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A Personal Chef Can Save Time and Money

And create magic in your kitchen

Chef Mary Jane Curry
Courtesy of Mary Jane Curry

By Mary Jane "Chef MJ" Curry

If you would like to enjoy home-cooked meals that are prepared to your liking and meet the dietary recommendations of your doctor or clinician, hire a personal chef! A personal chef offers many services to retired individuals and couples, particularly for those who enjoy great-tasting food within a budget!

Having the services of a personal chef is no longer a luxury exclusive to the rich and famous. A personal chef can actually save you time and money.

When you contact a personal chef, he or she will set a date and time to review your particular food interests, needs, special diets, and other considerations with you. After this, your chef will tailor a proposed cook date schedule that best meets your needs. Once the food plan and cook date are set, the chef will be able to prepare up to 20 meals during a single cook service. Your chef will shop for the groceries for the meals, then cook, label, package, and place your upcoming meals in the fridge and freezer for you to enjoy over the next couple of weeks, until the next cook date. Personal chef’s have access to hundreds of proven recipes, allowing you to try a great variety over time without repeating recipes—unless requested!

Having a personal chef buy and bring the freshest ingredients in the portions you require saves you time spent on shopping, food preparation, and cleanup, in addition to money typically lost because of food spoilage or waste.

The seniors for whom I currently provide personal chef services are retired. They enjoy the conveniences mentioned above and the smell of great home cooking!

Case study: Gloria is one of my clients. She used to love cooking when the family was growing but prefers to have me come in and prepare a variety of her favorite meals every few weeks. Gloria frankly doesn’t want to be involved in cooking and cleanup these days. A widow, she likes to spend her time on other household responsibilities or at exercise class, on the treadmill, or calling the grandkids. She enjoys knowing that my meals are fresh, tasty, and prepared to meet her needs and personal preferences. Gloria also likes that the meals are packaged in the portions she wants for a single meal and the ease of heating them as she selects over the next few weeks, depending on her other meal plans and outings.

As a nurse practitioner and a personal chef, I enjoy the personal chef cook dates that I have with seniors. We look forward to not only the cook date and aromas filling the kitchen but also to the connection we share in having quality food lovingly prepared and convenient for these, my special clients.

Here’s to your health!


Published April 27, 2010

A personal chef who belongs to the United States Personal Chef Association (USPCA) could be the answer for seniors (or anyone) whose cooking days are behind them. A personal chef can work with you to understand the types of foods you enjoy, while respecting any dietary concerns you may have, such as requirements to avoid or eliminate sodium, spicy food, or lactose. A personal chef will customize dishes for you, prepare them fresh with groceries purchased that morning, and package them in easy-to-heat individual servings to store in your freezer. You can have as many meals as you like, as often as you want them. Your chef will even do all of the cleanup!

The USPCA, located in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, takes great pride in its chefs. Chefs across the United States and Canada are trained in the business of personal cheffing and required to pass ServSafe certification. They work toward earning an extensive personal chef certification that is rechecked on an annual basis. Chefs are encouraged to continue ongoing training, and mentor programs are available. USPCA annual conferences help chefs stay current on new techniques, nutritional information, and good business practices. Membership includes generous liability insurance to protect your home and assets in the event of a kitchen accident—just know that USPCA chefs take every precaution to avoid incidents and have a great track record!

Consider a personal chef the next time you are thinking of dinner options. It is more economical, convenient, and delicious than you may realize. Visit the USPCA Web site or HireAChef.com for a list of personal USPCA chefs in your area.

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