About Catherine

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.

Education & Certification

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.

USPCA membership 2018 2019

 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.

Rebecca

One of Rebecca’s Dad’s favorite stories to share is of a call he recieved 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.

Having been with Lavish Cuisine two years, Rebecca has worked with incredible families and cheffed memorable events ranging from intimate anniversary and homecoming dinners, to holiday meals and 90th birthday celebrations!
Italian cuisine and desserts are some of Rebecca’s favorite things to make at home, and she loves the wide range of cuisines and ingredients she gets the chance to work with.

VIDEO PRESENTATION