Melissa Warner

“You don’t choose to work in the service industry, it chooses you.”

These words of wisdom were spoken across the bar top to Melissa who is currently head bartender at Cucina Sorella and previously the bar manager at both Monello & Bencotto Italian Kitchen.

Although in the restaurant industry since age 17, Melissa’s bartending career started as a supplement to her career as a behavioral therapist for children with Autism. After completing a Master’s Degree in Psychology and working for many years in the field, Melissa decided to focus full time on hospitality. Over the years she has worked in a variety of settings from Arroyo Chop House in South Pasadena to Cucina Sorella, the newest addition to Urban Kitchen Group in Kensington.

“I have always thrived on the fast-paced environment and controlled chaos which is the restaurant industry. There’s something about the sound of ice clinking in the glass and the buzz of conversation that fills the room that made me realize this is where I want to be.”

On a day off you’ll find her coaching soccer, practicing Olympic style weightlifting, or eating until her heart’s content; she usually winds down her day with a strong bourbon cocktail or a glass of Italian red.