Multitasking in gig economies

30 Oct 2019

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Multitasking in gig economies

A friend of mine recently ordered delivery of groceries to her home. The person delivering presented her a business card and offered his services as a home cook. Not only was he willing to purchase her groceries, but he was also willing to prepare her food. Talk about full service! We wanted to applaud this gentleman for combining his talents with a secondary service that his customer base would benefit from. Not only can he expand the services he offers, but he can also reach a wider base of people who could benefit from his services.

The gig economy is growing with no signs of slowing down. We think we’re going to see more and more of this kind of crossover opportunity. It makes sense to diversify. By offering more than one service you become more valuable to your customers, and your service becomes even more individualized and personal based on your knowledge of their preferences. It also opens the door to additional profits. It allows you to offer a secondary service to the families that you cook for already and creates an endless stream of new individuals who might be looking for a home cook but never considered one before.

Maybe you’re working as an Uber Driver or a Task Rabbit already and you have a dream of becoming a cook. But the enormous amount of training or investment to open your own business is daunting. Alternatively, starting from the ground up with an entry level job at a restaurant usually means years of hard work & inflexible hours just to gain a base level of knowledge. But becoming a home cook is a new emerging opportunity that is gaining in popularity each year. Just as people are willing to outsource their cleaning, or their grocery shopping many busy families and professionals don’t have the time or expertise to cook quality meals each day.

Many home cooks start small, by apprenticing with an experienced cook. Going with them to jobs teaches them how to speak to clients, plan menus, and execute dishes in a time efficient manner. It can also teach them how to overcome some of the common quirks that come with cooking in someone else’s kitchen. Some start by portion sharing with friends and family. Meaning just preparing a double batch of whatever you cook for your own family and selling the bonus portion to friends and family. Some start by delivering meals or offering pick up services with a set menu and build a clientele with a Facebook group.

Then there are businesses like ours. We take experienced cooks and home cooks alike and introduce them to the world of being a home cook. We can help you with advertising, building a clientele, and growing your business. We can help you build your own reputation, while earning a decent wage.. The possibilities are endless in a gig economy, but everyone has to start somewhere. If you want to cook fresh meals to help out busy folks who want to eat food made in their own kitchens, send us a note. We are here to help!


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Date Night with a Personal Chef

21 Jan 2022

Valentine’s day is fast approaching, and you know that you want to do something very romantic, but time isn’t always on your side. Have you ever considered a date night with a personal chef? No one wants the hassle of going out to eat with their Valentine, especially lately. The drive to the restaurant while hoping for a table and the worry that they will be short-staffed can kill the mood. So why not skip that hassle and try to go a more private route? Taking the time to schedule a date night with a personal chef shows you care while not impacting your regular schedule.

Downside of Traditional Valentine’s Day Dinners

Many couples jump through many hoops to try to outdo previous Valentine’s Day dinners. They try to get into the hottest new restaurants or old romantic favorites. The problem is that so is everyone else. Thinking ahead can mean calling around to restaurants trying to find one with an open reservation. Waiting until the last moment can mean calling around to find a table without a crazy wait time.

(Also Read – Elevate your Dining Experience with Your Own Personal Chef)

Then, there are all the problems that can occur while heading out. Your boss may keep you later than usual. Your babysitter ran late. The weather can ruin your day. Parking can be a pain. Menus can become limited with meals selling out. Prices for parking, drinks and the meal can be even higher than usual due to the holiday adding insult to injury. All of these little things can pile up to making a night out no fun.

The Upsides of Using a Personal Chef

All of the pitfalls you could possibly run into are eliminated when you opt for a date night in with a personal chef. There is no trying to compete with other couples for a table at a restaurant. Instead, you’ll be at your home having a romantic dinner with no distractions. You can easily book a personal chef for your date night dinner, no matter what day you want to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

(Watch – How to Enhance Date Night Flavors with CookinGenie)

Running late when eating at home isn’t the same issue. You don’t have to worry about having enough time to change, drive to the restaurant, find parking, and rush to get inside only to find out that your reservation isn’t ready for you yet because the couple ahead of you is still finishing their meal. Instead, you can get home, get changed, and open the door for the personal chef, all while feeling relaxed rather than rushed.

Plus, a personal chef will cook specifically for you. There is no worry that you or your date won’t find something on the menu that you’re interested in eating. No one wants to spend a lot of time looking over a menu, finding a dish that sounds good, only to be told that it’s no longer available because the kitchen ran out of it due to others ordering the same thing. Then, it’s time to figure out what else you’d like to eat even though you were in the mood for the first thing you picked. Also, you won’t have to ask for substitutions or eliminate ingredients and hope that the kitchen gets your order correct. Everything will be personalized for your dinner.

How a Personal Chef Service Works

You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to plan your Valentine’s Day dinner when using a personal chef service like CookinGenie. First, scroll through various local personal chefs with differing menus until you find the perfect one for your date night. Then, pick precisely what you and your date will enjoy for the meal. Once you’ve booked your personal chef, be ready to sit back and relax.

Your personal chef will handle all of the shopping in advance, so you don’t have to worry about going to a busy grocery store during your day. Next, they’ll arrive ready to prepare your meal in your kitchen. You’ll be able to enjoy your meal at home without having to listen to other diners or wait endlessly for it to be served. Finally, there’s no worry about who has to clean up the dishes after your dinner date since your personal chef will handle it all for you.

Wishing you’d have leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch like you would with your leftovers from the restaurant? Then, you can plan ahead and order additional servings to ensure that you’ll have something to eat later.

Cost Comparison

One of the biggest barricades people face when considering a personal chef is the cost. Many believe that a personal chef is only for the wealthy, but that’s not the case. In fact, getting a personal chef costs about the same as a meal in a restaurant. You won’t be surprised by a meal costing more than expected when using CookinGenie, as our service has upfront prices that you’ll see when you book your meal. Of course, some meals will be priced higher than others due to the ingredients and other factors, but you’ll expect to pay about the same at a restaurant. Since Valentine’s Day can often have a special menu or other upcharges, you’ll find that planning a date night with a personal chef this year for your special someone is more affordable.

(Also Read – How Can You Save More by Hiring a Personal Chef?)

Your Personal Touch

The personal touch you give to your dinner date with a personal chef will stand out. You selected a menu that you’ll both love that’s carefully crafted by a professional. You can even take a little time to spruce up your dining room or kitchen with some candles and a new tablecloth to bring the fancy restaurant experience into your home. The little details matter, and you’ll show the person you love just how much you love them with such a thoughtful date night.

(Also Read – A Complete Guide to Hiring a Personal Chef)

CookinGenie is here to help with your romantic dinner on Valentine’s Day or any day that needs a date night ending. Choose from a variety of local personal chefs to come and prepare your favorite meal in the comfort of your own home. So, get all the credit for an at-home romantic dinner without having to handle the shopping, cooking, or clean-up. Check out our website today to finalize your next date night with a personal chef.

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Foods to know the Difference Between Food Allergies, Intolerances &Sensitivities

01 Oct 2021

We’re all familiar with food allergies, but nowadays you constantly hear terms like “sensitivity” and “intolerance” to different foods. These three terms often get lumped together, but they’re unique conditions that elicit different responses from the body and have varying levels of seriousness. So, what do all these terms mean? And how should they affect your cooking?

Food allergies

Of the three, food allergies are the most serious. A food allergy is an immune response in your body, usually diagnosed by an allergist with a formal test. The cause of food allergies is still unknown, but the body perceives a harmless food as a threat and in response releases an immune hormone called histamines to “attack” that food it sees as harmful. The release of these histamines causes various symptoms such as hives, nausea, dizziness, and vomiting. The onset of symptoms from an allergic reaction is usually immediate.

In cases of extreme allergic reactions, the victim can go into anaphylaxis, a rare allergic condition which can cause fainting and restricting airways. Anaphylaxis requires emergency medical attention and can be life-threatening.

People can be allergic to almost anything, but the most common severe food allergies are milk, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, wheat, and shellfish.

Allergic reactions from food can range from a slight itch in the ears to a fatal case of anaphylaxis, and just a trace amount of the allergen can be enough to cause a dangerous reaction. Even those who believe they have a “mild” allergy may have a severe reaction any time they consume that allergen, so it’s best to avoid it altogether. Cooking for someone with a food allergy must be done with great caution.

Food intolerances

While food intolerances are not as serious as allergies, they can cause significant illness and discomfort. An intolerance is not an immune response like an allergy, but instead is marked by the body’s inability to digest certain foods. Most food intolerances cause uncomfortable symptoms including stomach pain and diarrhea, but they are never life-threatening. Food intolerances are usually diagnosed by a doctor and symptoms often take several hours after eating to occur. Some common food intolerances are to lactose, a sugar found in cow’s milk, and wheat.

Unlike with allergies, those with food intolerances can usually have small amounts of the food they’re intolerant to. For example, those with a lactose intolerance may be able to have a little bit of grated parmesan cheese on a pizza or a touch of heavy cream cooked into a soup, but a spoonful of yogurt may make them sick. Similarly, someone with a mild intolerance to gluten may be able to have a dash of soy sauce over rice, but not a bowl of pasta.

There are, however, some more severe intolerances. Celiac disease is a rare intolerance to gluten, a protein found in wheat, that can cause severe stomach pain, diarrhea, and violent vomiting. People with Celiac disease cannot have any traces of gluten.

Food sensitivities

Compared to food allergies and intolerances, food sensitivities have the mildest of reactions. Similar to an allergy, food sensitivity is an immune response so it can affect multiple organs with a wide range of symptoms including headaches, fatigue, rashes, and nausea.

The reaction from a food sensitivity can begin hours, or even days, after eating. Because of the delayed onset, food sensitivities can be hard to pinpoint and many of them go undiagnosed. Food sensitivity to gluten, for example, can be as simple as generally feeling tired a couple of days after eating bread. A good way to figure out if you have food sensitivity is to systematically eliminate certain foods from your diet for a week or two at a time to see if there’s a change in how you feel. You can also get tests for certain food sensitivities.

For many people with food insensitivities, a moderate amount of the ingredient will not lead to symptoms. However, as with allergies and intolerances, the level of sensitivity varies from person to person.

The bottom line

Food allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities are all challenging conditions that should be taken seriously when cooking. When cooking for others with any of these conditions, be sure to talk to them beforehand and fully understand the nature and severity of their condition. If it’s just a mild sensitivity or intolerance, you may be able to use a little bit of the ingredient to make the tastiest dish possible. But, if your guest has a severe food allergy, you should steer clear of that ingredient.

At CookinGenie, all allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities are taken very seriously. CookinGenie chefs undergo a rigorous interview process, and they are adaptable to different dietary restrictions. The CookinGenie support staff will also work with you closely to ensure your meal meets your requirements so that you can sit back, relax, and enjoy a delicious homecooked meal.

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Understanding USDA Beef Grades_CookinGenie_blog

29 Jul 2021

When you walk through the meat section at the grocery store, you will often find steaks labeled with a small shield in the right-hand corner, denoting a USDA grade and claiming the steak as prime, choice, or select. But what do these grades really mean? And how should they impact your decisions on what steak to buy, or not to buy?

The first thing to understand is that the USDA has two main objectives when looking at beef: inspection and grading. Inspection is required of all meats that are shipped across state lines, as mandated by the Meat Inspection Act of 1906. Inspection is a safety measure; it does not guarantee quality but simply ensures that the meat is safe for human consumption.

Grading, however, is different. A grade is an assurance of quality you can trust. Within 24 hours of the animal being slaughtered, expert USDA graders examine the meat and assign a grade on the basis of age, color, texture, firmness, and marbling.

Of these grading criteria, marbling, which is the intramuscular fat inside a piece of meat, is the easiest to identify—it’s the white lines that run through a piece of raw steak. Marbling equals tenderness and juiciness. As the steak cooks, the fat melts and makes the steak moist and tender. The more marbling, the higher quality the steak.

With all these criteria in mind, the USDA has eight grades it applies to beef: Prime, choice, select, standard, commercial, utility, cutter, and canner. The higher the grade, the more expensive the steak.

(Also ReadWhat Makes Bibimbap The Ultimate Korean Feast?)

Prime is the highest grade, this meat comes from younger animals, is rich in marbling, juicy, tender, and flavorful. But it is also expensive and can be hard to find.

Choice meat is of excellent quality, with solid marbling and flavor, it offers great value and is readily available. Choice steaks are good candidates for grilling, roasting, or searing.

Select meat is of solid quality and is very economical. Since select meats are a little tougher and drier, they are well suited for moist cooking techniques like stewing and braising.

Standard meat is cheap, tough, and of low quality. Sometimes you will see it as an ungraded store brand meat but typically it’s sold as ground meat or other processed products.

Utility, cutter, and canner meats are rarely ever used in foodservice and are typically used to make pet food and other canned products.

It’s also important to note that grading, unlike inspection, is voluntary and not required by law. So, if you go to a local butcher or farmer, their steak may not be graded, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s low quality. When shopping for these steaks, the easiest way to determine quality is to look for marbling.

Here at CookinGenie, we offer a wide range of delicious, creative steak dishes and strive to use butcher-fresh meat graded choice or better. Beneath every dish on the website, you will find a transparent list of ingredients so that you know it is quality you can trust. Browse the menu today to see what amazing steak-night dishes can be prepared in your own kitchen.

Sources: https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2013/01/28/whats-your-beef-prime-choice-or-select?page=1

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