Food & Drink: Carly Paige from Fit Living Eats
Inspired by her childhood memories of cooking with her grandmother and mother, this culinary nutrition expert has turned her passion for holistic health and nutritious foods into a career she loves.
Did you always want to be a chef?
When I was younger, I wanted to be an interior designer, but I’ve always loved cooking. So many memories from my childhood are of those spent with my mom and my grandma in the kitchen. I remember sitting on the kitchen countertop, making chocolate chip cookies or pancakes in the morning with my mom.
Do you remember the first thing you cooked?
It’s funny, we were just talking about the first recipe I created. It was called beef confetti, a kind of beef pasta dish.
What are your favorite foods to use while cooking?
Plant-based foods are so fun to work with because of the vibrant colors. When creating a catering menu, it’s fun to put together different ingredients to make those colors pop.
I didn’t grow up knowing anything about plant-based culinary dietary methods, or cooking. I later became familiar with things like cashew cream and nutritional yeast, things that I did not know about until ten years ago. It has been fun for me to play with and figure out how to elevate and create these simple swaps and ingredients that boost the overall nutrition of the plate without sacrificing the flavor.
What do you like to do in your free time?
The best part about being an entrepreneur is that while you work harder than you’ve ever worked in your life, it also allows for a specific type of flexibility to control your schedule. When I am not cooking or working, I have a friend with whom I go on walks every Saturday morning. I take that time to decompress, reset, relax, and quiet my mind. My boyfriend and I love to travel and explore new places, and my family lives in Orlando, so I spend a lot of time with family.
Speaking of traveling, do you have a dream vacation?
One of my dream vacations is to go truffle hunting. You can do this in Oregon and Italy. There are other places, but that would be so much fun. I love truffles, so if you ever come to dinner at my house, chances are that truffle oil will be on something.
Tell us about your company, Fit Living Eats, by Carly Paige.
We offer a customized concierge private meal prep service where we meal prep for each client as if we are their private chef. We also offer boutique catering services, so we do a lot of baby and bridal showers and private dinner parties. The third component of our services includes private events and classes. It’s a fun way for either corporate teams or a group of friends to come together and do something that’s a little different, to interact with each other and with me as we cook through various recipes and enjoy the meal at the end of class.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
I would love to offer what we currently provide to our private chef clients more widely, standardizing those options a bit more and reaching even more people in our greater Orlando communities. I would love to find ourselves in a space we can call home. The greatest thing about being an entrepreneur is that the world is your oyster. You can create your own path to success.