Take Your Taste buds Around The World With CookinGenie

travel around the culinary world with CookinGenie

19 May 2021

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Take Your Taste buds Around The World With CookinGenie

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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30 Oct 2019

We have spoken about the idea of having someone come to your home to cook for you. How do you ensure that this is safe for you & your family? The idea of allowing someone you do not know into your home and preparing food for you and your family feels intrusive. So today we are going to discuss why those fears exist, how other industries have overcome it. As well as some practical advice for you so you can feel safe while you make good choices for your family. Overall though, if you do your homework and follow some basic safety precautions there is no reason you should feel hesitant to enjoy services like in home cooking.

So, what are the safety concerns of bringing a CookinGenie into your home? Common concerns are theft, personal safety, and food safety. Let’s explore a few other emerging industries that pushed our comfort boundaries when they first entered the scene and examine how they put our fears at ease.

Getting in a stranger’s car. Isn’t this the EXACT thing that mothers in the 80’s warned their children about? Then Uber and Lyft hit the scene and the world transformed. What makes them safe? Geolocation, background checks, driver reviews, and customer reviews. In today’s digital age this dual rating system protects the buyer and the seller by giving each a chance to rate each other. Encouraging everyone to keep things on the up and up.

Allowing Strangers in our home. Another one our mothers warned us against. It’s not a bad principle, unless your refrigerator breaks, or your washing machine, or you need cable installed, or you have a clogged pipe. When something goes wrong, we shift our fears and let a stranger in. Why? Because we trust people who are vetted by reputable firms or reviewed by our trusted circle. Online ratings help.

Staying in a stranger’s home. This is how campfire stories start. You should never ever stay in someone’s home. Especially if the owner is not there. Unless it’s and AirBnB. Suddenly the world shifted again when AirBnB started allowing property owners to rent out their residences to weary travelers. Especially for families, having a cost-effective alternative to a hotel with all the comforts of home solved a problem for traveling families. So what do they provide to make this once taboo idea feel safe and even luxurious? Boundaries. In every AirBnB booking there are house rules. Clear written boundaries for both parties to agree- encouraging open communication and enforced with a dual rating system.

So how do you decide if you want someone to come to your home & cook for you? Common questions may be – is this person insured? Is he or she background checked? Is this person rated highly? Is this person local?

Do your due diligence & you will start feeling comfortable soon. Our Genies are background checked, know about cooking & are from your locality. You feel comfortable with your favorite babysitter? This is no different.

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Personal chef cooking - CookinGenie blog

25 Nov 2021

For many people, the words private chef and personal chef are interchangeable, and because of that, they equate both services to something that only the truly rich can afford. The truth is that these terms aren’t the same. Each service is different in what’s offered and the cost involved. So let’s deep dive into what a personal chef is versus a private chef and how a personal chef can make a difference in your life. 

What is a Private Chef? 

A private chef is more than likely what you think of when you consider these terms. A chef that works privately for one individual or family is a private chef. They provide a full menu for one client every meal for every day. As a private chef is typically exclusive and works full-time for only one individual, they are often on the payroll as part of the home’s staff along with housekeepers, butlers, and so on. In this arrangement, they are working for an employer that pays them a salary and benefits in exchange for their talents. Often, this can be an expensive arrangement that not every person or family can afford to take advantage of in their home. 

How Does a Personal Chef Differ? 

A personal chef is a different manner than a private chef. Typically, a personal chef has a variety of clients that they occasionally cook for, such as for special occasions or several times a week, depending on the arrangement. In this manner, the personal chef is more like a business owner that provides their clients with a needed service where they bill the person for their time, skills, and the food provided. From a client standpoint, this arrangement makes it much more affordable, along with the added benefit of only using the chef’s services when you need them. 

What Can You Expect From a Personal Chef? 

So once you get past the thought that’s too expensive and realize how affordable personal chef service is, the next barrier is often the unknown. You can be nervous about what to expect from hiring a personal chef. Here is what you can expect from a personal chef service typically to help make you feel more at ease. 

You start by selecting a personal chef and choosing a meal that you’d like them to prepare along with the size. You can go with a small meal to start off with, or you can add more portions so that you can have leftovers for lunch tomorrow. After you’ve scheduled your personal chef visit, you’re done on your end. 

Your personal chef will arrive as scheduled after grocery shopping for everything necessary to cook your meal. They’ll prepare your meal in your kitchen, creating culinary magic using your pots and pans. You’ll be served up piping hot and fresh food, and while you’re enjoying not being in the kitchen as you eat a gourmet dinner, your personal chef will be cleaning up after themselves. Your kitchen will look just as it did before they began cooking. That means you’ll have a delicious home-cooked meal right in your home without having to spend any time on it. You can get back to what’s essential. 

What Benefits Come From Using a Personal Chef? 

There are a variety of benefits that come from using a personal chef. One of the biggest is the time-saving factor. You’ll save time when it comes to grocery shopping. You’ll save time when it comes to preparing your food. You’ll save time in not having to clean up after the meal. Even if you select to have a personal chef come in once every couple of weeks, imagine how much time you’ll have to do what’s important to you. Spend quality time with your family watching a new movie. Have a family game night. You could even take some time for yourself to binge that tv show you’ve been dying to see or that hobby you’ve been wanting to start up. 

In addition to giving yourself more time in the day, you’ll also have the benefit of a great home-cooked meal. At the end of a long day, it’s easy to pop in some microwave meal or frozen oven dinner because that’s all you have the time and energy to do. In addition, you and your family can enjoy a tremendous nutritional benefit from fresh ingredients and meals made without preservatives. Your health will thank you. 

Plus, you get the benefit of eating at home over a restaurant. With the pandemic, eating out has become less fun, and for some with health conditions, it’s not an option anymore. A personal chef is like having the restaurant come to your house without having to drive there, wait for a table, or hope for decent service. Instead, enjoy a date night with a special meal prepared just for you. 

In addition, there are no worries when it comes to the menu. Food allergies are no longer an issue when you inform your personal chef of what you or someone in your home can’t eat. This choice provides excellent peace of mind. 

Some benefits come from using a personal chef for special occasions, as well. Who wants to have a dinner party or birthday party and end up spending all of your time in the kitchen? A personal chef is a great way to ensure that you’ll get to mix and mingle with all of your friends during the event. Plus, you won’t have to worry about cleaning up the kitchen at the end of the night. It’s handled for you by your chef, leaving you to tackle the other areas of the house.      

Ready to experience the difference that a personal chef can have in your life? CookinGenie is prepared to give you a wonderful experience. You’ll get the chance to try out a variety of chefs and meals on your schedule based on your budget. Once you give CookinGenie a try, you may decide that you no longer want to visit restaurants as you have a private restaurant with skilled chefs coming to you. 

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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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