American Personal & Private Chef Association

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Private Chef Association

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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.

Do you cook in my kitchen?

Yes, generally meals are prepared in the safety of your own kitchen, although some personal chefs are moving to licensed kitchens and delivery service. Normally, on the agreed upon cooking date the Personal Chef will bring the fresh ingredients for your meals along with their own pots, pans and utensils, and prepare your entrees on site.  At the end of the day the chef will leave your kitchen clean and full of the aroma of good home cooking!

How long will you be here?

The chef will likely be cooking several different entrees and side dishes from scratch, so it will probably take several hours. However, your personal chef will typically be most willing to work with your schedule or situation, and make arrangements in advance so that the cooking date fits into your schedule compatibly.

Do I 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.  Your Personal Chef will always leave you with easy to follow heating instructions for each entree.

How much freezer space do you need?

It depends on the number of meals you request, and the sizes of the containers, but it does generally require a considerable amount of freezer space.  You and your chef should take a look at your freezer to see just how much room you have available.  Efficient storage is one of the reasons Personal Chefs prefer to select the appropriate size, uniform storage containers for their clients.

Can you use my containers?

Once again, uniform size containers take less storage space in your 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.  If you will save the containers for me that held the entrees you have already enjoyed, I will take those back with me each cooking date, so I will actually be rotating containers in and out of your kitchen regularly.

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

Although my fees are expressed per entree or per serving, they actually represent all of the components that make up a professional personal chef service.  For example, the assessment process that I complete to determine your likes, needs, special dietary requirements and requests is used to customize your menu selections. 

I modify all of my recipes to reflect your wants and needs; meal selections are submitted for your approval; all of the groceries needed for your meals are included; and your meals are all prepared in the safety of your own kitchen.  Plus, packaging, labeling and storing your entrees are all features included in this price.

If you were to compare a personal chef service to restaurant service you could think of it this way...For a restaurant, you must drive to get there, possibly wait for a table, take a chance that your server is having a good day, and 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 for your palate and requirements, and eat it in the comfort of your own home.

Do I pay you ahead of each cooking date?

Yes, that is customary to pay for the service in advance of your cooking date.  If you like you may leave me a check for the upcoming cooking date on the day I am cooking.

How long will the food last us?

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 for business, or entertain in restaurants during the week, or just enjoy eating out on occasion the meals will take you further than if you eat one each night.

How often will we need your service?

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.  I'll make sure it supports your busy lifestyle without putting any pressure on you.

Can I order half of the regular service?

I wish I could make that available to you, but the service doesn’t work that way. For this to be a profitable business for me, I 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.

Bon Appetit, A Personal Chef Service
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