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Q&A with Christina Elliott, Chef at Modern Market

Mable Yiu

Chef Christina Elliott began her career at the New York Times four star restaurant, The Ryland Inn in New Jersey. She then went on to work at several highly rated establishments across the country including the Michelin three star rated L20. With such an impressive background in the culinary arts, Elliott easily transitioned to the corporate side of cuisine and began Modern Market, a weekly food delivery service. Based in New York City, Modern Market brings food lovers Michelin-quality protein, grains, vegetables, soups, and sauces. Modern Market uses a point system where users can spend up to 100 points on "a la carte" items or have their weekly menu curated by a "personal chef" who takes both tastes and dietary restrictions into consideration. This service is all about convenience, so much so that every food item has already been prepared, and all the customer has to do is use their imagination to create delicious dishes. Below, founder Christina Elliott discusses her passion for food and the uniqueness of Modern Market. 

By Kat Jones

You have had an amazing career so far working in various high-end and Michelin star ranked restaurants. During that time, what would you say was the catalyst that brought you out of the kitchen and into the business side of food?

My parents were both in finance and I think business was always in the back of my mind. My father was a six sigma black belt back in the 90s, when I started cooking. You’d be amazed at how relevant that is in a Michelin three star kitchen! I have the best of both worlds now; and at MM I don’t think of them as mutually exclusive.

Anyone who reads your website can see that this stands out from many other weekly food delivery services, but in your words, how is Modern Market unique? 

Our team. Scaling high quality fresh food is challenging – the team makes a big difference. My co-founders are incredibly focused, driven and dedicated. They are really excited about what we are doing and I think this comes through in the product and service. In terms of the product and service – I don’t think there is anything else out there that is this high quality but also convenient and customizable. We genuinely care about each of our subscribers and we have created a model where each of them can be extremely happy – no matter who they are or what their eating habits are.

Your selection looks fantastic and it's great that anyone can find something they like, but how many dietary restrictions does Modern Market take into consideration? And how often do menu items change? 

I haven’t come across a dietary restriction or preference that we can’t accommodate. That is the beauty of MM! When you subscribe you fill out a short survey about your dietary restrictions and taste preferences and from that moment on, you only get foods that you love – subscribers compare it to having a personal chef.. but it’s more affordable and less to manage. We change the menu every week – certain favorites appear regularly – but most of the menu changes every week.

How would you like the Modern Market brand to grow in the future? Do you have any plans to extend your delivery locations?

Carefully and consistently. Word of mouth has been very powerful – people have been very excited to tell their friends about MM – and we are going to ride that wave for a bit. What we offer is very personal – we are aiming for that sweet spot where we are big enough but not too big; growing, but not growing too quickly. Currently we deliver to most zip codes in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, but if you are interested in subscribing and you don’t live in these areas, we want to know where you live! Call us!

Photo courtesy of Modern Market.