Cooking for others...a day in the life of a Personal Chef

When I became a personal chef, I envisioned preparing meals for clients so that they could come home and enjoy a delicious meal without the fuss. I would dazzle them with my wide variety of recipes, cooking techniques, and flavor profiles. I would have then begging for more...of me and my food.  In the first year or two I had a few regular dinner service clients. I would spend a day in their kitchens about every six weeks and prepare, what we in the PC world call, a 5x4, five different entrees with accompanying sides, four servings each. Occasionally I would prepare a 5x6 or a 3x4. Now days I have fewer regular clients and do more specal event cheffing, but when I do chef a dinner service I really enjoy it.

Recently, I had the opportunity to fulfill a dinner service gift certificate. It's been a while since I have done a dinner service so I had to have all of my ducks, or pots, in order to pull it off in a timely manner. Timing is everything. Knowing what to begin with first and what can wait until the end is essential.

I  first met with the GC recipents to get a sense of foods they liked and disliked. Luckily, they had no dislikes. I knew from our meeting that the client wanted to freeze everything I prepared, so keeping that in mind I developed a menu for their approval. After a phone call wanting to know what couscous was, the menu was approved and we set up the cook date.

Menu for 3x2 Gift Certificate

Classic Chicken Divan
Egg Noodles

Baked Chicken with Tomatoes, Olives, and Mushrooms
Brown Rice
Roasted Green Beans

Braised Honey Lemon Pork Tenderloin
Fruited Couscous
Baby Carrots and Peas

On the cook day I shopped for groceries, arrived at their home...and literally took over their kitchen for the next three hours, prepared, packaged the entrees and sides, and left them ready to go into the client's freezer.

3x2 Dinner Service

Meals packaged and ready for freezer

I love knowing that I have given my client's meals that are delcious, healthy, and quick for them to heat and eat. What a great job I have!

And as a bonus, sometimes I even get to prepare the husband's and my supper from what I had left after a cook day. This was one of those days.

Tomatoes, Olives, and Mushrooms over Chicken and Sauteed Spinach
It's a great day to be a personal chef!


  1. Lana I wish you lived close by! Sometimes I wish I had someone to cook for me when i get back from wark starved and tired!


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