Photo of Melinda Sandifer in her Executive Chef uniform: Melinda uses Mississippi recipes passed down from three generations to fulfill her legacy.

Melinda serves up her homestyle southern cooking as a mobile caterer on the project and delivers tasty authenticity in every bite. Working on the Rose Quarter has opened her to new business opportunities.


Melinda Sandifer, Owner


Three generations of Mississippi recipes – mother, grandmother, great grandmother. Preserving the human connection to her roots through food is her legacy.

A Portland native, Melinda Sandifer, owner of Miss’ippi Chef, LLC catering, sources exceptional sustainable ingredients without skimping on the details. Prepared in a traditional southern way with love and passion, Melinda’s creations range from sweet potato tarts, to Caribbean jerk chicken with coconut curry rice, and stuffed mushrooms with collard greens.

Taught by the love of her mother who hails from Mississippi, cooking was her designated chore, and this is where she learned the value of discipline, hard work and dedication. She used these strengths to overcome challenges working in mostly male dominated kitchens.

Self-taught, with chefs who believed in Melinda, she recalled few women or women of color working on the line in Portland in the early 80s. Wanting to own her own business and control the creative cuisine, she found internal strength. “No one is going to tell me there is something that I can’t do,” she states.

When asked for advice for other entrepreneurs, Melinda cited not getting discouraged, conducting market research and using local, low-cost resources like PCC’s Small Business Development Center.