and Instagram, @SCHOPnyc, on Facebook, /SCHOPnyc. Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback?  Invitations!  Email AmNewsFOOD at Follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @NYAmNewsFOOD and tag us with #SoAmNewsFOOD with your food finds!