Fresh Home Cooked food: A CookinGenie Perspective by Michael Booth

Fresh home cooked food by Michael Booth

25 Mar 2021

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Fresh Home Cooked food: A CookinGenie Perspective by Michael Booth

I believe Cleveland’s own Michael Symon says it best: “Cooking and feeding people always makes me feel better and, I think, it will also make everyone else feel a little more normal and better, too.” 2020 has, to nobody’s surprise, devastated the culinary industry around the world. It has left many cooks, chefs, dishwashers, and servers without a reliable source of income and taken away a major part of their daily drive. But as times change and industries evolve, people find new outlets for work, creativity, and passion to satisfy their craving for fresh food. 

Right as the pandemic took hold and many places were forced to close their doors, I found myself without a kitchen to run and a lot of time on my hands. It allowed me time to pursue other culinary outlets and has given me the chance to explore the world of cuisine from outside the confines of a hot bustling commercial kitchen. With CookinGenie, I am able to keep pursuing that daily drive and practicing my art, even in times of turmoil. At first, as with any new industry, I had my doubts about reversing the typical restaurant status quo and traveling with my expertise. But as I would go on to learn, culinary passion is the same whether it was in a busy kitchen or in someone’s home.  

One of the best feelings of working in a restaurant is going out to the dining room at the end of a busy night and seeing a packed house of customers all having the night of their lives. From couples having a romantic night out, to families celebrating a birthday, it brought a sense of accomplishment and pride to see plates of food that took so much time and effort to make come back practically licked clean. With CookinGenie, I am able to work directly with the client and give them that same sense of satisfaction, while being able to give them and their food one hundred percent more focus and attention. My first client was a family celebrating getting their vaccine and being able to see extended family from out of state for the first time. I was able to connect and bring these people a stress-free, decadent first meal in a long time. It allowed them a chance to reconnect, drink and share all while not having to worry about shopping for fresh ingredients, clean-up, sanitization, or any other worry that could come with traditional restaurants. 

CookinGenie brings a sense of appreciation that is sometimes hard to feel in the back of the house (BoH is anyone that works unseen in the back. Cooks, food runners, dishwashers, etc). Instead of the train of tickets on the line, with orders from 15 different families, CookinGenie allows for a much more personal, romantic experience. When preparing food for a client in their own kitchen, it allows the individuals cooking the meal the chance to really let their culinary talents shine. Most cooks have to follow a menu set by either their chef or the restaurant owner and never have a chance to let their personal talent and skillset succeed. With CookinGenie, the menu, the schedule, the sourcing is all mine. It also allows for menus to be changed seasonally so that you can always guarantee fresh delicious home cooked food


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29 Oct 2019

A recent article released by NPR revealed a startling statistic. It published the results from a Survey by US Foods. That survey interviewed 500 food delivery drivers and 1500 food delivery customers. The results were disappointing to say the least. First revealing that 54% of those drivers found themselves tempted by the smell of a customer’s food. Additionally, nearly half of that 54% admitted to sampling the very food they were tasked with delivering. Not only is this a huge breach of trust, but it also raises issue of sanitization. The hands touching your food have been exchanging money with other patrons, getting in and out of their car, possibly even smoking. Those are the hands now rifling through the French fries you bought and paid for.

Even more unfortunately, this is a best-case scenario. We won’t even reference the many articles of vindictive drivers who tampered with food in retaliation of poor tips. You will not have to search hard to find plenty of stories of body parts and bodily fluids mixed together and even live streamed on Facebook before the food was delivered. Hardly appetizing you say? We agree.

Last year TheTakeout.com ran an article about a loophole in the Uber Eats Delivery Service policy. Basically, it stated that if the driver makes an attempt to contact the person who ordered the food but isn’t able to reach them, they can keep the food. According to a few posts from people claiming to be Uber drivers this was an easy way to score a free meal.

Uber is stuck between a rock and a hard place on this one. Obvious acts of fraud or theft will result in termination from the company. But in the technical age of dropped calls and dead cell phone batteries it’s not hard to imagine a real failure to connect. As much as we’d all like to believe the best about everyone, the evidence clearly points to the faults of this system.

Food safety issues will always be a problem if the food you are eating wasn’t prepared in your own kitchen. The more steps we place between where our food was cooked and when we eat it, the more chances there are for human failure, contamination or theft. For the safest dining experience, eat food that’s been prepared in your own kitchen by someone you trust. CookinGenie does exactly that. We send our Genies to cook in your own kitchen.

References:
https://www.npr.org/2019/07/30/746600105/1-in-4-food-delivery-drivers-admit-to-eating-your-food
https://thetakeout.com/ubereats-drivers-loophole-steal-eat-food-1830879242

https://www.ibtimes.com/food-delivery-driver-dipped-his-testicles-customers-salsa-2769495

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10 Big Game Party Ideas - CookinGenie

31 Jan 2022

Whether you tune in for the creative commercials or to see the action on the gridiron, there’s nothing like getting ready for the Big Game. No matter if you’re planning on having a more intimate gathering with just a few close friends or a much bigger bash, you want to have a memorable event that everyone is talking about until you throw your next party. Here are some fun party ideas to delight your guests.

1. Photo Booth

A football-themed photo booth is always fun. First, create a football backdrop that helps your guests feel like they are at the big game. You can make it look as though you are sitting inside the stadium where the action is happening. Then, add some fun props, such as footballs, jerseys, football bead necklaces, football glasses, and more to let your guests create fun pictures to share.

2. Create a Tailgate Party for Big Game

Football season just isn’t the same without going tailgating at least once. One of the drawbacks of tailgating towards the end of the season is the cold weather, so set up a themed party indoors that looks like a tailgate party. Decorate your table to look like the back of a truck. Throw up some folding chairs for extra seating.

3. Set Up Games

Since not everyone wants to sit still through the entire game, you may want to consider adding some fun games to your party. Some traditional favorites played before a game while tailgating include cornhole, washers, ring toss, beer pong (minus the beer for the kids), and more. Perfect for parties where there are a variety of ages. It’s a great way to keep kids occupied while the adults cheer for their favorite team.

4. Football Themed Drinks

Custom create some fun drinks to celebrate the Big Game. Make a cocktail to represent each team’s colors and let your guests decide who will be the winner of the matchup. You can even add to the event’s fun by using glasses shaped like footballs. Of course, if you can’t find appropriate glasses, you can always create your own using mason jars and some white tape to mimic the look of the laces on the football.

5. Decorations

There are so many fun decorations that you can use to make your home festive for the Big Game. Hang up football streamers and similar decorations. Use the different team colors to create a bold look around your house. Big foam fingers scattered around the room that can be picked up and used during the game can be fun for all.

6. Play Squares

Let your guests make guesses about the game. Then, create a square game to let your friends have some friendly (or not so friendly among really competitive friends) competition on the Big Game. You can find these games online to print or create your own.

7. Get a Personal Chef

Food makes a party. Everyone wants to have plenty of snacks and dishes to eat while watching the fun on TV. Every party often goes the same for the homeowner throwing the party where they spend more time preparing food than enjoying their own party with their guests. So why not get someone else to handle the food? Catering means that your food probably won’t be warm by the time it’s delivered. Ordering in at the last minute from your local pizza joint or restaurant often leads to the food arriving later than you want. A personal chef is a perfect option. You can pick some dishes and have them prepared in your own kitchen. Your food will be hot and ready for your guests, and you get to participate in all the fun without missing out. The cherry on top is that the chef cleans up the kitchen after they’re finished cooking.

8. Desserts

No party is complete without food, and dessert is always the perfect touch to help sweeten up your event. What better way to console fans disappointed their team is losing with something tasty to eat or make winning fans feel victorious as they cheer their team on for the W? There are lots of fun cupcake toppers and football-shaped cakes or cookies you can offer up to your guests. For instance, you can take peanut-butter cookies and shape them in an oblong shape. Once they come out of the oven, you can put some frosting on them in lines to complete the look. You can also turn chocolate-covered strawberries into little footballs with white chocolate details.

9. Bingo or Shots Game

Have you ever played commercial bingo? It can be a lot of fun. Each card has different squares featuring something that may be featured in a commercial, such as a particular brand or the use of animals. Play bingo every round of commercials until someone gets bingo. For more adult gatherings where alcoholic beverages are flowing, you may want to consider playing a shots game. You can pick phrases or actions for during the football game or the commercials, and when it happens, it’s time to drink. For instance, if someone tears up during a commercial, they have to drink a shot, or if someone yells a particular phrase, they have to drink a shot. You can find both bingo cards and shot game directions online if these are new to you.

10. Virtual Guests for Big Game

Not everyone you want to come to your party will be available to attend. You may have some family or friends who need to stay home for various reasons or aren’t able to come over, from quarantining to traveling for work. So, why not create a virtual watch party for the Big Game. Start by sending everyone attending virtually a list of all of the things you’ll have on hand so that they can prepare some of the same dishes. Then, everyone can log in and enjoy the game together.

Celebrating the Big Game in a big way is a time-honored tradition. You’ll be the talk of Monday after you pull off a big party. Let CookinGenie be part of your Big Game plans. No matter if you’re planning on just watching with family or a larger group, your personal chef can help you create a fantastic spread sure to please even the pickiest eaters. Check out the variety of dishes available for your next gathering.

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30 Oct 2019

Workarounds to cooking are ubiqitous. From food delivery apps to meal kits. Quietly, unobserved by mainstream food industry, private individuals are selling meals right from their own kitchens. Allowing neighbors to pick up from their homes or offering delivery or meet up options. These individuals can make a decent side hustle providing regular menus and meals for a small group of customers. Things like Facebook groups make this easy to expand and reach a wider customer base.

But how do you know the condition of the kitchens in which this food is getting cooked? Cleanliness? Safety? Commercial kitchens have to be mindful about environmental cleanliness. There, your food is prepared in a safe and sanitary environment. You can expect safe handwashing practices. Safe food handling. Attention is paid to proper food storage and safe cooking temperatures to avoid illness. Professional restaurants even have to think about food safety during delivery. Such as keeping hot and cold items packaged separately and insulated properly to maintain proper temperatures. For your average neighborhood cooks, you have to take for granted that their homes are safe places to cook in. The Board of Health is not inspecting these home kitchens. If they did a surprise inspection on one of these home chef kitchens what would they find? In each of our homes we have different levels of cleanliness that we deem acceptable. What is acceptable to you might not work for me. Let’s explore some of those grey areas. Does the home have pets? Is the owner’s precious kitty walking on the same counter your chopped salad will be prepped on? Perhaps after she’s been digging in kitty litter? Is there smoking in the home? Even if not while the cooking is being done, are those chemicals in the air? What about common kitchen pests? Are their kids in the home? Are they helping to prepare the food? That’s a lovely thought unless we consider all the things little hands touch, and the lack of thoroughness in their hand washing.

We all love the idea of eating home cooked meals. We enjoy eating freshly prepared food that is lovingly prepared. We aren’t saying that all these kitchens are biohazards. But we do encourage you to find out for yourself. The provider of such foods should not be offended by questions regarding food prep and safety. When in doubt ask the provider in question what levels of food safety are being practiced keeping your food safe before you eat it. If you’ve ever been affected by food poisoning, you’ll understand the threat skimping in any of these areas can cause.

Alternately, if you put your faith on us, we will simply use your kitchen to cook your meals. Now, that is a surest way to ensure that your food is being prepared fresh in an environment you trust.

Reference: https://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/operations/food-safety-strategies-safer-delivery-takeout

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