Welcome to Le Petit Eats! I’m Denisse. I live in Santa Barbara, Ca with my husband, John and our two cats, Bucatini and Marmalade. Yep, both of our cats are named after foods. I’m so thrilled whenever someone takes the time to visit and try one of my recipes, because bringing people together through food is truly what brings me the most joy. That feeling of connecting with others over a delicious plate is really why I got into the business of food in the first place.

For nearly ten years I’ve owned and operated a private chef and boutique catering company called Le Petit Chef. The name is a nod to my pint-sized stature (I’m 5’2″). Due to a growing awareness of how profoundly the quality of the foods we eat affects our overall health (and the well-being of our planet), the stars of my dishes are all-natural, peak season ingredients. I try to avoid using anything processed and like to let organic, locally sourced produce take center stage whenever possible. My recipes tend to be simple, nutritious, colorful, flavorful and  naturally on the healthier side.


I created Le Petit Eats to share the vibrant and dynamic recipes that my business is recognized for with you. It is my hope that I can inspire others to adopt a more naturally healthy perspective when it comes to cooking by taking a seasonal approach.

Much of what you’ll find on LPE are dishes I’ve found myself making over and over again, both at home and for my catered events and private clients. The majority are plant based recipes, as well as many that are gluten free, dairy free and/or refined sugar free- as a personal chef I’ve become adept at accommodating every dietary issue under the sun, so my recipes can help you navigate new eating habits you and your family may have recently adopted. Personally, about 80% of the time I follow a vegan and gluten free way of eating because I feel more vital and energetic when I do, but occasionally I do enjoy seafood, cheese, sweets and pasta (it’s my love language). I think indulging in moderation is one of the keys to happiness, so you will definitely find some killer splurge recipes on the blog, too.

I’m also passionate about sharing what I’ve learned about cooking over the years I’ve spent working as a professional chef, so you can also find posts where I delve into some of my best pro tips, kitchen essentials and time saving tricks. But I’ll share my biggest tip with you right now: start with fresh, beautiful, seasonal ingredients and you’ll already have the foundation laid for creating an epic meal – it really doesn’t have to be complicated or fussy!

I love hearing from you and I so appreciate each and every one of you who have emailed me or commented on one of my recipes! Do drop me a line at  info@lepetitchefsantabarbara.com and let me know how you fared with one of my recipes, or if you have any cooking questions or want to know more about adopting healthier eating habits. It’s always nice to connect with you outside of the blog!