Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What is the difference between a Personal Chef and a Private Chef
A private chef is employed by one individual or family full time, and is often “living in”, and preparing up to 3 meals per day.
A Personal Chef serves several clients, usually one per day, and provides multiple meals that are custom designed for the client's particular requests and requirements. These meals are packaged and stored so that the client may enjoy them at their leisure in the future.
2. Do you cook in my kitchen?
Yes, we do prepare your meals in the safety of your own kitchen. On our agreed upon cooking date we bring the fresh ingredients for your meals along with our own pots, pans and utensils, and prepare your entrees on site. At the end of the day we leave your kitchen clean, and full of the aroma of good home cooking!
3. How long will you be here?
We’ll be cooking several different entrees and side dishes from scratch, so it will take several hours. We cannot say exactly how many hours, however we are willing to work with your schedule or situation, and we can make arrangements in advance so that my cooking date fits into your schedule compatibly.
4. I’ll be home that day. Is it okay if I watch - or help?
Just like when you go to work, you need to be focused in order to produce your best. Your kitchen becomes our office when we set up and we'll need to be focused also. We are professionals and want to give you the best service we can. It's why you hired us! Being distracted by conversation or inquiries can not only slow the process, but it can also distract us and may cause burns, cuts, and forgotten ingredients . However we'd certainly be available to chat for 15 minutes or so if needed before we start. After that we need to be “in command” in the kitchen in order to complete the job we’ve been hired to do.
5. Do I heat the food?
Yes. Any entrees that have been stored for you in your freezer should be defrosted overnight in your refrigerator, and heated, to be enjoyed at the peak of their flavor. We leave you easy to follow heating instructions for each entree.
6. How much refrigerator/freezer space do you need?
It depends on the number of meals you request, and the sizes of the containers, but it does generally require a considerable amount of refrigerator/freezer space. We can take a look at your refrigerator/freezer to see just how much room you have available...Efficient storage is one of the reasons we prefer to select the appropriate size, uniform storage containers for our clients.
7. Can you use my containers?
Once again, uniform size containers take less storage space in your freezer. We prefer to use reusable glass Pyrex containers for our customers because they go easily from the freezer/refrigerator to the oven/microwave. We do the shopping for your containers for your convenience and once purchased the containers belong to you. Reusable containers are a one time fee that range from $70-$200+. Disposable containers are also available for $30 per cook date.
8. What if I want you to prepare additional side dishes as well?
We’d be happy to provide that service for you; however, it will entail an additional fee. ($15-$25)
9. The cost seems to be about what I would pay for an entree in a restaurant - why is that?
Although our fees are expressed in a per entree, they actually represent all of the components that make up a professional personal chef service. For example, the assessment process that we complete 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 we will take into account when preparing your entrees is one of the features - that, along with customizing 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 or 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 Terra Cuisine, you can heat a beautiful entree that has been prepared specifically for your palette 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.
10. Do I pay you ahead of each cooking date?
Yes, that is customary to pay for the service in advance of your cooking date. If you like you may leave us a check (paid to: Terra Cuisine) for the upcoming cooking date on the day we are cooking. We also take credit cards and paypal.
11. How long will the food last us?
Depending on how many entrees you order, and how many evenings you eat at home we can determine approximately how long your meals will last. If you travel for business, or entertain in restaurants during the week, or just enjoy eating out on occasion the meals will take you further than if you eat in each night.
12. How often will we need your service?
We’ll be happy to help you determine just how often you will want to schedule Terra Cuisine to best serve your needs. We’ll make sure it supports your busy lifestyle without putting any pressure on you.