Melissa Gorman

Who are you? What do you do for a living? 

I'm Melissa Gorman. Currently co-owner of Martha, a restaurant in Ft Greene. I like to think I still have one toe in the design world, which is what I called myself a year ago.

The M-F Morning

First thing, coffee. Then feed the cats. Then usually make a list of what I need to do that day. I always think I have way more to do than I actually do and panic a little before I make the list. Then I'm generally running around finding something we need for service that night, paying bills, getting repairs done,... all the fun stuff owning a restaurant entails.

The Extra Time Tendencies

When I have free time, I love cooking, eating at off-the-map restaurants, and going to ethnic grocery stores to find strangely packaged items. Usually this happens within the course of the week, especially if my errands include Chinatown.

Sounds of the Weekday

A lot of mainstream rap plays in the kitchen at Martha during the day. Generally that's my soundtrack. At night it varies: more rap, indie rock, classic rock, reggae. The guests in the restaurant at any given time usually indicate what music we play. I  can be a control freak about music (among other things)... I used to DJ a lot in my 20s, and setting the vibe through music is important to me. Having employees with equally controlling tendencies is an exercise in patience, but I've been turned on to a lot of great stuff by letting go and letting them control the playlists sometimes.

At home it's usually quiet except for the dogs next door barking occasionally. It's nice to have a place that can be peaceful when you need it. I end up watching a lot of Hulu or Netflix at night after work: I've been into Netflix's series lately, I like bingeing on a show and watching like, 5 episodes in a row. I just finished the entire 8 seasons of Weeds over the last month. Does that sound pathetic? Loved Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, and of course I mourn the end of Breaking Bad. I don't read as much as I'd like to. Recently I finished The True Deceiver by a Finnish author named Tove Jansson. I also adore reading cookbooks, especially old community cookbooks with lots of funny recipes and antidotes. I fantasize about having a dinner party made entirely from these outdated recipes like molded salads and recipes that require ingredients I would never normally use.

"My real weekend is Monday"

Weekend mornings I'm at Martha for brunch, which can be very busy and you've got to be on all the time. My real weekend is Monday. I sleep as much as I can. Then usually do some laundry, try to pick up the house a bit, and then go eat something delicious that someone else prepared. I try to have some kind of adventure on Mondays. Recently we went to Jackson Heights to walk around and eat Tibetan food. We can't get out of the city often, so we use Mondays to have little mini-vacations to neighborhoods we never go to otherwise. 

Weekend Breakfast

Usually I eat either nothing except coffee, or I sneak a biscuit that just came out of the oven before we open. If weekends mean Monday, then breakfast is usually lunch or an early dinner. Sometimes we go and check out the new hotspots, but honestly we are happier at a really good ethnic place with no ambiance, but amazing, comforting food.

Weekend Specialties Include...

Seeing friends! I used to be so much more social, but now my social energy is taken up by guests at Martha and our employees. Not that I don't love them all, but it's nice to be able to catch up with people you've known forever and can just chill out with. I try to see a friend or two at least a couple times a week. It keeps me grounded and gives a much-needed outside perspective.


Ideally, my weekend ends with me feeling refreshed and well-rested and on top of my to-do list. I'd rather kill myself to get things organized and completed on Sundays so I can really take off from everything on Monday. It happens rarely, but when I can manage to make that happen it's wonderful.