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.
Who needs a Personal Chef?
ANYONE! A Unique Taste Personal Chef Service is for people who don’t have the ”TIME”, interest or skills to plan, shop for and prepare daily meals. A typical client is someone who is tired of fast food or dining out who wants to enjoy healthy, nutritious meals on their own time schedule in the comfort of their own home. Busy professionals, retirees, new parents and those just home from the hospital are typical clients. Our goal is to simplify your life by taking on a vital but time consuming chore by putting a delicious meal on the table for you and your family.
What are some of the benefits of having a Personal Chef?
Convenience – Imagine stress free mealtimes, relaxing and dining in your own home without the headache of planning, shopping, preparing and cleaning up. With A Unique Taste you can enjoy a beautiful custom made dinner curled up on the couch in your jammies if you want!
Healthy – Delicious, nutritious meals prepared exactly to your standards. Our service is a great support for those following or transitioning to a new or challenging diet. Special dietary requests for one or more members of the family can be met, so that mealtime can be relaxing and enjoyable.
Value – Compare the time spent planning, driving, shopping, waiting in line, cooking and cleaning up with restaurant dining. When dining out, there is travel and waiting time, gas, drinks, tip…it all adds up. How would you rather spend your time and money?
Why hire a Personal Chef?
Many people can follow a recipe, but do they want to? The cooking itself may be an easy task but think of the time associated with it—preparation and shopping that can be a burden. Also think of the freshness of the food being prepared for you. Who has time to shop for the freshest ingredients just before cooking them? How many times have you gone grocery shopping with grand ideas of what you will cook, only to look in your refrigerator at the end of the week to see the produce & other items wilting before your eyes because you haven’t been able to “get around to it”? Your time is precious; use it to do what you really enjoy!
Do you cook in my kitchen?
Yes, we do prepare your meals in the safety of your own kitchen. Florida law requires personal chefs to use their client’s kitchens unless the chef has access to a commercially zoned kitchen. On our agreed upon cooking date we bring the fresh ingredients for your meals along with our own pots, pans, and utensils. Then we prepare your entrees on site. At the end of the day we leave your kitchen clean and full of the aroma of good home cooking!
What do I need to do to prepare for the cooking day?
Please make sure the kitchen counters are cleared and clean to ensure sanitary working conditions. Your refrigerator and freezer, stove, oven, and microwave must be in good working order. The refrigerator and freezer also need to have space to store your meals.
How long will you be here?
We’ll be cooking several different entrees and side dishes from scratch, so it will take several hours. We cannot say exactly how many hours, however we’re most willing to work with your schedule or situation, and we can make arrangements in advance so that the cooking date fits into your schedule compatibly.
I’ll be home that day. Is it okay if I watch – or help?
Since we work with very sharp knives and other dangerous tools, we are best able to get your job done without personal interaction. Distractions also can cause us to incur burns, cuts, and leave out ingredients from your food. You hired us and we want to provide you with the best product possible. You are welcome to come in and visit for 15 minutes, but after that we’ll need the kitchen to work alone in order to complete the job that you hired us to do.
Are you insured?
Yes. A Unique Taste carries liability insurance and is licensed with the state of Florida. We are also Serv-Safe certified and are current with food handling and sanitation guideline requirements.
Do I heat the food?
Yes. Any entrees that have been stored for you in your freezer should be defrosted overnight in your refrigerator. You then heat your meals to be enjoyed at the peak of their flavor. We will leave you 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. Efficient storage is one of the reasons we prefer to select the appropriate size, uniform storage containers for our clients.
How are the meals packaged?
Your meals can be packaged individually or family style. They can be stored in reusable containers or boil in bags that are microwaveable or can be transferred into a baking dish for the oven. Heating instructions come with all the meals. Some meals will be kept in the fridge, while others can go directly in the freezer for later consumption. We will be glad to package your food in freezer quality re-usable containers, such as Rubbermaid, Pyrex, Tupperware, products. If you prefer this option and do not currently own suitable sizes or quantities we will purchase them for you for a one time shopping fee plus the cost of the products.
What type side dishes do you prepare?
We prepare side dishes that complete the entree you have selected – For instance, if you have ordered a beautiful savory stew entree, we will prepare a rice or polenta side dish to be enjoyed with the stew.
What if I want you to prepare additional side dishes as well?
We’d 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?
Our fees represent all of the components that make up a professional personal chef service. Personal food assessment and eating habits, customized menu, shopping for all ingredients, cooking, labeling, and storing of your entrees, clean up of your kitchen. 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 bad 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 Unique Taste do the planning and cooking for you, 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.
Another factor to consider is that our professional personal chef service may also help you “control” your food costs, as you will be less likely to impulse buy in the grocery store or opt for low-quality fast food, convenience food or restaurant food. Remember all that produce you bought with good intentions of making home-cooked family meals . . . but never got to . . . and had to throw out? No more of that! When you consider the cost of groceries, the time needed to plan the variety of healthy meals, shopping, cooking and clean up, you’ll likely find the cost of our service quite affordable.
Are the costs of the groceries included in your fee?
No, we charge a set fee for our services and keep the grocery bill separate. This way you have control of your service, for example: say you would like a few more pasta dishes that week, obviously your bill will be less, but on the other hand, you might want filet mignon and lobster tail, then , of course your bill would be more. Basically, we don’t have to skimp on the food to keep our labor cost even. (you’ll always get the same quality service with any of the menu items that we prepare).
Do I pay you ahead of each cooking date?
Yes, it is customary to pay for the service in advance of your cooking date. If you like you may leave us a check for the upcoming cooking date on the day we are cooking. A Unique Taste accepts personal checks as well as major credit cards through http://www.PayPal.com; however this service does require a small service fee.
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 in each night.
How often will we need your service?
We’ll be happy to help you determine just how often you will want to schedule A Unique Taste to serve your needs. We’ll make sure it supports your busy lifestyle without putting any pressure on you.
Can I order half of the regular service?
We wish we could make that available to you, but the service doesn’t work that way. We 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.