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Top 5 Tips for Hiring a Personal Chef

You’re tired, you’re hungry and the last thing you want to do after working and running around all day is make a healthy meal for you and your family.  Instead of ordering a gutbomb from the Italian place or eating a freezer burned old entree imagine coming home to fresh, healthy and organized meals made just for you in your refrigerator.  No more cereal for dinner!

Marcy Ragan Personl Chef

This is what it’s like to have a personal chef work with and for you!  You get to focus on your work, your family and enjoy life without worrying about what’s going to be on the dinner table.   But how do you begin to find a personal chef?  Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to satisfying meals made just for you.

  1. First off, you need to find someone, but how?  It’s always good to start with a word of mouth reference.  A friend knows someone.  Or you saw a yummy dish on Facebook or Instagram that caught your eye.  Start with a Google search of, for example, “Personal Chef Monmouth County, NJ” (enter your local county area). Try to find some leads that way.  A reputable Personal Chef has a website, has references, went to culinary school and is a member of an accredited association such as the American Personal and Private Chef Association, or APPCA.  The APPCA has a search function that can help you get started finding someone in your area.  Culinary schools can also be a great source of information.  I know that my culinary school, the International Culinary Center keeps track of all of its alumni and what they’re up to.
  2. Secondly, and maybe one of the most important tips to finding a great personal chef is to find someone that is LIKABLE.  The relationship you establish with your Personal Chef is a personal one.  You need to find someone that you trust, someone that you feel comfortable having in your home.  Your Personal Chef is going to get to know you, your family and your eating habits.  The kitchen is connected to many aspects of your life and oftentimes can be the hub of activity in your home.  I know that with my clients, I love getting to know them and their likes, dislikes and little quirks about eating.  Getting to know your client on a personal level is the best way to figure out genuinely what foods they like to eat and how you may best serve them.  I genuinely love getting to know my clients and “relish” when they open up to me about their eating habits and life.  I can’t stress this enough.  When you have an amiable relationship with your Personal Chef you are on your way to great food.  That’s the “personal” in Personal Chef!
  3. Does your Personal Chef understand your household’s needs?  You want someone who is going to understand the natural rhythm of your house; what nights do you have sports? what nights do you typically order out?  The goal with your Personal Chef is to have he or she accomodate your needs whether your needs are dietary or schedule based.  If you are hiring a Personal Chef to follow a specific diet, does the chef understand the needs of that diet?  Are you trying to lose weight (Clean Diet, Paleo, Vegetarian)?  Things like portion sizes, fiber and fresh food are all important to take into consideration.  Hiring a Personal Chef is not about ‘one size fits all’.  Your Personal Chef needs to be flexible to suit your needs and not just adhere to their narrow range of choices.  With my clients, I am able to cook whatever they like; whether it be vegan, homemade classics or a new Asian recipe found in the New York Times.  Your Personal Chef needs to be adaptable to serve you best.
  4. Is your Personal Chef a member of an association for Personal Chefs?  The APPCA (American Personal and Private Chef Association) is one association that is a must for Personal Chefs.  Does your Chef have liability insurance?  Is your Chef ServSafe certified?  These are all very important to take under consideration when hiring a chef to cook for you in your home.
  5. Most importantly- is the food delicious?!  Try out your Personal Chef’s services for two weeks to see how he or she cooks for you!  Is the seasoning right?  Did your chef listen to your likes and dislikes when presenting the menu?  How did he or she do with portion sizes and just listening overall to your requests to make it a delicious experience for you.  Keep in mind that chefs are human and it might take a week or two to get it right.  Food waste and processed foods will be virtually eliminated from your life and every dollar spent on raw ingredients GETS USED and doesn’t languish in your refrigerator!  When your chef gets it right you are on your way to delicious, satisfying meals crafted just for you and your family.

Call your local friendly personal chef and get on your way to delicious, satisfying meals crafted just for you!



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