Rene Trim’s arts & crafts: Chrysanthe Michaelis: foodie turns show producer

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Chrysanthe

Chrysanthe Michaelis, owner-chef at Chrysanthe/Mom’s Culinary Creations, has loved cooking for as long as she can remember: “Most of my earliest memories involve food in some shape or form. When I was a teenager, my younger brother and I would often be the only two home until dinner time so I would usually make dinner for the family. Most nights I would get home and without a plan for dinner I would just look through the cabinets and pull out some random ingredients and invent something from what I had on hand.”

Needless to say it came as a shock to her parents when, after finishing high school, Chrysanthe decided to pursue the arts rather than a culinary education – her reasoning being that if her hobby turned into a career, she might not enjoy it as much.

As it turns out, life as an artist wasn’t in the stars for Chrysanthe either and – fast forwarding several years – she found herself married, a stay-at-home mom to her two kids….and still experimenting in her kitchen. One of these experiments actually culminated into the start of her business: “My bestie has been one of my favourite food testers every since our days in high school. When she found out she was intolerant to gluten, the experimenting took on a whole new branch. The day she told me how much she missed chicken fingers, I began working on a concoction that would work as “breading” for chicken that would be both gluten free AND delicious. I’ll never forget the day I made her those customized chicken fingers. She turned to me and said something along the lines of: you should package this sh*t and sell it!”

The following October, Chrysanthe heard about a Christmas craft sale called “Wrap It Up”: “ I had an idea for my own home business to make up some jars of soup mixes and dessert mixes as well as my gluten free chicken coating and sell them to make a little extra money for the holidays.”

And so Chrysanthe/Mom’s Culinary Creations was born!

Eventually, one craft show lead to another and with every show Chrysanthe would take feedback from the customers as to what they were looking for and add a new product. Samples turned into sandwiches and in turn sandwiches lead to soups and sides.

After participating in a variety of shows organized in her hometown of Carleton Place by a company known then as Creative Minds (now: Creative Minds Event Planning & Marketplace), both Chrysanthe and event planners Shannon & Patrick O’Neill recognized the actual necessity of having food available during events; not just for shoppers, but for vendors as well. Chrysanthe was offered the use of the full kitchen and became Shannon & Patrick’s go-to food vendor. (On a personal note, yours truly is happy to have Chryssy as our resident chef at OVCC events and I am already looking forward to the menu she will be putting together for our spring show).

Both ladies ended up in Carleton Place’s Winter Carnival organizing committee and became very close friends. Sensing they were on the same wavelength, they quickly decided to organize an event together – separate from the events Shannon and her husband do. Parts of their individual business names were put together: Shannon’s Creative Minds and Chrysanthe’s Culinary Creations became Creative Creations and their (successful) inaugural show – HOMEmade for the Holidays – was held in November 2014 in Carleton Place.

It’s not like these two entrepreneurs to sit still so it will come as no surprise that they decided to add a spring show – “HOMEmade Meltdown” – to the mix, which will be held on March 28 at the Carleton Place Arena. An important part of what they envision for Creative Creations is giving back to the community, which they accomplish by choosing a charity or non-profit organization for each event and raise funds for them in some way.

And to think it all started with gluten free breading for chicken fingers…

That’s all for now, folks; next time, we will look ahead at all the great events that are lined up for this spring. Until then, have a creative week!

 


OttawaStart Staff

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