A Complete Guide to Hiring a Personal Chef

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20 Oct 2021

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A Complete Guide to Hiring a Personal Chef

In our hectic, fast-paced world, we all need a little help getting through our daily lives. As the work, chores, and tasks pile up, it can be helpful to hire someone to take something off your plate for you.

For many, this can include hiring a personal chef to handle their cooking for them. But what is a personal chef? How does a personal chef differ from a private chef? And what are the things you need to know before hiring a chef for a great dining experience? Where can you hire a personal chef, anyways? Find out all that and more in our complete guide to hiring a personal chef.

What is a Personal Chef?

A personal chef is hired by a family, household, or company and is always on the go to prepare meals according to their clients’ dietary needs or preferences. They work on a freelance type of basis and travel around to cook for different customers. This arrangement proves to be valuable for clients who want to save their time and energy, especially during extremely busy days. For many people, hiring a personal chef on a semi-regular basis is an affordable way to help prepare food.

What Does a Personal Chef Do?

Planning for a meal, shopping for ingredients, adapting to client’s dietary needs or preferences, cooking delicious meals, and keeping a clean, organized kitchen are the basic responsibilities of a personal chef. Typically, a personal chef will service multiple clients and they may have an arrangement where they cook once a week at a given clients house and may cook for other clients throughout the rest of the week. Oftentimes, a personal chef will be hired for a one-off event such as a dinner party or holiday get together.

For larger events, a personal chef may also play the role of a caterer as they manage a team of cooks and/or servers, particularly during a special occasion or dinner party. These events can be anything from a formal sit-down dinner with multiple courses to a casual backyard barbecue or buffet.

To serve their clients better, personal chefs have to collaborate closely with their clients to tailor a menus that works for them, both in terms of taste and dietary needs. A personal chef needs to have a solid understanding of nutrition and how to cook delicious foods while also adhering to the dietary guidelines set forward by their clients. Some clients may follow very specific diets or have particular allergies that a chef must navigate. Because of this, there are many personal chefs that specialize in specific diets such as vegetarian or raw food diets.

Personal & Private Chefs – Key Differences

Duties- 

While they are similar, there are some key differences between a personal and private chef. Both a personal chef and a private chef are highly talented professionals that can cook delicious, dietary-tailored meals in a client’s home or business.

But unlike a personal chef, a private chef has full-time employment for one client or family in a private residence, hotel, or yacht. A private chef is much more exclusive, and often reserved wealthier clients who can afford to pay someone full-time to cook for them. Corporate titans, professional athletes, and high-ranking government officials are some of the people who typically employ full-time private chefs.

Private chefs are required to be on call, which is why the common setup is that they live in the residence of their employers or even travel with them on holidays or business trips. This arrangement makes private chefs almost part of the family, and as such, they have to hold confidentiality, win trust, and be able to respond to all food requests of the family.

Private chefs that cook exclusively for one client are fully responsible for almost everything their client eats and are required to manage the kitchen at all times, including doing all the shopping for the week and monitoring the inventory of the fridge and pantry. Live-in private chefs may be tasked with packing school lunches for the family’s children, manning the grill at a backyard cookout, or cooking a chic multi-course meal for a fancy dinner party.

In most cases, a private chef has to collaborate with other professionals like butlers and maids employed in large homes. This environment requires a private chef to have specific skills to function well with other professional support staff.

Is Hiring a Personal Chef Worth it? 

For most ordinary people, employing a full-time private chef may not be affordable or practical. However, hiring a personal chef to help you with meal prep or just to cook for you for special occasions can be a great way to take away some of the stress and time commitment of cooking. A personal chef can save you time, help you eat healthier, and even teach you tips and tricks to improve your own cooking. The cost of hiring a personal chef can vary in different cities and even vary between different chefs, but many are reasonable enough for most middle to upper middle-class families to afford on a regular or semi-regular basis.

How do I Hire a Personal Chef? CookinGenie is How.

When looking for a personal chef, you may know a friend who’s had a particular chef cook for them or you can browse the internet for chefs in your area. Some personal chefs work through agencies, and others are solo operations, often with their own website and business cards. But if you don’t know of any chefs by word of mouth, it can be hard to know where to look. In short, hiring a personal chef can be a pain.

But with CookinGenie, the whole process is a breeze. CookinGenie is a digital platform that displays a network of pre-vetted personal chefs available for you to hire. There is a wide variety of different foods that cater to different diets and tastebuds. After hiring, a genie will arrive at your home with everything they need to cook you a delicious meal and clean your kitchen afterward.

Their services can be used for everything from meal prep to dinner parties. The healthy, from scratch food, can be great for leftovers and can allow you to explore exciting international cuisines, even in this age of travel restrictions. The best part? It all happens in your kitchen. There’s no driving, no shopping, no cooking, and no cleaning. All that adds up to more you time, and these days, we could all use that.


Related Post

Meal Delivery for Seniors vs. Senior Home Care vs. Personal Chefs

01 Sep 2022

As we grow old, our bodies change, and we often require different types of food to stay healthy. Such changes can sometimes be challenging for seniors, as many older adults lose their appetite or find it difficult to prepare meals. However, a few simple food options can help seniors stay healthy and active. Focusing on easily digestible foods such as soups and stews that are easy to prepare can be an ideal option for seniors. Ready-to-eat meals for old adults can also be another good choice. These types of meals can help older people keep up with their dietary requirements.  

Currently, there are three popular options available to seniors to manage their food requirements:  

  1. Meal Delivery Services 
  2. Senior Home Care 
  3. Personal Chefs

1- Meal Delivery Services for Senior

Meal delivery services can be an excellent option for seniors who have difficulty cooking or lack the strength to do so. They provide seniors with ready-made meals that are often nutritionally balanced and easy to eat. While meal delivery services can be expensive, they can be a convenient option for seniors who have trouble preparing meals.  

Things to know before choosing a meal delivery service

  • The type of food offered: Some meal delivery services specialize in healthy eating, while others provide more traditional fare. Determine which option matches the senior’s preference most. 
  • The cost: As meal delivery services can be expensive, it’s essential to know your options and which will be more affordable. 
  • The delivery schedule: Some meal delivery services deliver meals daily, while others provide them weekly. Make sure to determine the senior’s requirement before hiring one’s service.

Popular meal delivery services for seniors

  • Meals on Wheels: Meals on Wheels is a national non-profit organization that delivers meals to seniors who find it difficult to leave their homes. Also, the organization offers social and wellness programs for old adults. 
  • Elderly Nutrition Program: The United States Department of Agriculture runs this Elderly Nutrition Program in which seniors are served nutritious meals in a group setting. The program also offers social and recreational activities. 
  • Senior Meal Delivery: Senior Meal Delivery is a national meal delivery service that provides seniors with ready-made, nutritionally-balanced meals. The service offers a wide variety of food options and delivers meals to the seniors. 

Pros:

  • Convenient: Meal delivery services are convenient for seniors who have difficulty cooking or lack the energy to do so.  
  • Nutritious: Most meal delivery services offer nutritionally balanced meals that are easy to digest.  
  • Social Connections: Some meal delivery services also offer social and wellness programs for their clients.   

Cons:

  • Expensive: Meal delivery services can be expensive, so consider the one that costs less than the other food options. 
  • Limited menu options: Some meal delivery services have a limited menu that may not cater to the specific dietary requirement of most seniors. 
  • Rigid delivery schedule: Some meal delivery services deliver meals daily, while others do it weekly.  

 2- Home Care Services for Old Adults

Home care service is an excellent option for old adults who need help with daily activities, such as bathing, dressing, and cooking. Home care services provide seniors with the assistance they need to live independently. While home care services can be expensive, they can be a convenient option for seniors who need help with daily tasks.  

Things to know before hiring a home care service

  • The type of care needed: Home care services can provide different levels of care, from light housekeeping to 24-hour nursing care. Hire a service that offers the level of care the senior needs.  
  • The cost: Home care services can be expensive for some seniors. Before hiring a home care service, compare the service’s price with the cost of other options, such as assisted living or nursing home care. 
  • The availability of services: Home care services might not be available in certain areas.   

Popular home care services for seniors

  • Visiting Angels: Visiting Angels is a national home care agency that assists seniors with daily living activities. The agency also offers respite care, which gives caregivers a break from their duties.  
  • ComForCare: ComForCare is a national home care agency that provides seniors with personalized care plans. The agency also offers dementia care and palliative care.  
  • Home Instead Senior Care: Home Instead Senior Care is a national home care agency offering flexible, relationship-based, in-home care for aging adults. The agency also provides Alzheimer’s and dementia care.  

Pros:

  • Convenient: Home care services are convenient for seniors who need in-home care, companionship, and transportation assistance.  
  • Personalized care: Some home care services offer personalized care plans tailored to the needs of the senior.  
  • Respite care: Some home care services offer respite care, which gives caregivers a break from their duties.  

Cons:

  • Expensive: Home care services can be expensive. Make sure to compare the cost of the service with the price of other care options.  
  • Not available in some locations: Home care services can be unavailable in certain areas. Consider choosing a service that is available in the senior’s place.  
  • Inflexibility in services: Some home care services only offer limited services, so seniors may need to supplement the service with other care options.  

Also Read: How Can Hiring a Personal Chef Help Seniors?

 3- Personal Chef Services for Senior

Personal chef services are ideal for seniors who need help planning and cooking meals but don’t have the time or ability to do so. Personal chef services provide seniors with freshly prepared meals customizable to their dietary needs. While personal chef services can be expensive, they are convenient for seniors who only need cooking services.  

Things to consider before choosing a personal chef service:

  • The type of food: Personal chef services offer different types of food, from exotic gourmet foods  to comfort  meals. Remember to hire a service that matches the senior’s preference.  
  • The cost: Personal chef services can be costly. It would be best to look for an option that costs less than other food alternatives, such as restaurant or grocery store meals. 
  • The availability of services: Personal chef services could be unavailable in some locations. Make sure to hire a service that covers the senior’s area. 

Popular personal chef service for seniors

  • CookinGenie: A personal chef-on-hire service that provides customers, including seniors, with healthy meals tailored to their dietary needs. The service offers a variety of meal plans with different cuisines, such as gluten-free, low-carb, and vegetarian options.
    The personal chef is responsible for everything from meal planning and grocery shopping to cooking and cleaning up the kitchen afterward.  

Pros:

  • Convenient: Personal chef services of CookinGenie are convenient for seniors who want  personalized meals but don’t know cooking or don’t have the energy to do so daily.  
  • Tailored to the senior’s needs: Meals are customizable to the senior’s specific dietary requirements.  
  • Variety of meal plans: We offer a variety of meal plans, allowing seniors to choose a plan in line with their health conditions.    
  • Variety of Cuisines: CookinGenie serves a variety of cuisines such as American, Italian, Chinese, Mexican, Caribbean, Korean, French, Middle East, and more.  

Cons:

  • Expensive: On average, our service costs around $25/person. Some seniors might find it expensive for daily use. 
  • Not available in all areas: Currently, CookinGenie’s personal chef services are only available in the Ohio region (Columbus, Cincinnati, and Cleveland). However, we will soon be expanding our operations throughout the US.  

To Conclude

While for seniors with severe conditions who need 24-hour care, numerous health care services are available across the states, for older people in Ohio, who are specifically looking for a personal chef to celebrate special occasions or turn a typical ordinary day into a memorable moment with delicious meals, we at CookinGenie are there to help.  

For more information about our services, contact us via phone on (833) 436-4387 or email us at support@cookingenie.com. 

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Aphrodisiac Recipes for Valentine’s Day - CookinGenie Blog

14 Feb 2022

You’ve heard the word aphrodisiac before, and often, the first thing that comes to mind is something like oysters. But, truth be told, there are actually more foods that are considered aphrodisiac or aphrodisiac recipes to help you and your partner get in the mood this Valentine’s Day and beyond.

What is an Aphrodisiac?

Aphrodisiacs are foods that are believed to help stimulate human desire. As eating a great meal is always a pleasurable experience, these foods are thought to go a step further in heightening sexual emotions.

Historically, there are five different types of aphrodisiacs and why they are said to arouse passion.

  1. Exotic foods were thought to be erotic because they were rare and expensive compared to more everyday foods in the past.
  2. Spicy hot foods were thought to fire up passion through their spicey heat, while more bland foods were said to have the opposite effect.
  3. Foods that resemble the sexy parts of your body were also thought to be aphrodisiacs, such as oysters and asparagus.
  4. In addition, eating reproductive parts of animals, such as caviar, was believed to be an aphrodisiac.
  5. Finally, foods that were to stimulate your senses were also considered to be aphrodisiacs. When you eat, you’re doing more than just fueling your body. You’re engaging your senses. You’ll use sight, scent, touch, and taste during a meal, and it’s believed that these foods help heighten your sensual feelings through these senses.

While scientifically speaking, no studies have been done to examine the claims that these foods work to increase your libido, it can be a more personal experience that helps spark a fire. Food works to create a pleasant atmosphere, and that can be enough to help stimulate your evening. Keep in mind what helps to create a more romantic evening will depend on the person. Someone that can’t stand seafood probably will not appreciate your attempt to use oysters to stimulate their senses, while chocolate may be more of a boon than you realize this Valentine’s Day.

Examples of Aphrodisiacs and Aphrodisiac Recipes:

  • Chocolate: Between the taste and how the silkiest chocolate melts in your mouth, it’s easy to see why chocolate has made the cut on this list. Chocolate can help to make anyone feel good. Don’t forget that this Valentine’s Day, when you book with CookinGenie, you’ll receive a complimentary Chocolate Mousse to enjoy after your dinner. If Chocolate Mousse isn’t exciting, you can also try the Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Bars or the Red Velvet Cupcakes with Creamy Frosting.
  • Asparagus: Asparagus is a healthy food that offers plenty of potassium and vitamin E, which are both excellent for helping to improve overall health and sexual health. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that it’s shaped rather conveniently to be added to this list. For your Valentine’s Day menu, you may want to try Garlic Butter Steak Bites with Oven Roasted Potatoes and Asparagus or the Lemon-Herb Salmon with Parmesan Crusted Asparagus and Mashed Potatoes.
  • Finger Foods: There’s something sensual about finger foods that adds them to this list. Not using utensils and being able to feed each other easily helps to give this food an added layer of allure. Charcuterie can be a fun addition to your Valentine’s Day dinner.
  • Hot Peppers: When you want to kick things up a notch for your palate, hot peppers like jalapenos can be great for adding hot flavors to any recipe. Thanks to the capsaicin in the peppers that give them that spicy effect, your heart rate increases, your endorphins start pumping, and it stimulates your nerve-endings. All-in-all sounds like a great time! Here are some tremendous CookinGenie options that feature peppers: Jalapeno’s Cheddar Cornbread, Baked Lemon Wings With A Kick And Homemade Ranch, and Veggie Pad Thai.
  • Brussel Sprouts: Before you dismiss these little green balls, Brussel sprouts have a lot to offer regarding male libido. These tasty guys have Indole-3-carbinol, which helps reduce estrogen in men and helps to spark desire. Some choice dishes that feature these humble veggies include Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Stuffed Salmon with Roasted Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts.

Setting the Right Mood

Now that you’ve got an idea of some of the best meals to add to your Valentine’s Day, the next thing to consider is how to set the right mood for your special dinner. Although you’re at home, that doesn’t mean that you can bring the romantic restaurant feel to your house. So think about how you can go about setting the right mood.

One of the things that romantic restaurants offer is the ambiance. Music, lighting, and more combine to create the perfect Valentine’s Day dinner atmosphere. Pick out romantic selections for the music you and your special someone enjoy. Classical music, R&B, jazz, and other musical selections can work. You’ll also want to find ways to mute your lighting. You may need to add some candles around the table if you don’t have a dimmer switch. Plus, you can add a nice tablecloth on the table from vintage lace that’s a family heirloom or go with a classic Italian restaurant-style red and white checked cloth.

Another thing to consider is plating. The way that your food is presented helps to evoke being in a nice restaurant. It’s time to break out your fine china and silverware to add to the ambiance. Slopping food on the plate doesn’t add to the presentation. You’ll want to plate it carefully, so you’re not ignoring one of the most important senses of sight when it comes to eating.

Let CookinGenie Help Your Valentine’s Day

Give CookinGenie a try this Valentine’s day with these dishes featuring these aphrodisiac recipes. You and your special someone will dine on a meal specially prepared in your kitchen by a professional chef. Make Valentine’s Day a special day where you won’t have to worry about shopping, cooking, or even having to clean the kitchen afterward—leaving you with plenty of time to enjoy the rest of your date night. Check out these fun dishes and more on the CookinGenie website to find the perfect Valentine’s Day meal, whether you believe in the effects of aphrodisiacs or not.

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Charcuterie - CookinGenie blog

26 Apr 2021

Whether it be displayed out at your dinner party, the beginning of date night, or accompanying your favorite bottle of wine, a charcuterie board is a perfect accouterment. Charcuterie (pronounced “shahrkyut-uh-ree) is the French word for the art of cookery dedicated to the preparation of preserved meats, typically pork. The name charcuterie dates back to 15th-century shops which sold many different styles of pork, from terrines and pâtés to hams and sausages. They also specialized in confit, another preservation style involving slowly cooking protein in its rendered fat, for other delicacies like foie gras, a preparation of fatty duck or goose liver. The chef that runs the establishment is referred to as a Charcutier. In a more modern French kitchen, charcuterie is typically handled by a Garde Manger, a chef who is in charge of cold items like salads, cold soups, fruit, and charcuterie.  

Before they got to dinner parties: the origins of Charcuterie 

Charcuterie started as a way of life for people who were looking to preserve what they had excess of. Someone could take and eat what they could fresh from their kill and smoke or cure what they couldn’t currently use or didn’t want to go bad. Early examples of American cookbooks have recipes for a preserved culinary survival food called Pemmican, which is a loaf of dried beef, berries, and tallow to form a high-energy, simple food source. This was introduced by Native Americans and then eventually adopted by European fur traders and then found its way to the arctic as it was easy to prepare and would last for a long time before going bad.  

In modern kitchens, when you see a charcuterie board on a dinner party menu, it refers to an artisan-level crafted assortment of meats and sometimes cheeses that seek to work as something to nibble on before the main course. It is often selected with the flavor profile of the wine, menu, or season in mind. In the summer, a cool and crisp Moscato will cut through a razor-thin slice of a rich prosciutto or serrano ham. Likewise, spicy dried chorizo or soppressata will help finish that bottle of bold, tannin-rich Cabernet Sauvignon on a cold winter night.  

In general, charcuterie typically has three main branches: whole-muscle, pâtés, and cured sausages. Whole muscle typically refers to a whole loin of muscle, cured in salt and sometimes spices. It can include anything from American Bacon, Prosciutto, Speck, Jamon Serrano, Country Ham, Pancetta, Bresaola, Cappocollo, Guanciale, and Lardo. Pâtés can be any type of culinary preparation of forcemeat, herbs, fats, and spices. The most famous one people would know by name is probably pâté de foie gras, made from the livers of fattened geese, but most cultures around the world have their own takes on meat-pastes. Cured sausages cover anything from the pepperonis and salamis that you find in your local deli to finely crafted dry-aged Spanish Chorizo or French Saucisson.  

Nowadays most specialty grocers, Mediterranean wine bars, and some high-end pubs will carry a varying assortment of curated meats and cheeses. In Cleveland, we even have access to locally made craft cheese and charcuterie. Places like The Brooklyn Cheese Shop and Astoria Cafe & Market, produce many varieties of their old-world preparations and recipes. If you are looking to assemble a charcuterie spread for your dinner party guests, CookinGenie can help. There are many Genies who can create this incredibly classy looking starter for your guests.  

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