A House Call Chef
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Frequently Asked Questions:

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 clients may enjoy them at their leisure in the future.

 Does the chef cook in my kitchen?

Yes, a Personal Chef prepares your meals in the safety and convenience of your own kitchen.  On the agreed upon cooking date the chef brings fresh ingredients for your meals along with pots, pans and utensils, and prepares your entrees on site.  At the end of the day the chef leaves your kitchen clean and full of the aroma of good home cooking!

 How long will the chef be here?

The chef will be cooking several different entrees and side dishes from scratch, so it will take several hours.  It is hard to say exactly how many hours, however, the chef is most willing to work with your schedule or situation, and can make arrangements in advance so that the cooking date is compatible with your schedule.

 If I'll be home that day.  Is it okay if I watch - or help?

Cooking is the chef's business, and she is the professional you hired to do a job, and being under someone's watchful eye or being distracted by conversation or inquiries which not only slow the process, but can distract her and cause burns, cuts, and forgotten ingredients.  You are welcome to come in and visit for say 10 minutes, or in short intervals, but after that the Chef prefers to be "in command" in the kitchen in order to complete the job she has been hired to do.

 Do I need to heat the food?

 Yes, Any entrees that have been stored for you in your freezer should be defrosted overnight in your refrigerator, and heated to be enjoyed at the peak of their flavor.  The chef leaves you with easy to follow Heating Instructions for each entree.

 How much freezer space do I need?

 It depends on the number of meals you request and the size of the containers, but it does generally require a considerable amount of freezer space.  Efficient storage is one of the reasons Personal Chefs prefer to select the appropriate uniform-sized storage containers for our clients.

 Can I use my containers?

 Once again, uniform-sized containers take less storage space in your freezer.  The chef will bring the appropriate containers for the entrees she is preparing each cooking date.  If you will save the containers for her that held the entrees you have already enjoyed, she will take those back with her each cooking date, so she will actually be rotating containers in and out of your kitchen regularly.

 What types of side dishes are prepared?

 The chef prepares side dishes that complete the entree you have selected.  For instance, if you have ordered a beautiful savory stew entree, she may prepare a rice, or polenta side dish to accompany the stew.  

 What if I want the chef to prepare additional side dishes as well?

 She will be happy to provide that service for you; however, it will entail an additional fee.

 The cost seems to be about what I would pay for an entree in a restaurant - why is that?

Although the fees are expressed as a "per entree" or "per serving" fee, they actually represent all the components that make up a professional Personal Chef Service. For example, the assessment process that the chef complete to determine what you like to eat, how you like to eat and whether or not you have allergies,  sensitivities or medically specific requirements.  One of the features of a Personal Chef Service is that these factors will be taken into account when preparing your entrees.  Other features include customizing the recipes to reflect your wants and requests, submitting meal selections for your approval, grocery shopping, and coming to your home to prepare your entrees in the convenience of your own kitchen, plus packaging, labeling and storing your entrees. If you were to compare a Personal Chef Service to a restaurant service, you could think of it this way:  For a restaurant, you must drive to get there, possibly wait for a table and take a chance that your server is having a good day.  Then, if you have allergies or special requests, you don't always have the guarantee that they will be honored since most entrees are "assembly-line" ready in the kitchen.  After eating your meal, you must pay for it, tip the server and get back in your vehicle to drive home.

 If you have a Personal Chef Service, you can heat a beautiful entree that has been prepared specifically four your palate and requirements, and eat it in the comfort of your own home.  You can even enjoy it curled up on the couch in your "jammies" if you want.

 Do I pay after each cooking date?

No, it is customary to pay for the service in advance of your cooking date.  If you like, you may leave the chef a check for the upcoming cooking date on the day she is cooking.

 How long will the food last us?

Depending on how many entrees you order and how many evenings you eat at home, will determine approximately how long your meals will last.  If you travel for business, entertain in restaurants during the week or just enjoy eating out on occasion, the meals will take you further then if you eat in each night.

 How often will I need the service?

The chef will be happy to help you determine just how often you will want to schedule the service to best serve your needs.  A Personal Chef always make sure the service supports your busy lifestyle without putting any pressure on you.

 Can I order half of the regular service?

Unfortunately no, the service doesn't work that way.  For the business to be profitable for the chef, she cannot take the same amount of cooking time and produce half the amount of food.  It takes the same amount of planning, shopping and preparation time to cook 10 portions of food as it does for 20 portions of food.

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