What is a personal chef and who needs one?
A personal chef serves multiple clients – usually one per day – and provides several meals that are custom-designed for the client’s individual tastes and dietary requirements. The meals are packaged and stored according to the client’s request and enjoyed at their leisure.
Most people employ a personal chef because they don’t have the time, desire or know-how to cook the food they want to eat each day. This could include single people, married couples, busy professionals, seniors, new parents, those with a hectic family life, people needing a specific diet or anyone who is tired of eating out or cooking for themselves every night.
The cost seems to be about the same as what I would pay for a meal in a restaurant. Why is that?
The fee represents all aspects of a professional personal chef service. As your chef, I will plan your meals, do all the shopping, food preparation, packaging, storing and clean up. I can save you up to 12 hours each week by providing you with this service. The cost of groceries is over and above the fee as this allows you to make premium menu selections, such as veal, lamb or seafood or more budget friendly choices, such as chicken and pasta.
When you go to a restaurant, you must drive there, possibly wait for a table, hope your server is having a good day, trust that your special requests are honored, pay for the meal, tip the server and drive home. If you have a personal chef, you can heat a beautifully prepared meal that has been made specifically for you with the freshest ingredients to enjoy in the comfort of your own home. Beyond preparing delicious meals, a personal chef saves you time – which can be priceless.
In addition, employing a personal chef is an investment for you and your family’s health. No more unhealthy restaurant food, frozen meals or hitting the drive-thru on the way home.
How long will you be in my home?
Because I shop specifically for you and all meals are prepared from scratch, generally, I will be in your home anywhere from four to six hours, depending on the number of entrees requested. I am willing to accommodate your schedule as best I can.
What do you use to store the food?
You can select from environmentally friendly reusable Pyrex containers that will be yours to keep or disposable plastic containers, depending on your preferred storage method. Pyrex containers are very popular because of their versatility. Plastic containers are a less expensive alternative, but you will need to transfer the meal to an oven-safe dish if you heat your food in a conventional oven. The containers belong to you if you discontinue the service.
How do I pay for the service and am I locked into a contract?
Payment for my service in addition to the grocery deposit will be required in advance of the first cooking date. Cash or personal check is required in advance because I am reserving an entire day for you. I will guarantee the cooking fee for one year; after that, it may be subject to change. Because our relationship is based on mutual trust, please have a check ready for me when I arrive on each subsequent cooking date.
There is no contract and you are not locked in for any period of time. Try the service to see if you like it and whether it meets your needs. If it does, we can reserve several dates in advance. Also, we can easily work around vacations and holidays. I do ask that you give me 7-10 days notice if you need to cancel a cooking date so that I can reserve that date for another client.
Our mutual arrangement can be terminated by either of us at any time. I do, however, have a service agreement so that we both have something to refer to that outlines the terms of service.
Do I need to be home while you are cooking?
No, you do not need to be home. Most of my clients are working on our selected cook dates. However, if you are home during our cooking date, you will notice I am doing several things at one time, so please allow me to work with minimal interruptions. I would hate to forget an ingredient, miss a step or provide you with a poorly executed meal due to distractions.
I have children that are finicky eaters. How can you help?
When we decide on a menu, we can choose some more kid-friendly selections. Also, I can “pull out” their portions when I am preparing a dish that is geared for more adult palates. For example, if I’m making a spicy peanut chicken dish, I can prepare your child’s portion of chicken in a more simple fashion and package it separately.
Who chooses the menu?
You do! I’ll provide you with an initial list of menu selections to choose from, but I may also make suggestions that I think you will enjoy based on your initial assessment. It may take a few weeks to fine tune your meals (i.e. portion size, less starch, more spice), but we’ll work together to ensure your expectations are met and exceeded.
If you have family favorites or special recipes you and your family enjoy, I will do my best to accommodate those requests.
Do I need any special equipment or utensils?
I will bring all the necessary equipment with me, including pots and pans, utensils, knives, cutting boards, towels, etc. I do ask that your major appliances are in full working order, that your kitchen is clean when I arrive and the countertops are relatively clear so that I have ample space to work.
Where do you shop?
My shopping varies from client to client. I am happy to shop at a favorite grocer or specialty shop if requested. Otherwise, I may visit a number of grocery stores to find the freshest, highest quality and best priced ingredients available.
Is feedback welcomed?
Always! The more feedback I receive from you, the better I am able to customize the service I provide. I will continually check with you in regard to the meal selection, quantity and quality to ensure you are happy with my service.