My earliest food memories stem back to being a very tiny person at my Grandmother’s house in Upstate New York. With fingers wrapped around the countertop and nose pressed into the edge, I remember watching her bake and asking her why and how everything worked. My cousins and siblings were running around the yard and there I was – fixated on the kitchen magic.
Through the years I’ve worked for great chefs, learned so much about warmth and hospitality, and shared my passion for food and drink with friends, family and coworkers. Many nights have been spent over glasses of wine while I madly took notes on braises, new techniques and pairing ideas. My bedside table has, for as long as I can remember, been buried in cookbooks (who needs novels?) that are read and cherished for their many inspirations. When I began to travel I proudly took cooking classes just about everywhere I’ve gone, and, from there, started to explore with my own ideas of fusion cooking and world influences.
You know, I never intended on starting this business. It found me! The first few clients sent me the next few – and so on. Each person whom I connected with wanted to share their experience with someone else in their life…and that’s how it has always grown. My inherent love of food and service brings something special to my clients and dear friends.
Give me a call – let’s see what I can bring to your life. – Janice Carte, Tiny Spoon Chef
Janice Carte is not only talented, professional, and client service-oriented, over this past year she has also become like a member of our family Her weekly service brings delicious, fresh, innovative (and at the same time wholesome and homey) meals to our family's table. She is a great listener and very responsive and flexible to our family's needs and tastes. Her menus have widened the taste and palate horizons of everybody in the family. Her weekly service is the best investment in quality and daily enjoyment of life we've made in a long while!
As two busy entrepreneurs working long hours with crazy travel schedules and two children at home, we found dinner to be time-crunched, unhealthy, and highly stressful instead of a peaceful time for our family to come together over a nice meal. Janice changed all that when she began cooking for us. She plans, shops, and prepares several delicious, healthy meals per week, which are waiting for us when we arrive home. Our food cost has gone down significantly as there is no longer food waste, and our quality of life has gone way up. This has totally "solved dinner" for our family.
When I met Janice I was sick, under-nourished and had lost all interest in food due to an extended illness. Janice came in, planned and has cooked unbelievably delicious, nutritionally dense, healthy and very diet specific (due to multiple allergies and food sensitivities) meals that my whole family loves! We entertain, vacation (I travel with Janice’s meals in tow), and eat wonderfully. Janice has been a life-saver for me literally and a God-send for our family - we love her!
Janice Carte changed my life. Really, she did...It is a revelation to be served a gorgeous meal, in the comfort of home, after a long day of work. I appreciate that my three children can put together their own school lunches from the things Janice prepares and package up for them. The kids love getting to choose the menu for dinner, and being involved in the decisions about what she will buy and prepare for their lunches. I appreciate that we plan together what she cooks, and we know where all our food is coming from and what is in it. It is important to me that cooking is happening in the home and that the children grow up with that exposure and involvement. We constantly try new dishes, and are inspired to do more cooking on our own and can actually do it because Janice helps so much with shopping and prep. The farm share has become more of a pleasure than a thing to be dealt with every week. We get more out of the abundance of our garden in summer.
Half a year after Janice started cooking I began to notice that being relieved of the significant time and mental energy it requires to plan, shop for, and execute 21 meals a week for a family of five, I have had more mental energy and freedom to pursue new endeavors in my career. My professional growth and expansion has been an unexpected benefit of having Janice help us with meals- and it didn’t have to come at the cost of feeding my family less well than I would like. I did not realize before how much energy it required to cook in a way that is consistent with the values I want to teach my children: cooking delicious meals from scratch at home is a way of life. Sometimes you do get to have it all!
We have been working with Janice for over a year now. Her thoughtfully prepared meals last throughout the week and ensure that we spend more time together as a family around the dinner table. Furthermore, her offerings have nudged our eating habits in a healthier direction, as she provides fresh, local, organic and often vegetarian fare. Our 3 kids all have their "Janice favorites" that they ask for with regularity. Surprisingly, working with Janice has also helped our budget, since there is very little eating out or eating on the run, and fewer groceries spoiling in the refrigerator. She is amazingly efficient (fast), conscientious and a super-amiable person; she makes a sunny impact on our lives!
As a busy Clinical Psychologist with an interest in Lifestyle Medicine, I decided to hire a personal chef for myself and my 10 year old son to maximize my time with my child at the end of the work day, and to uphold my belief in optimal nutrition for us both...Hiring Chef Janice was the best decision I made all year! I have lost 15 pounds since she began cooking for me once per week in January, and my son’s growth spurts have been well accommodated with more vegetables done up in a way that even a kid begs for more… Janice is so efficient in her work, that not only do we have plenty of food to last the whole week, but oftentimes she is able to freeze things for me to fall back on another time. And I know that what is important to me (organic, grass-fed, fresh, well-selected fruits and vegetables) will be the ingredients used in our menu. I love that I can make selections of any recipes I’ve ever wanted to try, or I can just turn the whole thing over to her and it’s always excellent no matter what. An added bonus is that now we have our friends over spontaneously because we always have delicious food all ready, and that I am so excited to share. It’s completely a win/win because it saves me time and energy and trips to the grocery store and gives us optimal health and more time as a family.
Janice herself is such a lovely person with fantastic energy and we love having her in the house doing her thing in the kitchen.
My children and grandchildren live far from me and I wanted them to have the sort of delicious, nutritious meals I would cook for them if they were close by. Janice is doing this for me! Everybody loves the food - the children and the adults because she thoughtfully, and on a weekly and seasonal basis, tailors her menus to them and their busy lives, likes and dislikes. Wonderful! Thanks, Janice!
It’s the grin. I always wait for the grin, and I never have to wait too long. Soon after I serve the food – regardless of whether my guests are paying attention to it or are engaged in an animated conversation– everyone’s mouth cracks and they break into the small grin of delight, which progresses to the smile, and then the nod, homage to the wonder of her cooking, the wonder of fellowship, and the wonder of life.
When I began with Janice over a year ago, I expected the benefits to be largely utilitarian: quality food, efficient procurement, variety, etc. And although it felt perhaps a little decadent and lazy – who am I to have a personal chef and I really should cook for myself, right? – it seemed worth a shot. In the end, the utilitarian benefits of Tiny Spoon Chef pale in comparison to what else has been delivered: dazzled each week by the creativity and technical proficiency of a first-rate chef, and then, of course, on the faces of those closest to me – the grin.
Janice is not only a fantastic chef with a vast international repertoire, she is a patient teacher who can adapt to special family challenges. During a long-term family illness, we were all under a great deal of stress. Janice came in to prepare and teach us about interesting, new and very healthy meals, which nurtured us and gave us something to look forward to each week.