Julia Child once said, "You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces- just good food from fresh ingredients." I agree with this philosophy. Sometimes, simple is better and I feel this way about food choices. Many personal chefs, while highly qualified and skilled at creating fabulous cuisine, focus on recreating recipes they are familiar with- forcing you to choose from a menu without really thinking about the nutritional value or implications of what you are eating. Putting into your body what the Earth has provided truly connects you intimately with the planet. My goal is to help you connect with yourself, your community, and the Earth to promote well-being and happiness through food choices.
I offer a wide variety of healthy and delicious plant-based meals, customized to your individual tastes. Many food establshments or personal chefs treat requests for plant strong (vegetarian or vegan) meals as an exception that they can accommodate, but it's what I do and eat personally every day.
Since I will grocery shop for your meals on the morning of the cooking session, I'll use only the freshest ingredients available, and organic when possible. I believe in using whole, GMO-free foods. When in season, I will obtain what I can from local farmer's markets. Of course, if you have preferences when it comes to ingredients or brand names, I will use them.
The first session is in your home, during which we will talk about foods and tastes you like or dislike, food allergies, sensitivities, or special needs (diabetic, gluten free, low sodium, etc.). This helps me with planning your menus. We'll also do a quick tour of your kitchen so I know what appliances and cookware are available or what I will need to bring. Next, we'll set up the first cooking date and decide upon a menu, and if necessary arrange access to your home. Quick, simple, and pain free to get you started on enjoying meals that are custom made to your liking.
Yes, the cooking is done right in your own kitchen, using your cookware, appliances, and storage containers. I will also bring along specialty or my "favorite" items such as a pressure cooker, cast iron skillet, Vitamix blender and arsenal of fresh herbs and spices when needed to create the meals. Occasionally, if time or scheduling is an issue, I may do some initial preparation work in my home, but this will be the exception. I do all of the kitchen clean up and leave your home with the pleasant smells of freshly prepared food.
This will depend on the number and type of meals being prepared, since everything is prepared from scratch. Generally, you can expect me to be in your kitchen for about four to six hours. We will make arrangements for a cooking date and time that fits with your schedule. It is not necessary for you to be present during the cooking session provided that access to your home is arranged in advance.
Upon arrival, I would be delighted to visit and chat briefly before starting on meal preparation. Once in the kitchen, I need to be in "the zone" and concentrate on what I'm doing in order to prevent mistakes, cuts or burns that could occur with distractions, and to complete the job you have hired me to do. No offense intended- I don't even let my mother-in-law in the kitchen when I'm cooking. Emergencies such as a child in need of a snack are of course not a problem. If you are interested in watching to learn how I prepare your meals, why not consider a private, in-home cooking lesson?
Prior to each cooking date, I will send you a menu for your approval. This will ensure that I provide you with the foods you like, and there are no surprises when you open the refrigerator!
Every meal will be clearly labeled with thawing and reheating instructions. Any meals stored in your freezer should be placed in the refrigerator overnight to thaw safely and maintain peak flavor, then reheated. It's that easy!
I accept cash, check, or Visa, Master Card, American Express, and Discover cards. Payment for personal chef service can be made on the cooking day; payment arrangements for cooking classes will be made in advance.
Yes, I carry full liability insurance through the United States Personal Chef Association.