Romance in The Times of Covid A Novel Way to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

Celebrate Valentine's Day with CookinGenie

09 Feb 2021

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Romance in The Times of Covid A Novel Way to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day has been celebrated since ancient Roman times—it began as a pagan fertility festival to celebrate Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, where goats were sacrificed, and women were paired off with men by lottery. The celebration was “Christianized” by Pope Gelasius I as the feast of St. Valentine in the 5th century, but it took centuries for the day to be associated with love. Written valentines first appeared in the 1400s, but it was the Victorians who transformed Valentine’s Day into the romantic celebration of cards and flowers that we now know.

Typically, in a normal world, Valentine’s Day meant scoring a reservation at an ultra-cozy restaurant for a leisurely feast in a romantic, dimly lit dining room. We can hope for those days to be a reality soon again. But if you are looking to celebrate and don’t want to miss out on a fine dining evening with your special someone, CookinGenie can make it happen. Turns out you CAN make the day extra special —and we’re here to help.

CookinGenie brings the restaurant experience to your home so you can enjoy a sumptuous Valentine’s Day meal prepared by a local culinary expert in the safety of your very own dining room. All at below restaurant prices. Our Genies offer a wide variety of special occasion appetizers, entrees, and desserts for your celebration. We’re talking a silky Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto, or decadent New York Strip Steak with Potatoes, Asparagus and Hollandaise Sauce, or perfectly prepared Fettuccini Mare, bursting with cherry tomatoes and plump, tender shrimp. They’ll show up at your door with everything they need to make your meal, and when they’re done, our Genies clean up and leave your kitchen as clean as (or maybe even cleaner!) than it was when they arrived. All you need to do is dim the lights, pop open the champagne, and light some candles for a romantic dinner for two (and there may be leftovers to pack a lunch the next day).

Book your Genie this Valentine’s Day weekend and see just how romantic “let’s stay in” can be.

PS Don’t see your favorites on our menu? Send us an email and we’ll work to customize a meal just for you.

(Also ReadTracing Tacos – A Journey Through Time)


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travel around the culinary world with CookinGenie

19 May 2021

In my time as a chef, I’ve been lucky enough to travel around the world and immerse myself in different cultures and cuisines. I’ve learned from amazing local chefs how to prepare traditional dishes and have been awestruck by the sensational flavors that can be found across the globe. Now, with CookinGenie, I can bring those experiences into your home, so that you can feel some of the same wonder I did.

While living on the small island of Bermuda, I learned from my Jamaican co-workers the secrets behind making Jerk sauce, the nuanced, spicy-tangy condiment that they slather over grilled chicken, pork, shrimp, and other meats and vegetables. I fell in love with the sauce and its big, bold flavors, and now offer a jerk chicken on my menu, complete with a sweet plantain puree and fluffy coconut rice.

On a trip to South America, I met a local chef in a sleepy beachside town in Peru. After a brief conversation, she took me down to the local fish market where we picked out a gorgeous seabass that was caught that morning. We went back to her kitchen and she showed me how to make ceviche, carefully dicing the fish and marinating it with lime, cilantro, and onion, allowing the acid from the lime to gently cook the fish. The dish was so bright and crisp and refreshing; it was unlike anything I’ve ever had before. It stuck in my memory so much that it’s now the inspiration behind the ceviche found on my menu; red snapper tossed with lime, fire-roasted pineapple, habanero, and coconut milk.

When I was studying abroad in Singapore, I was blessed to partake in an immersive month-long course on Southeast Asian cuisine. I was taught by distinguished Chinese, Indian, and Malaysian chefs how to use spices to build layers of flavor, how to cook in a wok, and how to prepare a dizzying array of noodle dishes. Today, that knowledge is reflected on my menu by a rich Indian butter chicken and a simple yet delicious Chinese-inspired dish of stir-fried veggies in a sweet chili sauce.

A few weeks later, I spent ten days learning from a Thai chef who had mastered the cuisine. She showed me how to grind aromatic herbs and spices into vibrant, colorful curry pastes. I learned to make classic Thai street foods like chicken satay, pineapple fried rice, and of course, the beloved noodle dish, Pad Thai. With CookingGenie, all of these favorites can be made in your own kitchen.

After Thailand, I traveled to Vietnam and walked the streets of Saigon, sampling various delicacies from busy roadside vendors. The bun cha, sweet-savory pork patties cooked on charcoal grills and served with a tangy dipping sauce, were a revelation for me, and I hope they will be for you too.

As a genie, I get the joy of reliving those experiences with each dish I cook. I apply the knowledge I’ve learned and deliver every plate with love and passion. I hope to honor those around the world who so graciously opened their hearts and kitchens to me, by sharing what they taught me, with you.

So, if you’re curious and if you want to take a trip around the culinary world without leaving your own home, give CookinGenie a try, and taste the possibilities.

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29 Oct 2019

Food waste is a growing problem in America. According to a recent study, the average American family of four discards nearly $1600 in discarded produce alone annually. That’s right this post is ode to all those banana’s who never became banana bread. That number is not including dairy, meat or grain waste which are also high on the list. What would it mean for your family to have $133 more in your bank account every month? Factor in dairy, meat, and grain waste and that number climbs much higher.

The waste is also an environmental problem. It contributes to the releasing of dangerous gases as it decomposes in landfills. It’s estimated that one third of all food grown is lost or wasted. In fact, some food is left to rot in fields, shipped to feed livestock, or sadly shipped directly to landfills because it’s not cosmetically pleasing to average Americans. That’s right, we only buy pretty tomatoes. If a fruit or vegetable looks strange, grows oddly or has a blemish, consumers won’t purchase it – even when it’s perfectly fine to eat.

Additionally, families are purchasing food with every intent to use it, but life gets in the way. We’ve all done it. Making dinner was too much work so we grabbed dinner on the way home. Fast forward to the weekend and you’re dumping soggy lettuce out of your crisper drawer before you head to the grocery store to stock up for a new week.

There are lots of creative solutions out there. Some families have taken to composting, or meal prepping to try to cut down on food waste. There is one more solution on the table that more and more families are considering. That is hiring a CookinGenie – someone who shops & cooks your favorite foods – right in your own kitchen.

So how does that address the issue of food waste? Our Genies approach food purchasing, prep, and waste differently. They can use leftovers to cook for the next family on their schedule.

Many times, food waste is a result of not knowing how to create a meal around unused portions. Half an onion and some chicken bones? A family would dispose of that. An experienced cook would make chicken stock for a later meal. Hire our genies allow him or her to shop for highly consumable food items in bulk, he or she will only serve you the food you and your family will want to eat. This is the best use of all the food purchased, effectively reducing food waste immensely. Not to mention cost effective, even with the cost of hiring a person you will most likely end up saving money instead of throwing it away in the form of food that has gone bad and eating meals out. Remember if you are spending less than $1600 a year on this service, you’ll be saving money. Just something to chew on. We look forward to cooking for you & your family once our lives return to normal from the current COVID-19 crisis.

References:
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/americans-waste-nearly-a-pound-of-food-each-per-day-study-finds/

Households Lose Up to $1,600 a Year in Food Waste, U of G Study Reveals

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Personal Chef Vs Private Chef Vs Catering Services - CookinGenie

13 Dec 2021

It can get confusing when you hear the words personal chef, private chef, and catering services. Are they all the same and can be used interchangeably? The truth is that while these services can all help with meals and special events, they are each different in their own subtle ways. So, before discussing when to use these various services, let’s discuss what each of these terms means, what they typically include, and how much they cost. 

What is a personal chef? 

A personal chef is a chef that doesn’t work in a traditional restaurant setting. Instead, they chose to have their own clients and often cook at their clients’ homes. They work for as many or as few clients as they prefer and make their own schedule. Essentially, a personal chef is more like a small business owner compared to a private chef or catering service. 

A personal chef includes a great deal of value wrapped up in an affordable package. A personal chef will typically handle all of the shopping for the fresh ingredients needed for the meal you’ve chosen. Then, they’ll arrive at your home and begin preparing your dishes. You’ll be served your food piping hot and ready to be enjoyed. They’ll follow up by cleaning the dishes and items that they used in your kitchen before taking their leave. When it comes to cost, you can typically expect it to be around the same amount you’d be spending while eating the same dish at a restaurant. The cost typically includes the service of the personal chef along with the groceries. 

When to Use: Personal chefs are great with their versatility. You don’t need a big party as an excuse to hire one. Thanks to their affordability, you don’t have to wait until a special occasion to plan a date night-in with a personal chef handling all of the cooking. However, they are also great for planning intimate family events, such as dinner parties. The cost and flexibility of a personal chef make them great for just about everyone’s budget.  

What is a private chef? 

A private chef is also a chef that doesn’t work in a restaurant setting. However, they typically will be employed by one individual or family. Rather than cooking different meals at different places, a private chef will often provide a daily menu for all of the meals for their employer. In addition, rather than being more like a small business owners, they are more like an employee in how they are paid and receive benefits. 

A private chef will handle all of the home’s grocery shopping, meal preparation, and meal planning, typically every week. This effort means that they’ll be preparing breakfast, lunch, and dinner along with snacks. The cost can be more expensive for a private chef compared to the other services. As your employee, you’ll not only need to be able to offer them a salary, but also benefits, such as retirement, insurance, paid time off, and other perks on top of also paying for the groceries that they use for the meals and snacks they prepare. 

When to Use: A private chef is a wonderful tool for families and busy individuals that can afford to hire and pay a chef to handle all of their meals.  

(Also Read – What is the difference between a private chef and a personal chef?)

What is a catering service? 

A catering service typically employs one or several chefs who often prepare meals for special occasions, such as big parties, meetings, graduations, or weddings. The meals are usually prepared in a commercial kitchen and brought to the location where they sometimes need to be warmed back up or need some light preparations, depending on the menu. 

While not all catering services offer the same experience, they typically cook the food off-site, deliver the food to the site of the event, make any on-site preparations for the meal. Depending on what you choose when placing your order, they often serve the meal either as a buffet service or table service. Some catering services also offer bartenders and beverage servers for your event. As with most of these services, the cost will typically vary based on the menu you choose, the type of service you prefer, and other similar factors. It can be helpful to get several quotes to help you find the best catering service to use as most of these companies don’t have a set price that works for every event since the details can change from one event to the next. 

When to Use: While catering services can be excellent for smaller events, they really shine for significant events where many guests need to be served. Weddings, class reunions, conventions, galas, graduations, charity events, and other huge events typically can benefit from a catering service being employed. 

To Conclude 

Determining the right choice of these services for you depends on a few factors. First, you may just want to enjoy an occasional meal prepared for you in your home instead of visiting a restaurant, so you’ll want to choose a personal chef. You may be planning a massive event and need a more extensive staff to help you ensure that everyone gets served and fed, so a catering service may be the best choice for you. Finally, you may be in a position where you can employ your own private chef and stop worrying about anything to do with the kitchen except on their days off when you might want to pop something they prepared on a different day. Everyone’s situation is different, and you may find that you can benefit from using a variety of these services to fit your life at that particular moment best. 

Hiring a personal chef through CookinGenie has never been easier. Please scroll through the available chefs and dishes they make to find the perfect menu for your upcoming special event or even weekday dinner. You’ll love the choices you have, the way it fits into your budget in the same manner as going out to eat, and how convenient it happens to be for your lifestyle. 

Contact us today in case you have any questions about using CookinGenie to book your next meal. 

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