Catherine Richey was raised within walking distance of the Panama Canal, in the small rainforest town of Gamboa. She grew up enjoying the fresh tropical fruits and vegetables grown in the rain forest, seafood from the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and freshwater fish from the lakes of Panama. Living in Latin America gave Catherine the opportunity to travel extensively throughout Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. After each trip, Catherine would return home to recreate each country’s culinary delights.
Catherine graduated from Panama Canal College with an Associate of Arts and then transferred to Florida State University to study Hospitality Administration. Close to finishing her degree in Hospitality Administration, Catherine had a change of heart, transferred to the University of North Florida, and graduated with a degree in Elementary Education.
Catherine returned to the Republic of Panama and taught first grade for four years for the Department of Defense. She relocated to Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico, and taught first grade for another five years. Because cooking was always on her mind, her students were often mixing up ingredients and “cooking” in the classroom as lesson extensions.
In 2004, Catherine relocated to San Antonio, Texas. With the last of her three children entering school full-time in 2012, Catherine set her eyes on her dream of owning a culinary business.
Catherine graduated from the Culinary Business Academy and obtained her Texas Food Safety Manager Certification in February 2012. Her business, Lavish to Lite Bites, quickly became successful and she became an active member of the United States Personal Chef Association. In 2014, Catherine became a Certified Personal Chef, an industry endorsement of professional expertise.
Catherine regularly participates in continuing education opportunities at the annual National Personal Chef Conference, the Culinary Institute of America, recreational cooking schools, and the Institute of Child Nutrition. Catherine is an active volunteer with the Chefs Move to Schools Initiative.
Many clients have remarked that “Lavish to Lite Bites” is a mouthful (pun always intended), which has led to a rebranding under the business name “Lavish Cuisine.” You still receive the same chef with years of experience as a Personal Chef, just a new name.
Catherine’s employs a team of qualified independent contractors. We adhere to the strict guidelines set forth in the United States Personal Chef Association Code of Conduct.
Catherine is a Certified Personal Chef and a Member of the United States Personal Chef Association.
Nicole’s passion for cooking started almost as soon as she was born in Bangkok, Thailand and was adopted by an Italian father and a German mother. She began cooking with her father and Italian grandmother around the age of 2, mastering chocolate pudding, meatballs and sauce, pizza, pizzelles, and cannolis.
Nicole continued her food exploration as soon as she could get a job at the age of 15 and started working in the restaurant business. She has over 27 years of food service industry experience learning every aspect of the business. Her experience includes everything from hosting, waiting tables, bartending, restaurant and bar management, catering, and running a family-owned meal assembly business.
Nicole got married and had her son Walker at the age of 40. Unfortunately, Walker was born with SCIDS (commonly known as the bubble boy disease) and her food career had to take a very long time out. SCIDS, in basic terms, means that Walker was born with no immune system. Walker received his life-saving bone marrow transplant when he was 3 months old and the family continued to live quarantined at home until Walker was 1 ½ years old.
Around the summer of 2015 Walker was doing incredibly well in his post-transplant recovery and Nicole was able to start working again part-time. Through a mutual friend, Nicole found Catherine and Lavish Cuisine, and was finally able to continue her food journey, now in the form of personal chef services and catering. Working for Catherine and with such a diverse clientele, Nicole’s passion for food has been reignited, and she is looking forward to the next chapter in her food journey.
One of Rebecca’s Dad’s favorite stories to share is while working and living overseas with his wife, toddler, and infant daughters, he got a call from home during one of his business meetings. “Daddy the cookies are ready!” A very excited four-year-old Rebecca informed him. Legend has it he got right up, said “gotta go! The cookies are ready,” and came home for some fresh, warm cookies. Needless to say, chocolate chip cookies take priority in the Henry household.
After graduating from UTSA in 2015, Rebecca found herself conflicted with the age-old dilemma of “what now?” For years her answer to anyone asking her plans after college would hear the consistent, “something with food!” As simple as it sounds, she had grown to love everything about the food world throughout high school and college, including its power to bond and bring people together. Everybody likes to eat!
Rebecca has worked on and off in the restaurant industry since 17 years old, and has interned with a local culinary event planning group showcasing San Antonio’s best chefs, restaurants, and food trucks. She also inherited from her grandpa, who wouldn’t be caught dead showing up to any function without at least three desserts, not only the love of baking, but a true appreciation for high quality ingredients and the effort and process behind good food.
Rebecca was given the opportunity to help start up a family business immediately after graduation, so the search for her dream food job was tabled until two years later. Back on the job hunt, the struggle now was whether to pursue a career in food, or go with something more practical and corporate in order to put her Communication degree to use. By Fall 2016, she had been offered a few positions, but still felt the need to hang on a little longer to find something she was genuinely excited about. The lightbulb finally came on and Rebecca googled San Antonio personal chefs – leading her straight to Chef Catherine and Lavish Cuisine. After an email, phone call, and a yummy Greek lunch, she has been working and learning with Catherine and Nicole since November 2016. Rebecca is so excited to be a part of Lavish Cuisine and continue to grow her skill and passion for the culinary world.
Jessica started working with her Polish grandmother at her grandparent’s restaurant in Northern Vermont at a very young age. She grew up baking birthday cakes and hosting loyal customers at their restaurant’s popular Friday night prime rib buffet. When they weren’t at the restaurant, Jessica spent time in her grandmother’s kitchen learning her Polish and Eastern European recipes. That is where she developed her love for food and entertaining.
Jessica has over 20 years in the hospitality and event management industry. She’s designed menus, created specialty cocktails, and managed events in New York and San Antonio for the last twelve years. She has produced menus and managed events for personalities and local businesses such as: Mario Batali, Racheal Ray, Paula Deen, Food and Wine Magazine, Saturday Night Live, Julian and Joaquin Castro, Toyota, and SAYPO.
Jessica has a genuine love of food and a talent for cooking. After her 4-year-old son was diagnosed with a rare kidney cancer and underwent 18 months of treatment, Jessica began her exploration into the benefits of food and diet on long term health and chronic disease. She also decided to dedicate herself to her passion for food and cooking and sought out Lavish Cuisine to make that dream a reality.
Whether you are looking for some home-style Southern cooking, a classic French dinner party, some vegan or gluten free specialties, or just an amazing dinner for the family, Jessica would love to help you with your weekly menu, annual celebration, or specialty diet!
"Hi Catherine, it has been so wonderful to have your meals ready to cook each week! It is making life a lot easier for all of us."