Can I afford a Personal Chef?

Yes!  Knowing that up to three hours a day are bought back to you with every meal a Personal Chef prepares.  The thought is priceless.

Do I need a Personal Chef?

Not everyone does.  But if you are growing weary of fast food, commercial frozen foods that are loaded with sodium and preservatives, or tired of take-out, then the answer is yes.  If your busy life doesn't give you the chance to shop for and cook healthy meals for yourself and your family, you should consider how a Personal Chef Service can help.  A Personal Chef can change your quality of life for the better.

What do I gain by using a Personal Chef over going out to eat?

For the price of a meal at a restaurant, you must drive there, wait for a table, wait to be served, have a limited selection if you have food allergies, have no control over the amount of salt or wrong types of fat are in the meal, pay and tip (even if the service wasn't that great), then drive home.

If you have a Personal Chef, you can heat an entree that has been specifically prepared for your dietary regulations on your own time.  All fees represent the components that make a truly customized service:  The chef/client Assessment (so I might learn about your individual tastes and dietary restrictions and you get to know me), menu research and planning, shopping, preparation, cooking, packaging, labeling and storing.   All you have to do is enjoy it all in the comfort of your own home.

What is the difference between a Personal Chef and 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.

So, How Does It Work?

We will set a date for an in-person visit before any cook-date is set. 

I prefer the initial meeting to be in person so we can put a face to the name and I can get a better idea of your kitchen layout. 

We can then discuss how many meals you will need prepared in any given week, your food preferences, food allergies or any other dietary requirements.  This is also a good time to ask any questions regarding the service that you might have.  

From this meeting, I can then go off to create a truly customized menu for you. 

I will send the completed menu selections via email for you to approve or change.  Once we've decided on a menu, a cook-date is set.

On the day of the cook-date, I will shop for the groceries in the morning, arrive at your home and spend up to 8 hours (depending on the menu and amount of meals) preparing, packaging and storing the entrees while leaving clear, concise instructions as to how to heat them.  I make sure that your kitchen is just as you left it and will also leave suggested menu selections for my next visit with the next week's cook-date for you.  

From then on, we can communicate via phone or email.

Do you cook in my home?

Yes.  I come equipped with a traveling kitchen.  I have all the necessary utensils, cookware, pantry items, such as herbs, spices, salt and pepper.  I carry my own knives, cutting boards, prep bowls, kitchen towels and natural cleaning supplies.  All I need is your kitchen counter as my workspace, a working oven, stovetop burners and your fridge/freezer to store the meals I create.

Do you shop for the food on the same day that it is cooked?

In most cases, yes.  I shop for all perishables and stock grocery items the morning of the scheduled cook-date.  I keep a cooler in my car so I can keep cold items at proper temperatures during transportation, then, promptly refrigerate them once I arrive at your home.  Sometimes, more exotic, non-perishable items are purchased the day before a cook-date or on-line if need be.

Why do you cook in my kitchen?

Cooking in your own kitchen means that your meals are stored when they are as fresh as possible, ensuring that they will be delicious when you are ready to eat them.  Also, allergen based diets will benefit from less possible chances of cross contamination having the food prepared in the right environment.

How long do you stay in my kitchen?

I will likely be cooking several different entrees and side dishes from scratch, so it can take up to 8 hours, depending on the menu and amount of meals made. However, I will work with your schedule so we might pick a day that is convenient for you.  You may or may not be present while I am cooking.

Do I heat the food?

Yes.  I will leave clear and concise heating directions for either microwave or oven.  If the meal is frozen, defrosting it overnight in the refrigerator the day before consumption is recommended.

Can you use my containers?

Uniform size containers take less storage space in your fridge or freezer, and I will bring the appropriate containers for the entrees I am preparing each cooking date.  If there is an entree that would be better suited in your own casserole or baking dish we can arrange that. 

How long can I store my meals?

There are no preservatives in the meals I prepare, so refrigerated (35-40 degrees) entrees should be consumed within five days from the cooking date.  Three days for fish entrees.  Frozen entrees do not have unlimited shelf life.  Therefore, most frozen entrees should be consumed within two months from the original cook-date for the freshest quality. 

How long will the food last?

Depending on how many entrees you order, and how many evenings you eat at home, we can determine approximately how long your meals will last.  If you travel or just enjoy eating out on occasion, the meals will take you further than if you eat one each night.

Do I pay you ahead of each cooking date?

Yes, I will ask for Cooking fee in one check/cash and approximate grocery fee and one time container fee in another check/cash in advance, usually at the first Client Assessment.  Then, at the continuing scheduled cook-dates, I will leave a menu for that next week's meals along with two invoices, one for cooking fee and one for grocery fee.  Payment will be expected prior to the next cook-date.  If I overcharge the groceries, the difference will be deducted from the next cook-date price.  Undercharging will result in a bill left with payment due prior to the next cook-date.  You may mail a check in care of Simple Earth Cuisine.  See Pricing link for more information.

The reason two separate payments are required, keeping cook-date charge and groceries individual, is simply that in the state of NY, one payment for both service and groceries is subject to sales tax.  If the groceries are kept separate, then neither is subject to sales tax because both are considered “services”- grocery shopping, and cooking.

Can I give Personal Chef Service as a gift?

Yes!  Simple Earth Cuisine now offers Gift Certificates.  There are various types to choose from:  Any amount Gift towards weekly service,  an all-inclusive gift of “A Few Nights Off” which includes two dinners with appropriate side dishes, cooking lessons and finally, an all inclusive gift of a “Romantic Dinner for Two”.  See Gifts link for more information.

© Created by and for Simple Earth Cuisine 2012