Students often give their favorite teacher apples. Melissa Chmelar, however, gave hers homemade syrups and jams. That’s because Melissa's mother frequently took the family on syrup-making excursions, teaching them how to tap trees and boil sap into homemade batches that could compliment country-style spreads. Today, Melissa carries on her mother’s DIY attitude and passion for handcrafted foods as an adult. She even sells her own syrups and jams through the online shop portion of her culinary operation, Spoon.
Melissa doesn’t just sell her food, though—she also caters it throughout the city. With an arsenal of homemade goodies, organic produce grown in upstate New York, and local meat and seafood, she crafts delicious smorgasbords for dinner gatherings, cocktail parties, and special events. Along with baking muffins and breads, she rustles up upscale dishes such as pan-seared salmon with parsley pesto, earning herself coverage in a slew of major publications, including the New York Times, People Magazine, and Metro New York.
Melissa uses the same farm-fresh ingredients at Tbsp, the storefront portion of Spoon. There, she serves visiting patrons everything from from-scratch soups to grass-fed beef burgers flavored with house seasonings. For dessert, Melissa bakes and serves house-made chocolate chip cookies in skillets, topping them off with scoops of vanilla ice cream.