Eat, CrossFit, Love: Couple Shares Fitness and Foodie Journey
Agnes and Michael Ricatto met in 2017 while the two were both working for Nike, and you could say it was love at first workout.
“Michael was visiting Barcelona from the Netherlands and wanted to check out Nike’s latest retail and consumer experience concept space that I was managing,” said Agnes.
“It so happened that she was also coaching a Boot Camp on the beach later that evening, which I decided to join,” said Michael.
That evening the two were part of a group dinner, and then continued to connect long distance through Whatsapp and Facetime. Two years later, Michael proposed at the very same spot he locked eyes with Agnes in Barcelona, and as they say, the rest is history.
Michael, who is from Southern California, had been doing CrossFit since he moved to Amsterdam in 2016, and quite quickly, it became part of the couple’s routine. He said Agnes, who grew up in Germany, was keen but (as most of us are) quite green at the start.
“She was the typical first timer, looking at the board and it might as well have been written in another language,” he said. But now, “Vondelgym (the CrossFit box the two go to in Amsterdam) has become our second, sometimes even first home.”
About three years into their CrossFit journey together, in October of 2021, the newly wedded Ricattos were invited by friends to join in a new fitness competition coming to the Netherlands— HYROX.
“They asked us if we were interested a week prior to the event. We had no idea what we signed up for or what we were getting ourselves into,” said Michael. The two would soon find out that competitive fitness was exactly what they wanted to be getting into. In their most recent competition together, the Ricatto’s placed first in the 30-39 Mixed Doubles Team division of the 2022 European HYROX Championships, and are now preparing to compete in the World Championships in Las Vegas next month.
Of course the two had more in common than CrossFit it turns out, which included creating and indulging in high-quality food.
“I enjoyed giving my mom a hand in the kitchen, “said Michael, “only slightly incentivized by the privilege of licking the spatula after her famous cookie batter was complete.”
“I had been helping my Polish mother and grandmother make their traditional recipes since I was a little girl,” added Agnes.
Originally, Michael had launched #CattosKitchen to share his culinary creations with friends on various social media platforms. “The hashtag really became a thing when I moved to Amsterdam and friends were always asking, ‘What is Catto’s Kitchen?’ and, ‘When do I get to try Catto’s Kitchen?”
By 2017 Agnes had joined the venture, which then was fully launched as a website, blog and social media pages that quickly gained an international following as a place for readers to find recipes and inspiration for macro-friendly munching that tastes good and can also fuel a grueling CrossFit WOD.
Catto’s Kitchen remains a passion project while Agnes runs her own nutrition and lifestyle coaching business, The Palmtree Lifestyle, and Michael is the Director of Marketing for Hyperice, Inc., which many CrossFit athletes recognize by the self-massaging Hypervolt.
But Michael said he has his eyes wide open for what the future could hold:
“One day, we would love to expand out into other areas, and create solutions to people’s problems,” he said. “That could be a physical space or just changing the way people think about food, fitness, and their health journey.”
However something remains clear, they’re going to need a bigger workspace.
“One thing is for sure, in five to ten years, we will have a bigger kitchen.”