With closures, canceled plans and lots (and lots) of extra time at home, it’s easy to get a little stir crazy. But for Christina Karam Painter, Owner and Personal Chef of Stir Crazy Cuisine, she aims to make meal preparation easy, too.
Stir Crazy Cuisine is “a personal chef servcie specializing in customized menu planning and cooking weekly meals, as well as dinner parties, and in-home cooking classes,” says Painter.
The business has been around since 2013 and provides service to the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area. “We service anywhere from Mason, Ohio to Florence, Kentucky,” Painter says. “At any given time, I have one to two additional chefs who work with Stir Crazy Cuisine. I value the personal aspect of having a small company.”
The inspiration behind starting the business came from Painter’s passion for cooking that comes naturally to her. “I knew that when I was a sales rep in the plastics industry that I wanted something different,” she says. “I wanted to make people happy with my food and connect on a personal level because food can be a very personal thing.
The thought process behind the name of the service came from wanting to have a name that everyone can relate to and a fun food pun. “Everyone has been stir crazy at some point and when I cook, I do a lot of stirring! Voila,” she says.
The services offered through Stir Crazy Cuisine are customized meal planning, grocery shopping, cooking, clean up, food storage and labeling,” Painter says. “We also do dinner parties and in-home cooking classes.” The kind of food that she makes is based off of a client’s preference, but she loves making Lebanese food. “I have Lebanese food running through my veins as this is my heritage. However, over the past several years, we have learned to cater to specific dietary restrictions ans even picky eaters. It has been such a fun challenge,” Painter says. “I almost never say “no” to a client, when it comes to a menu item. If people are paying me to cook for them, it should be something they enjoy eating! That being said, I have a lot of clients who come to me wanting to eat healthier.”
Stir Crazy Cuisine defines success by how satisfied their clients feel. “Obviously, the number clients indicate success, but we see it as going further. Receiving a text or email about how much the client enjoyed the food or how easy we made their week is success in my book,” she says. “It’s why I do what I do. It gives me such a great feeling to know that I can share something I love with people and that they enjoy it!”
The mission of the service is to not compromise. “We believe that people don’t have to compromise when it comes to having a delicious home-cooked meal. Our motto is ‘making eating fun, easy and positively delicious…one meal at a time,’” Painter says. “The chefs I hire have to have strong communication skillsbecause I believe that when people allow us in their home to cook, we need to be respectful and make the experience of having a personal chef as a whole enjoyable. It’s easy to find someone who can cook. It’s more difficult to find someone who will make the client feel understood, connect with them and be professional in their home.”
Stir Crazy Cuisine is unique for two main reasons, Painter says. “We provide customized menu options to each client as opposed to offering a general, limited menu. We truly value the opportunity to cook food for our clients in their homes,” she explains. “We see it as an honor and that we’re even part of their family. We’ve had clients we’ve connected with and some that we’ve never even met before, if we cook while they’re at work. Either way, we’re connected through the meals we cook them. That’s a special thing.”
Painter says her business is important for the community because it helps bring people together. “Dinner parties are a great way to socialize and connect with friends while experiencing a delicious menu. Cooking classes offer a learning experience all while connecting with either the chef or those around you and the weekly meals are ways to make people’s lives more manageable and delicious,” Painter says. “A personal chef service is exactly that personal. I think some people forget just how personal the experience of cooking for someone and eating can be.”