How does it work?
Unlike a private chef, who cooks only for your family and does each meal separately, a personal chef is much more affordable. Before we begin, I will do a free consultation with you about your family’s likes and dislikes, food allergies and health conditions. If you have a restricted diet and are working with a doctor or nutritionist, I will be happy to work with her. We will talk about how many meals a week you would like, and how you would like them divided. We’ll also talk about whether you want side dishes, salads and/or desserts. On the designated day, I will shop and arrive at your home to cook. When you come home, several dishes will be waiting. There will also be leftovers.
What do you charge?
I charge by the hour. I can give a clearer estimate of what my services will cost when we talk specifically about how much food you will want.
How far will you travel?
Since I live in the East Bay, I hope the majority of my clients are in the Oakland-Berkeley area to keep commuting to a minimum. However, I am not limited to those areas.
What kind of food can I expect?
I specialize in healthy, delicious vegetarian food from around the world, with Indian and Thai dishes being specialties but I cook fish and meat, too. I consider a lot of what I make "vegetarian comfort food." I buy organic whenever possible. Whether you are a meat-eater or not, I believe that everyone should be eating more veggies. More than one client has told me I am responsible for getting them to like kale -- a source of great pride for me. One of my goals is to introduce my clients to a wider range of foods -- especially vegetables -- than they are currently eating. Parsnips, celeriac or fennel anyone?
What are some dishes that you'd make for me?
My repertoire is growing all the time. Some of my most requested dishes are beet-carrot burgers, a garlicky-greens polenta pie with tomato sauce, and a white bean tomato saffron soup. My red lentil soup is divine. I love Asian flavors like miso and mirin. My current culinary obsession is the "Jerusalem" cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.
Do you cater or teach?
I prefer to give my clients one-on-one attention, and catering does not allow for that, so no, I am not catering at this time. But I am happy to do one-on-one cooking lessons or with small groups or small dinner parties, just ask!
Why hire you?
Very good question. Why indeed? Although I didn't cook professionally at first, I have been cooking for friends and family since I was 13. My mother Sarah was an amazing self-taught cook and sometimes I think I went this route as a way to feel close to her. Perusing cookbooks -- and now food blogs -- is something I do for fun. For years, I cooked for relaxation, and felt there was almost nothing more satisfying than nourishing those I love with delicious food. I still feel that way, and believe I bring that good energy to my food.