Special Sauce

above: A trio of sauces: Lemony White Bean, Sweet Pea and Basil, Roasted Carrot and Pepper. – Photographs: Contributed

Spicing up the day-to-day cooking routine, Lindsay Warnke delivers inspiration right to your door. Comparing herself to a “saucier milkman,” Warnke creates homemade sauces and drops off a new batch every Friday in a signature glass jar from her company, The Saucy Spoon.

“I want to bring a little jar of joy to my customers’ front stoops each week,” says Warnke. “It’s a little, beautiful treat that will make their home-cooked family dinner a little easier to pull off and absolutely delicious.”

The Saucy Spoon, which started as a pandemic project out of Warnke’s Darien kitchen, launched in late 2021. Her company produces “flavor-forward sauces, spreads, dips and dressings that transform a home-cooked meal from simple to extraordinary.” Some recent offerings include Spicy Peruvian Cilantro, Jammy Butternut Spread, Basil Shallot Vinaigrette, Avocado Poblano Crema, and Honey Whipped Feta with charred scallions. Warnke makes both sweet and savory specials depending on the season, such as the Roasted Carrot and Pepper Spread or Skillet Cider Apples, which she likes to pair with waffles.

Warnke announces her Sauce of the Week on Monday mornings, and customers can place orders between Monday and Wednesday for Friday pick up or delivery. Her sauces are a shortcut to delicious meals, and she caters to busy families who appreciate good food but lack the time to prepare it.

left: Lindsay Warnke creates sauces, spreads and dips for The Saucy Spoon. right: Spicy Peruvian Cilantro is the most popular sauce.

“I truly believe in sauces! If you bring me a simple, beautifully roasted chicken, that experience can be elevated and completely changed with a sauce,” says Warnke. “Sauces are time consuming to make, so that’s where I come in. You’re savvy enough to create a delicious dinner; I’m just here to help you elevate it and offer a different flavor profile.”

Her most popular sauce, Spicy Peruvian Cilantro, is a household staple that Warnke uses for breakfast, lunch and dinner. She also recommends adding it to rice bowls (her “go-to meal” with any sauce). Some of her family’s favorite dishes using the sauce include:

Breakfast: Egg whites with roasted carrots and cauliflower, diced avocado and Spicy Peruvian drizzle.

Lunch: Leftovers from taco night served the evening before. Grilled skirt steak with caramelized onions and peppers over a bed of chopped romaine with Spicy Peruvian.

Dinner: Crispy grilled chicken thighs, lemony rice and steamed broccoli—all doused with Spicy Peruvian.

A Greenwich native, Warnke’s passion for food was sparked by helping her mother in the kitchen and planning dinner parties. She and her family later ran Arcadia Coffee Company in Old Greenwich when she was in her early 20s.

“My parents and I decided to buy the coffee house—with no experience in the field—and we ran it together,” says Warnke. “I managed the coffee business; my dad oversaw the financial side and baked the muffins, and my mom managed and bought all the beautiful gifts and art that we sold there. It was quite an experience!”

The OG Board can be paired with two or three signature dips.

After moving into a commercial kitchen in May 2022, The Saucy Spoon began to expand. Warnke added “scratch-made small bites” to the fall menu, taking the charcuterie board concept to the next level.

“The Nibble Boards are a growing and fun part of my business,” says Warnke. “These are curated selections along with our seasonal sauces that are thoughtfully combined on a board.”

The Saucy Spoon’s Nibble Boards can be ordered online for parties and special occasions. The popular Game Day Board features Dave’s Dip (“a total rip-off from my brother-in-law”) with jalapeños and cheddar, served with tortilla chips; umami onion dip and potato chips; bacon grissini; rosemary cashews; grapes and pickles; roasted garlic and parmesan shortbread bites; and smoked sausage with maple mustard and thyme dipping sauce. Another creative option is the OG Board—available with two or three signature dips—which comes with a platter of artfully arranged vegetables, fruit, nuts and pita chips.

Warnke, who lives in Darien with her husband, Craig, and son, Tucker, laughs about not liking Darien as a kid because of the sports rivalry with Greenwich.

“My parents both grew up in Darien and they used to joke and say, ‘We know you’ll end up there,’ which drove me nuts,” says Warnke. “But they were right! I followed one of my closest friends here, and we absolutely adore this town. Home is all about the people, and we love our friends here!”

 

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