We had the good fortune of connecting with Katie Ravnik and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katie, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My thought process behind starting my own business was informed by the desire to be a conduit for healing to those struggling with chronic health issues. In 2015, I was diagnosed with permanent repetitive strain injuries in both arms – as a result of my computer-based job – and told to find a new career that didn’t rely heavily on computer work. I was determined not to be defined by my diagnosis, so in addition to my regular physical therapy exercises, I started researching anti-inflammatory foods and doing acupuncture/Chinese medicine treatments as a way to help my body heal itself. I have been passionate about cooking since I was young and I was delighted to discover that not only was it an activity that didn’t aggravate my injuries, it also provided a wonderful outlet for my creativity. I enrolled in a culinary program focused on eating for health and got certified as a Holistic Chef. By transforming my diet and adopting a holistic wellness routine, I was able to dramatically reduce my chronic pain symptoms. I felt so fortunate to have been able to find a pathway to my healing, I wanted to share what I had learned with others who may be going through something similar and help support them on their own healing journeys. Thus, Vital Home Cooking was born.
Please tell us more about your career. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
As a Holistic Personal Chef, I work with clients to customize menus that entice their appetites while optimizing their unique dietary needs and health goals. I pride myself on creating the healthiest versions of all my clients’ favorite meals using seasonal, organic, non-processed ingredients that will nourish their bodies and spirit. This is my first time as a business owner and I definitely experienced a learning curve getting started. When I began, I had no idea how to find clients, how much to charge, or what contracts would be required. Fortunately, I had a wonderful team of family and friends around me to help me navigate challenges as they arose. I also found tremendous support and resources by joining the U.S. Personal Chef Association and connecting with a network of other personal chefs dealing with the same challenges. I’ve learned so many lessons along the way, but most importantly, I have learned to follow my intuition. I am very excited to see how my business evolves over the next few years and I want others to know that with willingness and a dash of imagination anything is possible.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
L.A. offers so many amazing things to do, it’s truly impossible to cover them all in one visit. We’d need to hit one of the many local farmer’s markets to shop for fresh ingredients, so I could cook them a delectable welcome meal. Then, I would definitely take them for a hike in Malibu’s Corral Canyon to enjoy the captivating views of the Santa Monica mountains and the Pacific ocean. In addition to my home cooked meals, we would have to eat at Gjelina in Venice, Cafe Stella in Silverlake and check out all the incredible food options at Grand Central Market downtown. As an avid L.A. history lover, I’d want to show them all the amazingly restored theatres on Broadway, Clifton’s Cafeteria, the LA Library and take them to experience an outdoor film screening at the Hollywood Forever Cemetary. It would also be wonderful to enjoy a live musical performance at one of L.A.’s iconic music venues, like the Hollywood Bowl, The Wiltern or the Greek Theatre.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shoutout is dedicated with gratitude to the boundless support of my father, my incredible Aunt Sue, all of the wonderful instructors at Bauman College who taught me the myriad benefits of eating for health, and my dear friend Laura Viapiano who has provided me with continuous encouragement throughout my journey. I must also give credit to the book, The Healing Path, by Marc Ian Barasch, which empowered me to chart my own course to healing. Last, but certainly not least, I am eternally grateful to the clients who have welcomed me into their homes and entrusted me to cook their weekly meals.
George Verlaine, Anthony Ravnik, Sofi Pechner, Katie Ravnik.