The story of Tiny Chef Creations
From the moment I emerged into this world, my family knew I was different. Always curious as far as exploring in cabinets and getting into any kind of cooking ingredient I could find. Being the youngest of 5 I saw everyone being independent so at the age of 6 I began to teach myself how to cook. It started simply by pushing up a chair to the kitchen stove grabbing a pan and a rubber spatula and cracking open my first egg.
At the age of 8 I received my first saute and sauce pan which I still cook with today. Through the years I developed a deep passion for food. At age 11 I begged and pleaded that my sister (who was 9 months pregnant at the time) take me to get my cookbook signed by Emeril Lagasse. My love for Alton Brown and Good Eats grew, learning more than just how to cook but what happens to the food scientifically. Although I was always an average student in my general education classes. When I took my first cooking class in high school everyone knew who’s kitchen they wanted to be in. I also realized that being in a kitchen was comforting. I used to say that I never could be a chef and cook for a living. I used to think that I would lose my love for it because it would be my job. How much more wrong could I have been
Following high school, I began attending Virginia Commonwealth University In Richmond Virginia in pursuit of a nursing degree. I began to question if nursing was the right fit for me.
After my son Harrison was born and I was a Jr in college, I realized I wasn’t doing what I wanted to do. It wasn’t until one day I was watching Chopped on the Food Network channel explaining what I would make if I were to be on the show that I said out loud to my son, “Harrison you are going to be a chef because mommy never could.” My husband Shaun responded, “Yes you can! You’re an amazing cook and if you want to go to school to learn how to cook then DO IT!” If it wasn’t for my husband’s response I probably wouldn’t be here in this spot today. Three months later I was enrolled in culinary school. 18 months later I graduated Summa Cum Laude with my degree in Culinary Arts.
Throughout my schooling, I worked at a local farm to table restaurant and worked my way up from a prep cook to the Assistant Sous Chef position. Feeling I wanted a change I applied and received a Sous Chef position in Aspen CO. In order to get out here, my husband and I remodeled a 1986 Blue Bird School Bus into a tiny home and drove from Virginia out to colorful Colorado, nicknaming myself “The Bus Chef”.
After my position in Aspen took a wrong turn I sat down and reevaluated my life again. What is it that I wanted to do? I always said I could never run my own business. It always intrigued me but I never thought I could do it. But remember, I never thought I could work for a living making food for people.
So here I am, AnaClarissa “AC” Norris, Chef and Owner of Tiny Chef Creations. How many times did I doubt myself? Now all I have to do is continue to push myself forward. I truly believe I am finally on the right path of life and looking forward to the future. My goals for this business’s future are to build a food bus which can be used as my commercial kitchen on wheels, a food truck and mobile catering business. All while continuing to grow my catering, meal prep, cooking lessons and other culinary services!
To find out more about AnaClarissa and Tiny Chef Creations, click HERE.
Written by: AnaClarissa “AC” Norris