Personal Chef or Caterer – Who to Choose for a Dinner Party?

Personal Chef or Caterer - Who to choose - CookinGenie

25 Feb 2022

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Personal Chef or Caterer – Who to Choose for a Dinner Party?

You’ve decided that you’re going to throw a dinner party. It’s time to gather up your friends and family to spend some quality time together over a good meal. No one wants to spend their entire evening and lead up to the party worrying over the menu, shopping, and preparing the food when they could be focused on other things. So, that means you’ll want to bring in some help to provide the meal part of the dinner party, but who do you choose? Your options include personal chefs and catering services. Do you know how you should make your choice? Let’s break down the similarities and differences between the two services and help you make your plans for a fun dinner party.

Personal Chef Services

Personal Chef Services

Personal chef services mean that you’ll have a trained chef come into your home and prepare your meal, in the same manner, they would if they were in a restaurant. It brings the restaurant experience into your home. Typically, when you book a personal chef service, they shop for fresh ingredients to make the dish you select, arrive at your home to prepare the menu item using your kitchen, and then clean up after they’re done. As a result, your food is fresh and hot when you sit down to eat. When it comes to a dinner party, you can select as many dishes as you’d like, such as appetizers, the main course, and even dessert, based on the menu each chef offers.

Catering Services

Catering Services

A catering service offers the benefit of experience. Most catering companies are very familiar with providing food for parties of all sizes, and they often do it well. They employ chefs to create meals in their kitchens, and then the food is delivered to the party hot and ready to eat. Catering companies often have an extensive menu to select from because of the way that the food is prepared in a commercial kitchen in advance of the party date. Typically, a catering company will arrive at your party and set up the food in the area you select. You may find that they need to set up chafing dishes or other warming trays to keep the food warm while the party is in full swing. You can also pay for servers in case of a much larger dinner party, but that’s not always included in the cost of your meal.

(Also Read – Personal Chef Vs. Private Chef Vs. Catering Services: Which Option Is Right For You?)

Benefits of Personal Chef Services Over Catering

Benefits of Personal Chef Services Over Catering

Both personal chef services and catering offer you the benefit of being more present at your dinner party. They both free you from being in the kitchen while your friends and family have a great time. You’ll be able to chat and enjoy yourself. However, some benefits come from personal chef services above a catering service. With a personal chef service, you know precisely who is preparing your meal as you get to handpick them. You also have peace of mind that the ingredients are fresh and the meal is made that day. You have no fears about something being prepared in advance, sitting in a freezer, and then being dethawed for your dinner party. The personal part of the title of a personal chef means that you get that personal touch when it comes to your food preparation from start to finish. Your food will be piping hot and ready to be enjoyed right from the kitchen. Since a critical component of a dinner party is the meal, it can be vital to pick the right menu prepared fresh in your own kitchen. It’s a great way to make your friends and family say wow after the party is over.

(Also Read – Why Should Busy Families Hire a Personal Chef?)

Cost Comparisons

Cost Comparisons - Personal Chef vs Catering Service

You may be thinking that you’re going to choose a catering service over a personal chef solely because of the cost. People often believe that catering services are affordable while personal chef services are meant more for black tie affairs and the wealthy. While a personal chef service seems like an expensive extravagance, you’d be surprised to learn that the cost isn’t prohibitive. Of course, the price of the different dishes will vary based on the ingredients involved, but it’s all upfront when you book. There are no surprise costs or fees as you’ll be able to see the prices per serving on the website—no contacting different services for quotes. So not will these charges be around the same as you’d expect to pay at your favorite restaurant, but you’ll save time by being able to see the costs online.

(Also Read – How to Save Hours Per Week with a Personal Chef?)

CookinGenie Difference

CookinGenie Personal Chef Service

The CookinGenie difference turns an evening of uncertainty into an evening of confidence. You know that you can count on a great experience thanks to the CookinGenie platform. The booking process is streamlined and very user-friendly. Your chef will arrive in a timely fashion and prepare the menu you’ve requested. That means no shopping, cooking, or kitchen cleanup for you. Plus, you and your chef are protected through CookinGenie if something does not go as expected during your evening. So choosing CookinGenie has some great benefits.

Using CookinGenie

CookinGenie - Personal Chef Service Provider

CookinGenie was designed to be used by anyone wanting to place a reservation with a personal chef on the website. The user-friendly nature makes it fun and easy to plan your dinner party. You can scroll through the different chefs and the different menus they offer. You can easily see prices and the available dates for each chef to make picking out the details for your party easy. Once you decide on the date, chef, and menu, you enter your details and payment information. That’s it. The food aspect of your dinner party is complete leaving you to plan out all the other little details that help make a dinner party a must-attend event.

Are you convinced that CookinGenie is the right choice for your upcoming dinner party? Check out the different menus you can plan using our personal chefs. Your guests will be amazed at the restaurant-quality meal while you’ll be able to sit back relax during your own party. Put entertaining back into your dinner party. Just book and be ready for a fantastic time with your friends.


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26 Apr 2021

“All that I am, or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” 

—Abraham Lincoln 

The second Monday of every May is dedicated to the women (Mother’s day) who take care of us the other 364 days of the year: Moms.  

 And don’t they deserve a day just for them? In many homes, moms are the ones who get it all done: making home cooked meals, buying groceries, packing lunches, folding laundry, organizing schedules, running the carpool, and so much more. Even in today’s more enlightened times, with a generation of dads who take on more than any group before them, a Gallup poll showed that women still shoulder the primary responsibility for doing the laundry, cleaning the house, and making meals.1  

 So this Mother’s Day, how can you show that special mom—your own mother, the mother of your children, a mom-to-be, or a special mom in your life—that you care? Sure, flowers and handmade cards are great. But this Mother’s Daywe’ve got a better idea: get her a Genie, and leave the meal shopping, prepping, cooking, and cleaning up to us.  

Whether you want to treat her to brunch, lunch, dinner, or a week’s worth of meals prepped and ready to go for the days ahead, CookinGenie can arrange for a chef to show up at the door with all the ingredients needed to make a fresh, home-cooked meal from scratch. Our Genie will prepare and plate the food and leave the kitchen as clean (or maybe even cleaner!) as it was before they arrived. 

 Not sure what to order? Check out this sample Mother’s Day menu 

How about starting your meal with Genie Michael Booth’s decadent Baked Brie, a show-stopping starter of creamy brie wrapped in crisp, flaky puff pastry and topped with a nutty bourbon glaze.  

 

Or maybe begin with a springy Arugula Salad studded with marinated red onions, shaved Parmesan and toasted walnuts, and tossed with a refreshing lemon vinaigrette. 

 

For the main course, try a light and refreshing Cioppinoa delicate seafood stew in an aromatic tomato-fennel broth— 

 

or, if you want something more hearty, Filet Mignon with Fingerlings, Broccolini and Chimichurri. 

 

And end on a sweet note with a Fruit Crostata topped with a dollop of homemade whipped cream.  

Don’t see mom’s favorites on our menu – message us and we are going to put a custom home cooked meal together for the special mom.  

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birthday party at home - CookinGenie

25 Oct 2021

Birthday parties are fun for young and old. However, having a birthday party at your house for your parents, children, yourself, or other loved ones may seem like a hassle, but you can plan a perfect birthday party for the next big occasion if you follow these tips.  

How To Plan a Birthday Party? 

It can seem overwhelming at first when planning a shindig at your home, even if it’s just a small intimate party for close family and friends. Here are some considerations to keep in mind during the planning process. 

Date and Time – 

One of the first things you should consider is when you should plan to have your party. It can be helpful to get in touch with family and friends you’re thinking of inviting to work on finding the perfect date and time. However, it may not be possible for larger parties to reach out to everyone personally to get everyone’s schedule. In these cases, you may want to send out a survey in an email to get an idea of when most of your guests will be able to attend. Ultimately, you may not be able to find a date and time that works for everyone. 

Tip: Setting an actual time for the start and end of the party can be helpful. Creating a start time makes it easier for everyone to know when the food will be served, while the end time can help you guide stragglers out at the end of the night. 

Guest List

Concurrently to determining the date and time, you’ll also want to consider your guest list. Even with small gatherings that only include family, it can be beneficial to get a headcount of who’s invited and who’s going to be able to attend. You’ll also want to determine if your guests can bring a plus one, which can dramatically impact your guest list. 

Tip: Respectfully request an RSVP by a particular date before your party. You’ll be able to finalize your headcount better for how many people are planning on coming.  

Budget

Another essential factor you’ll need to consider early on in the planning stages is your budget. You’ll want to sit down and think about how much you’re willing to spend for the party and then look at the different options available to you to fit your set budget best. There are some great options at every budget level for planning a birthday party at your home.  

Break down your budget by the different things you want to offer at your party, such as food, party bags, entertainment, decorations, and so on. The great thing about having a party at home is that venue is one of the costs you don’t have to think about when deciding how much you want your budget to be overall. Plus, think outside of the box. For example, you can save by picking up your party decorations at a dollar store while spending more money on wow items like the cake. 

Tip: Get an idea for your budget by multiplying how much you want to spend per person by how many people you’re inviting.   

Theme

Themes are a fun idea for parties of any age. Of course, it can be fun to create a theme on your own, but if you are worried about the celebrated person not liking the theme, you may want to consider letting them help brainstorm a theme.  

Tip: Pinterest can be a great place to get ideas for themes if you’re stuck. 

Invitations 

Once you’ve picked out a theme and got your guest list together, it’s time to create the invitations. You can go old school and pick up paper invites that fit the theme you picked to mail out or hand deliver to your guest list. Paper invitations can be fun to introduce some potential themes, such as a murder mystery birthday party. 

Electronic invites can also be fun, and they are often the easiest way to get an accurate headcount since it’s straightforward to click whether or not the person will attend the party. Some electronic invitation sites even send reminders out to get any straggler RSVPs. 

Tip: Be clear on your invites about the details, such as the RSVP deadline and if guests can have a plus one.  

Food

Food is often the centerpiece of the occasion. No birthday party, or really any kind of party, is complete without food. An option that you should explore is CookinGenie for your next birthday party. It’s easy to set a menu, figure out how many portions you need to order for your guest list, and have a personal chef handle the cooking in your kitchen. Then you have no worries about the food getting cold as the catering company brings it to your home. 

Tip: Explore CookinGenie.com to learn more about the different offerings that you can have for your party. 

Party Bags

Goodie bags are a great touch no matter the age of the person you’re celebrating. Giving out party bags is often associated with children’s birthday parties as a fun way to end the event. A small bag with toys, stickers, candy, and other little items is given out as the kids leave to thank them for coming. The same can be done for adults with a fun token of appreciation that commemorates the event.  

Tip: Have these waiting at the door for when your guests leave.   

After the Party

Yes! You had a successful birthday party for one of your favorite people. Everyone had an excellent time at the party you planned. Once the party is over, that means it’s time to clean and organize. Did you know that by utilizing CookinGenie, you’ll save yourself some time? Not only does your personal chef for the birthday party prepare a fantastic menu, but they also clean up the cooking area, getting it back to how it was before they arrived. That means you can focus on tackling cleaning up elsewhere. 

Check out CookinGenie today while planning your next birthday party or other home events. See what loyal CookinGenie clients already know: affordable personal chefs coming to your home has never been easier. 

 

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ChickenPadThai -CookinGenie

23 Dec 2020

For many people, pad Thai—the delectable sweet, sour, and spicy stir fry of rice noodles, tofu, eggs, veggies, bean sprouts, crushed peanuts, and an umami-rich sauce that can be found on the menu of virtually every Thai restaurant in the US—is their first taste of Thai cooking.  

So, it’s interesting to learn that the dish that most Americans think of as the quintessential Thai food didn’t even exist until the mid-20th century 

In her book Materializing Thailandnutritional anthropologist Penny Van Esterik says that the dish was born out of prime minister Plaek Phibunsongkhram’s campaign throughout the 1930s and 40s to build a national identity for Thailand. Hoping to create a sense of pride in “Thai-ness” by uniting his country through culture, he changed the nation’s name from Siam to Thailand,  commissioned a new national anthem, banned local languages and dialects from schools, and set out to create a national dish.

(Also ReadTracing Tacos – A Journey Through Time)

Curiously, the main ingredient in the dish that Phibunsongkhramwho was known as Phibunpromoted isn’t even native to Thailand. Stir-fried rice noodles originated in China and were introduced to the kingdom of Siam by Chinese traders in the 1700s. But promoting a stir-fried noodle dish helped solve a serious problem that Phibun’s nation was facing: flooding and war had caused severe rice shortage, and encouraging people to eat noodles helped preserve the country’s precious rice supply.2 Phibun’s administration took the basic recipe for stir fried rice noodles and loaded it up with nutritious bean sprouts, onions, peanuts, eggs, meats, and a tamarind-based sauce, then encouraged vendors to sell the dish from street carts all over the country. It was, Phibun’s son later pointed out, the first fast food in Thailand.3   

Phibun’s efforts to make pad Thai part of his country’s heritage succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. Today, it is a staple of the Thai dietBeyond Thailand, it has become a beloved dish worldwide: In 2011, pad Thai ranked number 5 in CNN Go’s reader poll of the “World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods.”4 Wondering how this simple noodle dish became an international culinary superstarMark Padoongpatta professor of Asian and Asian American studies at the University of Nevada Las Vegas and the author of a history of Thai food, says this, too, was driven by the Thai government as an act of culinary diplomacy: in an effort to stimulate exports and encourage tourism, it established the Global Thai Restaurant Company, Ltd. to train chefs and send them around the world to open Thai restaurants5.     

And now, CookinGenie brings this beloved classic noodle dish tyour house. We offer three varieties of classic pad Thai—Chicken, Shrimp, and Vegetarian—cooked from scratch with wholesome, authentic ingredients like rice noodles, sweet-and-sour tamarind paste, spicy chile-garlic paste, and Thai preserved radish. Book your Genie to bring a true taste of Thailand to your very own kitchen. 

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