Frequently Asked Questions
Why can’t you just cook everything at your home and deliver it to me?
The Health Department and zoning laws prohibit this, as food must be prepared in the safety of your own kitchen or in a commercially certified kitchen.
How long will you be in my home?
Because all your meals are prepared from scratch with great care and attention to detail, I will be at your home anywhere from four to seven hours depending upon the number of entrees. I am willing to accommodate whatever works best with your schedule.
Do I heat the food?
Yes. The entrees and side dishes should be heated using the approximate heating instructions I provide. Heating instructions are approximate because all ovens and microwaves vary in performance. I recommend using a meat thermometer to accurately determine when the dish has been heated to the correct temperature.
What are the side dishes you prepare?
For services that include side dishes, you may request a specific item or allow me to pair an appropriate side dish with the entrée. Side dishes may be a seasonal fresh vegetable, a potato, rice, pasta, grain or bean dish, salad, quick bread or light soup.
The cost seems to be about the same as what I would pay for an entrée in a restaurant–why is that?
The fee represents all the components of a professional personal chef service: A detailed assessment of your needs and dietary requirements, special diet research; menu planning, sourcing and shopping for ingredients, meal preparation, packaging your selections and cleaning up.
For most services, the cost of groceries is over and above the fee. By paying a separate cooking fee, you are hiring me to cook groceries you would have to purchase anyway. This allows you to make premium selections such as prime beef, veal, lamb and/or seafood which would be either halal or kosher. With such services, you also have the option of organic fruits and vegetables, organic and grass-fed meat and poultry, and wild-caught fish and seafood.
When weighing personal chef services with your regular routine of dining out, first consider the gas (cost/wear and tear on your car, traffic, etc), what you will order, the cost of your order, tipping your waiter/waitress, whereas with a personal chef, you simply pay her a fee which includes gas, shopping, preparing/cooking your meals and cleaning your kitchen. After that all that is left after is coming home to the aroma of food that will come as a result of your heating the entrée that was thoughtfully and carefully prepared to your specifications and dietary requirements and enjoy it in your most comfortable clothes in the comfort of your own home.
With my professional personal chef service you will find that it may even help you control your food costs as you will be less likely to impulse-buy in the grocery store or resort to low-quality fast food or frozen processed food. Also, there will be no more food getting spoiled. Lastly and most importantly, you will be able to spend more quality time with your family.
When and where do you shop for ingredients?
As quality ingredients make for quality meals, I shop for the ingredients–including fresh items such as produce, meat, fish and poultry–on the way to your home. For most clients, I purchase general grocery items at places like Publix, Krogers, Aldi’s, Walmart, Sevananda and/or Wholefoods. As for meats and poultry, I purchase them directly from butchers that I use when purchasing halal or kosher meats/poultry for my own family. As for seafood and/or fruits and vegetables, I purchase them directly from a farmer’s market.
Is it possible to order only one or two entrees?
It is but I would still have to charge my minimum fee. This is my business and in order to be profitable and offer my clients the best value, my fee starts at $275 plus the cost of groceries.
How long will the food last and how often will we need your service?
It will depend on your family size, how many nights you all eat at home and the number of entrees and/or servings ordered. Whether it’s weekly, biweekly, monthly or as-needed, I’ll make sure it works best for you and supports your lifestyle without putting pressure on you. Service dates are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. Occasional service and gift certificate purchases are scheduled around regular clients.
How do I pay for the service and am I locked in for a period of time?
Cash for my service in addition to the grocery deposit will be required in advance of the cooking date. Payment is required in advance because I am reserving an entire day for you. If my services are to your liking, I will guarantee the cooking fee for one year (we will have to enter into a written contract); after that it is subject to increase, otherwise there is no contract and you are not locked in for any period of time; our mutual arrangement can be terminated by either of us at any time with advance notice. Because our relationship is based on mutual trust, please have all monies ready for me when I arrive on each subsequent cooking date.
What are the benefits of using a personal chef?
♦ No more stopping off at the grocery store
♦ No more trying to answer “What’s for dinner?”
♦ Makes meal time less of a hassle
♦ Nutritious meals suited to your needs
♦ Ingredients you can trust
♦ More free time