Personal Chef Service Favored by Gwyneth Paltrow, Neil Patrick Harris Hits West Coast

The Culinistas - Publicity -H 2019
Courtesy of The Culinistas

The Manhattan-based company The Culinistas brings a team of private chefs to L.A. with services including grocery shopping, meal prep, party and menu planning and more.

The Manhattan-based, in-home personal chef company The Culinistas, which creates tailor-made menus, has made the lives of stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Neil Patrick Harris that much easier by doing the grocery shopping, preparing the meals and cleaning up on any occasion. Now, The Culinistas are bringing their aprons and serving spoons to the West Coast.

The company, founded in 2017 by Jill Donenfeld and Tiana Tenet, was designed to make healthy eating easy and accessible. Donenfeld brings her experience as a private chef, caterer, cookbook author and restaurant veteran to the table, while Tenet adds her business acumen, entrepreneurial spirit and “love of food” to the mix.

The membership service caters for parties, events and any occasion by helping with party planning, coordinating rentals, stocking the fridge and packing up leftovers in the freezer. The team will design a menu (options can be customized for gluten-, dairy- and sugar-free diets as well as vegetarian and vegan diets) and a chef will shop for ingredients (often from local farms) and clean up afterward.

To celebrate bringing their recipe for success to the West Coast, Donenfeld and Tenet teamed up with a few L.A. locals last month to show off their catering prowess. For Molly Sims, The Culinistas partnered with WonderTent Parties to create a luxury outdoor "glamping" experience in Sims' backyard. The guest list included an intimate group of friends, while grilled salmon with tomatoes and capers, cucumber tabbouleh and herb roasted cauliflower were on the menu. 

Girlboss creator Sophia Amoruso joined Donenfeld and Tenet at a home in Malibu for a party of 20, including fellow female founders, actresses and LGBTQ activists. The menu included cauliflower and kale pasta, as well as chocolate olive oil cake. “It was important for Girlboss to work with a women-owned business for our dinner, and The Culinistas created an exquisite turnkey culinary experience. A match made in heaven,” Amoruso told The Hollywood Reporter.

“Families with young children and individuals who have a desire to eat healthfully during the week are our core clientele,” says Tenet, adding that the business also serves up creative, special-occasion menus for entertaining and new postpartum-focused plans. Committed to uplifting women, both the East Coast branch and the L.A. outpost are staffed by mostly women; 65 percent of the company's West Coast chefs are female. 

Prices start from $250 for the weekly service fee, with additional costs for groceries and travel. The fee for parties starts at $1,000. Services can be booked online or by calling 646-590-2944.