1. What is the difference between a Personal Chef and a Private Chef?
A Private Chef is employed by one individual or family full time, and is often "living in" and preparing up to 3 meals per day. A Personal Chef serves several clients, usually one per day, and provides multiple meals that are custom-designed for the client's particular requests and requirements. These meals are packaged and stored so that the client may enjoy them at their leisure in the future. TOP
2. Can I afford a Personal Chef?
When you consider the cost of groceries, the time to plan a variety of healthy meals, grocery shopping, cooking and clean-up time, you will find the pricing to be quite affordable. You and your family can dine in the comfort of your home on healthy food, tailored to your specific preferences. You do not need to worry about reserving a table, driving, parking space, crowded restaurants and allergies. TOP
3. When and how do I make the menu selection for each cook date?
You have multiple choices. You can choose meals from the Menus. I will also email you a list of menu selections and specials from which to choose approximately one week before your scheduled cook date. Please respond with your choices at least 48 hours before the cook date. Or, if you prefer, I will devise your menu and surprise you with meals that I know you will love. TOP
4. Do you cook in my kitchen?
Yes, I do prepare your meals in your kitchen. On our agreed-upon cooking date, I bring the fresh ingredients for your meals along with my own pots, pans and utensils, and prepare your meals on site. At the end of the day I leave your kitchen clean, and full of the aroma of good home cooking. Cooking your meals in my home and delivering them to you would be easier, but that is considered catering. The Health Department requires an inspected and approved commercial kitchen for catering. TOP
5. Do I need a large kitchen?
You do not need a big kitchen to have a personal chef prepare your meals. All I need is a functional oven and stove, minimal counter space and refrigerator/freezer space. TOP
6. When and where do you shop?
Quality ingredients make for quality meals. I'll buy only fresh and quality food at local stores and organic farmers, if available. I shop on the way to your home and I will be happy to pick up additional items you may need such as bread, milk, juice, cereal, deli items, fruits, ice cream, pet food, etc. You may never have to step in a grocery store again. TOP
7. Do you use processed foods?
I use mostly fresh produce and cook your meals from scratch. I use quality-processed ingredients when fresh equivalents are not available or cost-prohibitive. TOP
8. How long will you be in my home?
I will be cooking several different entrees and side dishes from scratch and it generally takes anywhere from 5 to 8 hours. I can not say exactly how many hours, however I am willing to work with your schedule, and we can make arrangements in advance so that my cooking date fits your schedule. TOP
9. How will my meals be packaged?
Your meals are packaged according to your preferences, the size of your family and whether or not you will be dining together. Generally, entrées will be packaged separately from side dishes. TOP
10. What will you use to package our meals?
I prefer to use glass Pyrex containers with lids since they are freezer-safe, microwave safe and oven-safe. Using these dishes allows you to heat and serve your food without dirtying other dishes. However, if you prefer, disposable containers, such as Gladware and Ziploc bags may also be used. Remember that you will have to transfer your food to an oven safe dish when using disposable containers. In either case, you simply wash the containers after you have enjoyed your meal and have ready for the next cooking date in a predetermined location. The one time container fee for Pyrex averages $100, depending on the size of your family and the meal plan you have chosen. I will shop for these dishes for you at not cost and they will be yours to keep. The container fee for disposable dishes averages $15/cook date. These can be washed and reused. TOP
11. Can we use our own containers?
I will provide reusable containers, including freezer bags, at each cooking session. It is best to use uniform-sized containers since it will take up less space in you refrigerator and freezer. TOP
12. How much refrigerator and freezer space do you need?
It depends on the number of meals that you request and the sizes of the containers, but it does generally require a considerable amount of freezer space. During the assessment of your kitchen, we will look at your fridge and freezer so I can show you what to expect based on the meal plans and container sizes you chose. TOP
13. How difficult is it to heat our meals?
Any entrées and side dishes that have been stored in your freezer should be defrosted overnight in your refrigerator, and heated, to be enjoyed at the peak of their flavor. Refrigerated items may go directly to oven or microwave as needed. I will leave you easy to follow heating instructions for each entrée. TOP
14. How long will the food last us?
Depending on how many entrées, and how many evenings you eat at home, we can determine approximately how long your meals will last. If you travel, or have business diners or dining out on occasionally, the meals will last you longer than if you eat in each night. TOP
15. How often will you cook for us?
Depending on the size of your family and the meal plan that you choose, I can cook for your weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. I'll be happy to help you determine just how often you will want to schedule my Personal Chef Service to best serve your needs. We'll make sure it supports your busy lifestyle without putting any pressure on you. TOP
16. Can you cook for us on weekends or for parties?
I'll be happy to discuss and accommodate your plans for birthday parties, romantic diners, BBQ's, etc. TOP
17. Is it possible for us to watch you cook, or help?
I am happy to chat for a few minutes before I begin cooking, but it is best if I can concentrate fully on the tasks at hand while preparing your meals. As much as I would love your company while I am cooking, I view your kitchen as my office. Because I will be working with knives and hot burners, concentration and safety are key to successfully preparation of your meals. TOP
18. What type of side dishes do you prepare?
I will prepare one or two side dishes that complement the entrée you have selected. We will discuss your specific likes/dislikes during your initial client assessment. TOP
19. What if I want you to prepare additional side dishes?
I'd be happy to provide that service for you; however, it will entail an additional fee. TOP
20. Do I sign a contract?
I will ask you to sign a Service Agreement that lists our agreed-upon expectations, such as how many meals and how often I will cook, payment arrangements and my understanding of your dietary requirements. Either party may terminate the Service Agreement at any time with five days notice. TOP
21. How do I pay for the service?
It is customary to pay for the service in advance. If you like you may leave me a check in the kitchen for the upcoming cook date on the day that I am cooking. Payments of the groceries can be added to payment for the next cook date. Payments for the containers will be paid prior to the first cook date. TOP