Can you prepare foods for special diets like gluten-free, low-fat, Paleo, vegan, or vegetarian? Can you provide meals that work for my diet?

11 Apr 2022

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Can you prepare foods for special diets like gluten-free, low-fat, Paleo, vegan, or vegetarian? Can you provide meals that work for my diet?

Of course, we can cater meals to meet your dietary needs. Be sure to give us any of this information up front, so that we can provide the best service possible.


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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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Made to Cook: The Cooking Hypothesis

22 Oct 2020

What makes us human? Some would argue that it’s the act of cooking — whether it’s boiling, broiling, roasting, baking, or barbecuing — that separates us from every other species on Earth. 

 In 1999, Harvard professor of biological anthropology Richard Wrangham published an article in the Current Anthropology journal called “The Raw and the Stolen: Cooking and the Ecology of Human Origins. Known as “the cooking hypothesis,” Wrangham’s groundbreaking new theory of human evolution proposed that taming fire to cook food changed the course of human evolution. 

 In his article and his 2009 book Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human, Wrangham argued that cooking allowed our human ancestors to process food more efficiently — and this change had a profound impact on evolution. While all other animals eat raw foods, Wrangham theorized that our ancestors began cooking their food some 1.8 million years ago, a change that gave early man the ability to process food more efficiently. It takes a long time, and a very large jaw and teeth, to grind down raw meat and plant matter. Before our ancestors learned how to cook, Wrangham estimated that half of their waking hours were spent simply chewing enough food to subsist, leaving little time for anything else. Cooking alters the chemical structure of food, breaking down the connective tissues in meat, and softening the cells of plants to release their starches and fats. This makes cooked food easier to chew and digest. This also helpthe body to use less energy to convert food into calories. Once the cooking was introduced, he estimated that our ancestors had an extra four hours in their day — time that could be spent huntingforaging, and slowly beginning to organizinto societiesWrangham explained, “The extra energy gave the first cooks biological advantages. They survived and reproduced better than before. Their genes spread. Their bodies responded by biologically adapting to cooked food, shaped by natural selection to take maximum advantage of the new diet. There were changes in anatomy, physiology, ecology, life history, psychology, and society.”  

This higher calorie, higher-quality diet lead to the evolution of bigger brains and bodies, and smaller jaws and teeth—a transformation that gradually resulted in modern man. From the control of fire and the growth in brain size, it’s not such a large leap to the development of dedicated hearths, the introduction of pottery and other tools for cooking, and the domestication of plants and animals.  

(Also ReadWhat eating healthy looks like)

 Wrangham’s theory is, of course, just that: a theory. Archaeological history to support control of fire 1.8 million years ago has not yet been found, but the recent discovery of ash in a South African cave suggests that our ancestors were controlling fire at least 1 million years ago — far earlier than previous evidence suggested. It may be just a matter of time before definitive evidence that proves Wrangham’s theory is found.  

 And If Wrangham’s theory is correct, we truly are what we eat.  

 If cooking is so fundamental to our evolution as people, it is a wonder that we don’t have time to make home-cooked meals with wholesome ingredients. Modern life has created many barriers to our ability to prepare home-cooked meals. What do we do if we don’t have time for home cookingBusinesses like CookinGenie can help you bring cooking where it belongs—in your own kitchen—even when you don’t have time to cook yourself. Check out our menus, and book your Genie today for building healthy eating habits in the family.  

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Guests with Food - CookinGenie

28 Sep 2021

Cooking for someone with a severe food allergy can be intimidating. And with food allergies on the rise, it’s becoming more common than ever. You want people to enjoy your food. But you would never want to be responsible for giving someone a severe allergic reaction.

Thankfully, with the right knowledge and planning, cooking for guests with severe food allergies doesn’t have to be daunting. It will take some extra steps, but it’s always better safe than sorry. Here are some things to remember before cooking for guests with food allergies.

Know your allergens and their severity

People can have food allergies to just about anything. But food allergies, which are not the same as food sensitivities and intolerances, are not all created equal. Some people have allergies with mild symptoms like hives and a stomachache. Others may have allergies that could cause life-threatening anaphylactic shock, which may include dangerous symptoms like a swelling throat, fainting, wheezing, and trouble breathing.

While all allergies have the potential to be severe, certain ingredients are far more likely to cause extreme reactions. The 8 most common severe allergens are milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, and wheat.

It’s important to understand the complexities of these allergies. Someone who’s allergic to milk can’t eat other milk-derived products such as cheese, yogurt, or ice cream. And while some of these allergies sound very similar, they can be different. For example, someone may be allergic to almonds, but not peanuts. Or they may be allergic to shrimp and scallops, but salmon is fine. Whatever the case may be, make sure you talk to your guests and understand exactly what it is they’re allergic to.

Avoid allergens entirely in the meal

Some people tend to think that if a guest has an allergy, they can just leave out that ingredient for that guest and it’ll be fine. While this may be true for some, in cases of severe allergies, the allergic person may not even need to directly consume the allergen to have a dangerous reaction. For example, an invisible trace of peanuts that can be spread through the air onto a dish may be enough to trigger an anaphylactic reaction to peanuts. So, if possible, it’s best to leave the allergen out of the entire meal, even for those who aren’t allergic to it.

Check labels

Reading labels can be a pain, but it’s an important safeguard against allergic reactions. Sometimes ingredients can have unexpected allergens. For example, Worcester sauce, which is a popular condiment for steak and burgers, often contains anchovy paste, making it unsuitable for people with seafood allergies. But, by the name, look, and flavor it, you would never know, making reading the labels all the more important. By law, common allergens are bolded on the bottom of the label, making it easier to identify them.

Additionally, because just a trace amount of an allergen can cause a reaction, you need to watch out for any possible exposure. Some foods, like prepackaged cookies, may not actively contain nuts but may be processed in the same facility as almonds. In this case, those cookies would not be safe to serve to someone with a severe nut allergy.

Clean and sanitize the kitchen

Before beginning to cook for someone with a severe food allergy, be sure to thoroughly clean and sanitize the kitchen, including surfaces and utensils you will use. There’s no telling if there may be trace amounts of the allergen floating around the kitchen. So, to be safe, give everything a good cleaning beforehand.

Be prepared for the worst-case scenario

If you take all the proper steps to protect against food allergies, you should have nothing to worry about. But just in case, you should be prepared to handle a severe allergic reaction. Make sure any guests with food allergies are carrying their EpiPen on them. Also ensure that someone in your party knows how to properly inject an EpiPen as the person having the reaction may not be capable of injecting it themselves.

The EpiPen will help immediately ease the symptoms of the reaction. While one person is injecting the victim with the EpiPen, someone else should call 911 to get the victim professional medical aid. While waiting for the ambulance to arrive, try to keep the victim calm while lying on their back.

Anaphylactic reactions are scary, but if handled properly, everything should turn out fine. Less than 1% of anaphylactic reactions from food are fatal, according to the national institute of health.

CookinGenie takes allergies seriously

At CookinGenie, the chefs know that protecting customers from allergies is of the utmost importance and they’re experienced in cooking for people with serious allergies. Genies can modify orders to fit around allergies and the support team will work with every customer to craft the best meal.

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