Mona Spencer, Her Story


Mona Spencer was born and raised in New York City. She was the only child of Judge Chase Spencer, and Dr. Jeannine Frechette. She enjoyed a comfortable life living with her parents and maternal grandmother. Her grandmother was born in the United States to French Immigrants that followed their dreams to America. “Me-Me” as her grandmother was known was Mona’s caregiver while her parents worked long hours. She grew to love the long afternoons helping “Me-Me” in the kitchen. “Me-Me” cooked all the rich and delicious foods that her mother before her had cooked in France. By the age of 12, Mona could make a soufflé second to none. She learned at her grandmother’s apron and as she grew; her love for culinary arts grew.

Mona was a good student. She had maintained a straight “A” average through her entire high school career. Of course her parents were prepared to send her off to Law School or Medical School after graduation. So they were a bit surprised to learn that Mona had been accepted on full scholarship to a prestigious culinary school. When they realized how committed Mona was to her career choice their only instruction was, “If you are going to be a chef; be the best chef!” When she got her degree from The Institute of Culinary Education, she accepted an internship with Le Cordon Bleu Paris Culinary Art School. Mona lived and worked in Paris for three years before returning to the United States.

In 1990, Mona opened her restaurant named “Mona’s” which is considered to be one of the best French restaurants in the state of New York. Mona also has published a series of cook books that have sold all around the world.

Mona knows she was lucky to be one of the few that have the means and support to make her dreams a reality. That is why she takes on interns in her own restaurant and allows them the experience they need to succeed.

Today Mona lives in Long Island with her husband (also a chef) and daughter. She does not know what her daughter will grow to love or what career path she will follow. Whether she will follow her grandparents into the fields of medicine or law or whether she will enjoy a life in the culinary fields; Mona only has one piece of advice. That is, “If you are going to be something, be the best!”