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 often lives in, preparing up to three meals per day.

A personal chef serves several clients, usually one per day, and provides multiple meals that are custom-designed for the clients’ particular requests and requirements. These meals are packaged and stored, so that the client may enjoy them at his or her leisure in the future.

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.

Where are the meals prepared?

Unlike catering, all the meals are prepared in the safety of your own home kitchen, according to required state food safety guidelines. 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 a Simply Delicious, Dinner at Home.

Can I afford a Personal Chef?

Absolutely! When you add up the time and money spent on planning, shopping, cooking, and clean up, the price can be quite affordable—not to mention the other benefits you may experience when you begin to devote that time and energy to other pursuits! The cost per meal is comparable to eating at a nice restaurant. However, with my service, you will be getting individually customized meals with your specific dietary requests in mind. You will eat in the comfort of your own home, at your convenience, and will have all the extra time saved to enjoy doing the things you love!

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. The length of time depends entirely on the quantity of meals prepared and the type of menu selected for athe cook date. I cannot 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.

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 them 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 no additional cost and they will be yours to keep. The container fee for disposable dishes averages $15/cook date. These can be washed and reused.

The best method for you will depend on how you prefer to heat your meals, how much storage space is available and other factors.

How do I pay for service?

Payment for services is required in advance. I reserve and dedicate an entire day for a client “cook date.” A grocery deposit and a payment for your selected service will be required prior to your first “cook date.” For your convenience, I bill using PayPal.

I have children that are finicky eaters, can you help?

When we decide on a menu, we can choose 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 replicate and include them in your menu.

What are your credentials?

As a personal chef, I am a proud member of the United States Personal Chef Association (USPCA) and am covered by their General Liability Insurance. Affiliation with the USPCA indicates my commitment to excellence, continuing education and integrity. I am ServSafe® certified (Food Protection Manager Certification Examination, National Restaurant Association, 10/2011). As well as certified in Nutrition-12/2011 and Purchasing-4/2013 (both part of the Manage First Program of the National Restaurant Association). I have an Associate in Applied Science degree in Culinary Arts and a Certificate of Pattisier from Santa Fe Community College and am a graduate of the Culinary Business Academy. I have a valid Home Occupation business license in the county of Santa Fe, NM.