About Us

Making In-Home Chef Services Easy & Accessible

The Culinistas is a full-service, in-home private chef company committed to hospitality. We facilitate and enhance private chef services, making healthy eating with friends & family easy and accessible.

The Culinistas provides all the benefits of a full-time chef without the cost and time required to manage a full-time employee. We recognize that every household is different and personalize the experience from start to finish so your household is getting the food they want, the way they want it.


It started for Jill in 2006, when she moved from being a private chef herself to establishing The Culinistas as an in home chef service company, identifying & helping top culinary talent find private chef work. She honed the concept over a decade, building a strong foundation in hospitality and developing her skills as an entrepreneur, chef, author and expert along the way. For Tiana, it started in 2017 when she saw the business opportunity in The Culinistas brand and services and had the fundraising experience, business background, tenacity, and initiative (as well as culinary passion) to scale it. Together, the women reimagined what was possible for The Culinistas, building a technology platform with a strong culinary footprint that facilitates eating well in the home, from weekly meal prep to special occasions, though a high tech-high touch approach. 

Meet The Team

Jill is a hospitality expert with a global perspective and has over a decade of experience as a private chef, caterer, cookbook author and restaurant veteran. In addition to running the v1 of The Culinistas, Jill has written four cookbooks, including “Better on Toast” (Harper Collins, 2015) and “Party Like a Culinista” (Lake Isle Press, 2011), as well as international cookbook titles in Madagascar and India. Her writing has been featured in Food & Wine, Men’s Journal, The Huffington Post, TimeOut and National Geographic. She ran the kitchen at Villa Lena, an artists residency and hotel, in Tuscany in 2015 and has lived in Japan, Sweden, Italy, and India to name a few for culinary research. She gleans inspiration making porcelain plates, drying bottarga, surfing, playing tennis, and saying yes to most meals around the world in pursuit of culinary connection. Jill is a Barnard graduate and was named one of Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 with Danny Meyer saying: “In whatever incarnation tomorrow’s generation has its Martha Stewart-like role, Jill Donenfeld is likely to play it.”

Tiana spent five years as an investor and advisor at J.P. Morgan, watching firsthand as busy mothers struggled to get healthy, delicious meals on the table for their families. She worked closely with entrepreneurs to provide them with creative financial solutions, making them feel empowered when it came to managing their personal wealth. In this role she saw how a large institution could be tailored to each clients needs, embracing the convergence of high touch growth and establishing her business philosophy around personalized customer service at scale. Prior to J.P. Morgan, she spent a summer cooking at the Castello di Vicarello in Tuscany, assisted on the set of Giada at Home and contributed to Food Network Magazine. She reads an autobiography and business book every month and is an avid tennis player. She graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University, received a diploma in Restaurant Entrepreneurship from New York University and was named one of Inc Magazine’s 30 Under 30 Rising Stars.