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Chef Jimmy Eskridge is a member of the American Personal & Private Chef Association. Certified, ServSafe® Food Protection Manager Certification Examination, National Restaurant Association, January 27, 2011.

Frequently Asked Questions

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 often lives in, preparing up to three meals per day. A personal chef is a culinary professional who provides a customized selection of several meals, which are cooked in the client’s home and then packaged and stored, so that the client may enjoy them at his or her leisure in the future.

Where are the meals prepared? Do you cook in my kitchen?

Yes, all the meals are prepared in the safety of your own kitchen, according to required food safety guidelines. On the agreed upon cooking date, I will bring the fresh ingredients for your meals, along with my own pots, pans and utensils, and prepare your dishes on site. At the end of the day I will leave your kitchen clean and full of the aroma of good home cooking.

How long will you be here?

I will be cooking several different entrées and side dishes from scratch, so it will take four to five hours depending on entrée selection. However, I will be willing to work with your schedule or situation, and make arrangements in advance, so that the cooking date fits into your schedule.

Why can’t you just cook everything at your home and deliver to me?

Health department and zoning laws prohibit it. If I were to cook your meals in a licensed, health department approved commercial kitchen then I would have to pass on the rental charge of the kitchen to you. Cooking everything in your home as opposed to offsite and delivering it provides you with the freshest, safest food possible. I will make each service date as low key and as unobtrusive as possible.

Can you use my containers?

I prefer to have food stored in containers that I have purchased for you. I then know they are perfect for the job. However, if there is an entrée that would be better suited in your own casserole or baking dish we can arrange that. We will discuss container selection at your client assessment.

Do I heat the food?

Yes. Any entrées that have been stored for you in your freezer should be defrosted overnight in your refrigerator, and re-heated, to be enjoyed at the peak of their flavor. I will always leave you with easy to follow heating instructions for each dish.

How much freezer space is needed?

It depends on the number of meals you request, and the sizes of the containers, but it does generally require a considerable amount of freezer space. We will take a look at your freezer to see just how much room you have available. Efficient storage is one of the reasons I prefer to select the storage containers for you.

What kinds of ingredients are used?

Only the freshest vegetables, herbs, dairy products, fish and quality cuts of meat will be used. I cook with a variety of oils, vinegars, fresh herbs, and spices. Preservatives are never used.

What about the groceries?

I shop for food as if I were shopping for my own family the day of your cook date. The groceries are brought to your house with the perishables kept cold until they are stored in your refrigerator to be used in the food preparation. All other ingredients needed are also brought the day of your cook date.

How much is it going to cost?

The fees represent all of the components that make up a professional personal chef service. For example, the assessment process that I will complete to determine your likes, needs, special dietary requirements and requests that is used to customize your menu selections. I modify my recipes to reflect your wants and needs; meal selections are submitted for your approval; all of the groceries needed for your meals are included; and your meals are all prepared in the safety of your own kitchen. Plus, packaging, labeling and storing your entrées are all features included in this price. For more information, visit our Plans & Pricing page.

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. 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 beautiful entrée that has been prepared specifically for your palate and requirements, and eat it in the comfort of your own home.

Can I give your personal chef services as a gift?

Of course! Gift certificates are available for personal chef services, dinner parties, romantic dinners, showers, birthday parties, and wine tasting parties. They are great for new parents, friends or family home from the hospital, mother and fathers of the bride and just to say “I love you!” For more information, visit our gift certificates page.

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 me a check for the upcoming cooking date on the day I am cooking.

How long will the food last us?

Depending on how many entrées 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 one each night.

How often will we need your service?

I’ll be happy to help you determine just how often you will want to schedule my Personal Chef Service to best serve your needs. I’ll make sure it supports your busy lifestyle without putting any pressure on you.

Do you do small or private parties?

Yes I do. The cooking must be done in the clients’ home. Contact me for more information on parties.