FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

    What area do you serve?

    Palm Beach County, Florida

  • How does my service work?
  • After the initial assessment to determine your menu requirements, a cooking day is agreed upon I will shop for the ingredients needed to prepare your customized menu. I will prepare all the meals in your home using my equipment, package and store the meals in your refrigerator and/or freezer, clean the kitchen and leave instructions on how to heat and add the finishing touches to your meal. Food and containers are included. Generally, reusable non-glass containers and vacuum seal bags are used.

  • Who would want to have a personal chef?
  • A Personal Chef service is for anyone who does not have the time, interest or skills to plan, shop for and make daily meals. A typical client is someone who is tired of fast food or dining out and who wants to enjoy healthy, nutritious meals on their own time schedule in the comfort of their own home. Busy professionals, retirees, new parents, and those just home from the hospital are typical clients who use personal chef services.

  • How long will your Personal Chef be there?
  • I will be cooking several different entrees and side dishes from scratch, so it will take several hours. I cannot say exactly how many hours, however I am most willing to work with your schedule and can make arrangements in advance so that the cookdate fits into your schedule completely.

  • Are groceries included in the cost?
  • Yes. The Silver Spoon is an “all-inclusive” service rather than a “fee plus” service. Every step of the process is included in the price, from menu planning to shopping to cleaning up. There are no hidden costs. There are, of course limits as to what’s included in the price. For example, if your family’s taste runs more expensive (lobster, veal, tenderloin), then there will be additional charges for these exclusive ingredients. However, these details will be discussed at the assessment so you’ll always know what to expect.

  • How much freezer and refrigerator space do you need?
  • This depends on the number of meals you request, and the sizes of the containers, but it does generally require a considerable amount of refrigerator and freezer space. When I arrive at your home for the assessment, I’ll ask for permission to peek into your refrigerator and freezer to see how much room you have available and to advise you on how much more space I’ll need. Generally, I need a minimum of one refrigerator shelf and one crisper drawer (or size equivalent) to put away cold ingredients and 2 cubic feet of freezer space. Efficient storage is one of the reasons I prefer to select the appropriate size uniform storage containers for my clients.

  • How do I heat the food?
  • I will leave complete easy to follow heating instructions but please note that every entrée that has been stored for you in your freezer should be defrosted overnight in your refrigerator and then heated to be enjoyed at the peak of its flavor.

  • Do I have to be home for the service?
  • No and most people aren’t. Arrangements can be made at the assessment to determine how I will gain access to the house. However, some clients are home. This arrangement works fine as long as interruptions are kept to a minimum to ensure that I can complete all of my tasks in a timely and safe manner.

  • What kind of containers are used to store cooked foods?
  • At the assessment, I will ask what your preferences are in regards to containers. I generally use reusable containers such as Homz, Gladware, Ziplock, Tuxedo, as well as vacuum seal bags and ziplock bags. Uniform size containers take less storage space in your freezer and I’ll bring the appropriate containers for the entrees I am preparing each cooking date. If you’ll save the containers for me that held the entrees you have already enjoyed, I’ll take those back with me each cooking date, so I will actually be rotating containers in and out of your kitchen regularly. I can purchase permanent glass containers for an additional $70.00; they would be your property. Disposable containers can be requested for an additional cost of $15.00 per cookdate.

  • What type side dishes do you prepare?
  • I prepare side dishes that complete the entrée you have selected – For instance, if you have ordered a marinated flank steak entrée, I will prepare either some kind of starch ( mashed potato, orzo, rice or pasta) or a roasted or steamed vegetable. Clients can request their own sides but most opt to let the chef select an appropriate side for each dish.

  • The cost seems to be about what I would pay for an entrée in a restaurant – Why is that?
  • Although the fees are expressed in a per entrée or per serving fee, they actually represent all of the components that make up a professional personal chef service. For example: the assessment process that is completed to determine what you like to eat, and how you like to eat, and whether or not you have allergies, sensitivities or medically specific requirements. All this information will be taken into account when preparing your entrees. Also included is the customizing of our recipes to reflect your wants and requests, submitting meal selections for your approval, the grocery shopping, coming to your home to prepare your entrees in the safety of your own kitchen, plus packaging, labeling and storing your entrees are more features.

    If you were to compare a personal chef service to restaurant service, you could think of it this way: For a restaurant, you must drive to get there, possibly wait for a table, take a chance that your server is having a good day, and if you have allergies or special requests you don’t always have the guarantee that they will be honored, since most entrees are “assembly line” ready in the kitchen. After eating your meal you must pay for it, tip the server, and get back in your vehicle to drive home.

    If you have a Personal Chef Service, you can heat a wonderful entrée that has been prepared specifically for you palate and requirements, and eat it in the comfort of your own home. You can even enjoy it curled up on the couch in your “jammies” if you want.

  • When I think of frozen food, I think of TV dinners – how can frozen food taste good?
  • Some weekly clients opt to not have their entrees frozen but most others do because of the convenience. I have researched and read several books that explain the best way to preserve food through freezing. In addition, my professional organization keeps it’s members up to date on what foods can be frozen successfully and which ones should be avoided. There are several ways to freeze foods while ensuring the flavor and texture are preserved. Before any dish is frozen, I thoroughly cool it (ice bath) before packaging it to keep ice crystals from forming which can water down the taste of food. I also wrap every item tightly to keep air away from the food, which can cause freezer burn and dryness.

  • Are the majority of the meals frozen?
  • It depends on the plan or service you decide on. If I am preparing 20 meals and there are 4 people eating, then usually three entrees would be refrigerated and two would be frozen. If you are single and I make 20 meals, then yes, the majority would be going in the freezer. You may decide to have only three entrees prepared at a time and have me come cook a few times a week.

  • Do I pay you ahead of each cooking date?
  • Yes, it is customary to pay for the service in advance of your cooking date. If you like you may leave me a check for the upcoming cooking date on the day I am cooking or send a check via snail mail well in advance of the next cookdate.

  • How long will the food last us?
  • This depends on how many entrees you order and how many evenings you eat at home. If you travel for business or eat out in restaurants during the week, the meals will take you further than if you eat in each night.