Serving the St. Louis, MO and surrounding areas

Frequently Asked Questions

Who needs a personal chef? 

A personal chef service is perfect for busy professionals, new moms and dads, seniors, those who are preparing for surgery or recuperating from an illness.  A personal chef can also help you feed a household of guests, special anniversary dinners, dinner parties, birthdays, barbeques and other catering events.

What is the difference between a Personal Chef and a Private Chef?

A personal chef serves several clients. Usually, a personal chef visits the home of one client a day and prepares multiple meals that are custom designed to the client’s particular requests and diet requirements.  These meals are packaged and stored so that the client may enjoy them at their leisure.  A personal chef service is very affordable and is intended for busy individuals who don't always have time to shop and prepare healthy, wholesome food.

Most private chefs are employed full-time for one household, often living on the premises.  A private chef prepares up to three meals a day and they do 100% of the cooking.  This type of service is very expensive.

What is the advantage of having a personal chef?

The meals are prepared specifically to your own tastes and preferences. The cost represents all of the components that make up a professional personal chef service: the assessment meeting, menu planning, grocery shopping, careful preparation of the meals, safe and appropriate packaging with labels and warming instructions.  If you have a personal chef service, you will be able to enjoy a delicious entrée in the comfort of your own home.

Do you cook in my kitchen?

Yes.  I will prepare your meals in the safety of your own kitchen.  I am flexible and adaptable to work in any size kitchen.  On our agreed upon cooking date, I will bring the freshest ingredients for your meals along with my own pots, pans and utensils and prepare your entrées on site.  At the end of the day I will leave your kitchen clean, and your home full of the savory aroma of good home cooking.

Do I need a big kitchen for a personal chef?

No.  You do not need a big kitchen to have a personal chef. All I need to prepare your meals is a functional kitchen with an oven and stove and counter space.

Do you do the grocery shopping?

Yes.  I will do all of the grocery shopping that is necessary for your meals on the morning of your cook date so that your ingredients are as fresh as possible.

How should I prepare for the cooking date?

On your cooking date, your kitchen counters need to be clean and cleared of anything other than the normal small appliances. Your stove, oven, and refrigerator should be in working order. Space will be needed in the refrigerator to store groceries until they are prepared. The refrigerator and freezer should have the appropriate room to store your wonderful meals.

How long will you be in my home?

I will be cooking many different entrées and side dishes from scratch.  It takes approximately two to five hours after arriving at your home, but each menu is different, therefore, I am most willing to make arrangements in advance so that my cooking fits conveniently into your schedule.

Do I need to be home on the cooking date?

No.  Since many of you are busy, you do not have to be home on your cooking date, but either way is fine.  When we book your cooking date, we will discuss house entry, pet arrangements and other specifics I may need to know.

I’ll be home that day.  Is it okay if I watch or help?

As much as I would love your company while I am cooking, my first concern is safety.  Distractions can easily cause burns or cuts; and since several different recipes are being prepared simultaneously, it is best to limit other activity.  This also helps to ensure excellent quality of your meals.  I would be happy to chat or answer any questions before or after, and I am always happy to answer any questions or take suggestions through email or phone.

How will the meals be packaged?

During your free assessment we will decide upon the type of containers that best meet your needs.  Your meals will be packaged according to your preferences, the size of your family, and whether or not you will be dining together. Generally, entrées are packaged separately from side dishes.  It is important to use uniform-sized containers for your meals in order to conserve space in your refrigerator and freezer.

How much refrigerator and/or freezer space do I need?

This depends upon the number of meals you request and the sizes of the containers, but it generally requires a considerable amount of space.  During your assessment we will consider how much space you have available to meet your needs.  Appropriately sized and uniform containers are used for optimum and efficient storage.

How difficult is it to warm meals?

Warming meals is very easy and convenient.  You will receive clear and easy to follow warming instructions for each entrée and side dish.

What type of meals do you prepare?  Can I choose the menu?

I am skilled in many cuisines.  I am also able to cook to the requirements of various diet plans.  At your free assessment we will decide upon the first week’s menu based on your tastes and dietary needs. After you try the meals, we will re-examine the menu and implement any changes you request, for instance, more or less spice, portion sizes, etc. In addition, I would be delighted to prepare a family recipe if the recipe is provided at least a week in advance.

Menu requests are phoned or emailed to me a week or so in advance.  Most clients leave the menu selection to me since I know their likes and dislikes.  Your menus will reflect the seasons, as well as market specials.  But, if one of my dishes becomes a family favorite be sure to let me know!

What type of side dishes do you prepare?

The side dishes will compliment the entrée and it will be selected and prepared according to your needs and requirements. The appropriate side dishes often consist of a seasonal fresh vegetable, potato, rice, pasta or salad.

What if I want you to prepare additional side dishes?

I am always happy to provide additional services such as extra side dishes or additional grocery shopping; however, it will entail an additional fee. 

Will you prepare meals from my recipes?

Absolutely! I love to prepare new dishes. If you provide me with your favorite recipe, I’ll be happy to cook it!

How often will I need your services?

It’s entirely up to you.  It depends upon the size of your family, how many entrées you order, and how many evenings you eat at home.  I’ll be happy to help you determine just how often you will want to schedule my services in order to best serve your needs.

The cost seems to be about what I would pay for a meal in a restaurant.  Why is that?

My fee represents all of the components that make up a professional personal chef service.  This includes the assessment process to determine your likes and dislikes, how you like to eat, and whether you have allergies, sensitivities or medically specific dietary requirements.  It also includes time spent researching and customizing your menu and adapting recipes to reflect your personal needs; grocery shopping for the freshest ingredients; coming to your home to prepare the entrées; packaging, labeling and storing your meals; and leaving clear and easy to follow warming instructions for each entrée and side dish.

If you were to compare a personal chef service to restaurant service you would have to consider your travel time and possibly waiting for a table.  If you have allergies or special requests you would not always have the guarantee that they would be honored since the restaurant industry cooks on an assembly line.  After eating the meal you must pay for it, tip the server, and travel back home.  Besides, a regular diet of eating commercially prepared food is not a healthy lifestyle. 

If you have a personal chef service you will have a refrigerator full of wonderful entrées which have been prepared specifically to your taste and to meet your dietary needs in the safety of your own kitchen.  Plus, you get to enjoy the meals anytime and eat in the comfort of your own home.  No restaurant can offer you that kind of service!

Do I have to sign a contract?

No.  I do not require a contract or a commitment to a specific term of service. You pay for each cook date in advance. The service is flexible and if you need to cancel a cook date, we will try to find an alternative cook date.

Do I pay ahead for each cooking date?

Yes.  It is customary to pay for the service in advance of your cooking date along with a deposit for the cost of food.  Payment can be made for your upcoming cook date on the day I am cooking. 

Can you do special diets or help me lose weight?

Yes.  I am happy to prepare meals according to your doctor or nutritionist's specifications.   While I am not a registered dietician, my fee includes the research and time needed to prepare the healthy meals you require.

What about special occasions?

This is one of my specialties!  Your personal chef would be delighted to become your private chef for your dinner parties, barbeques or any other special occasion.

Do you give cooking lessons?

Yes.  Arrangements can be made for private cooking instruction.

Do you have gift certificates?

Yes.  Gift certificates are the perfect gift for new moms, seniors, busy professionals, and patients preparing for or recovering from surgery. It is also the perfect gift to give yourself and your family members.

What area do you serve?

I primarily serve the greater St. Louis, Missouri area.

This sounds great!  Now what?

Please call or e-mail me with any further questions or to arrange a no-obligation visit to your home.  I would be delighted to meet with you and discuss your personal culinary needs. 

Phone: (314) 753-6012