Making It Makers

How Gaby Melian Anchored Her Online Presence

Photo credit: Juan Pablo Agosti

Building a personal brand often means managing your presence across multiple platforms and audiences. For Gaby Melian, a chef, teacher, writer, and popular social media personality, launching a website was integral to streamlining her business and unifying her online presence. 

On her website, Gaby’s Kitchen, Gaby connects every visitor — whether they come to her through a social media platform, search engines, press coverage, or word of mouth — with everything from her recipes and video content, to her newsletter and a personally curated list of must-have items for home chefs.

Gaby recently talked with Squarespace about her path to becoming a professional chef, and how she’s unified her public platform to better connect people with the joy of cooking. 

Squarespace: You grew up in a culinary family in Buenos Aires, Argentina. How did your early exposure to food preparation and flavors help inspire your career as a professional chef?

Gaby Melian: I started cooking at a young age, and for me cooking was and is an act of love and caring for others. As a professional chef you are mainly feeding others, strangers that choose to try your food, so you have to show your love and care in that dish; because the minute a complete stranger tastes your food, this dish you just put your heart into — right then you are connected, you are telling that person that you care for them.

SQSP: Cooking can be a very personal experience. When did you first decide to share your story more publicly?

GM: I think the day I realized my true passion was teaching others how to cook, I immediately started looking for ways to share my knowledge in any way possible. I was never shy about that, so having a medium to reach a lot of people at the same time was always important to me. For years I had an open kitchen with a little counter into the living room, my friends would come and drink while I finished cooking and I would pretend that it was my own show in my kitchen. Gaby’s Kitchen!

SQSP: Your motto is, “Keep Cooking. Be Happy.” How has this philosophy played a role in the way in which you have built your brand?

GM: The most important aspect of cooking for me is to enjoy the process, and to have fun doing so. I want people to be happy doing it too, not just cook because it is a chore, you must enjoy the process and the end result will always be sweeter!

SQSP: While you have cultivated a considerable social media following, your website includes more about you as a person, as a chef, and as a source of culinary inspiration. How has your website helped you tie together the many facets of your professional life?

GM: Ever since Gaby’s Kitchen was created almost a decade ago, I knew that having a website was needed. Although my goal was to create a free program on a mobile kitchen going from school to school teaching children how to cook, it was still a business even before I became popular on social media; I always knew I needed a website, a business without a website is not a business.

SQSP: During the pandemic, many home cooks rediscovered their love for cooking. How did you encourage your fans and followers to find joy in the kitchen during such a difficult time of global turmoil?

GM: We all went through the same situation at the same time, I also rediscovered my love for cooking and had to adjust my routine and reorganize my food prep, etc we had no choice, we all did. Being relatable, I think, is what helps my fans and followers find joy in these difficult times.

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