Influenced by my family who all loved to cook, Grandma Martha’s love of the Totinos Party Pizza and the microwave oven, Grandpa Art’s stroke inducing mash potatoes, gravy and steak, or the true shinning light; the parents with there love of rich Indian curries, Asian delicacies, and good home made Midwestern meals. It was 1989 when I was introduced to the world of culinary arts, not out of love but out of necessity.
I made my way into the only international restaurant/grocery store/deli in town, fresh outta high school. I found my plate and mouth filled with hundreds of cheeses, a plethora of imported meats and pates, fresh breads, international candies, teas, beers, and coffee. I realized the true gamut of foods and the experiences I felt with each bite, and so my adventure began; to have others share in that experience and for me to be the vehicle.
I worked my way up in the ranks from job to job until achieving an executive chef title as well as an associate in culinary arts while working at some of the finest restaurants in Des Moines, Iowa. Continuing my culinary adventure in Dallas, Texas, and then ending back here, were I worked as a culinary instructor for Western Culinary School Le Cordon Bleu for 5 years. I finished at New Season’s Market as part of the management team in the meat department. I continue to attend classes, travel oversees, and immerse myself in the local food scene to help expand my knowledge of the culinary arts.
Throughout my career I have done personal in home chefing, small party catering and events, as well as large events including many weddings and graduations, plus training, mentoring and teaching. My passion is for all things food including how things are raised and grown and there impact on the environment. I have Bachelors in Community Health Education from Portland State University focusing on food-based systems so I know what to look for when ensuring the best quality and freshest, local foods. I love to share my knowledge with others about as much as I enjoy assuring a tasty, healthy meal.
I am serv safe certified as well as a current Multnomah County health card. I have liability Insurance and a member of The American Personal & Private Chefs Association.
Q. What do you do?
A. I help people with busy lives eat better, healthier, and most importantly, with ease and convenience. I prepare gourmet food in your home and then store the meals in the refrigerator or freezer based upon your lifestyle needs. Best of all, I create custom menus just for you and unique to your family’s dining preferences and dietary requirements.
Q. Who needs my chef services?
A. Whether you are too busy to cook or simply dislike cooking, putting quality, healthful food on the dinner table is still a priority. Hiring me is a way to ensure that you and your family are eating well, while enabling you to save valuable and precious time that you would otherwise be grocery shopping, planning meals, and cooking. Here are just a few examples of people whose lives could be improved by hiring me:
• Busy professionals, couples and individuals
• Active families
• Independent seniors
• New parents
• People on special diets/ diabetes/celiac disease/dairy intolerant
• People with weight loss goals
• People recovering from injury or illness
• People looking to give a unique special gift (with a gift certificate)
• A romantic who wants to impress his/her partner with a private dinner to remember
• Hosts and hostesses who want to enjoy (rather than work) their own dinner party
• Anyone who does not know how to cook
• Anyone who does not like to cook
Q. How does this service work?
A. First we meet to conduct a detailed food questionnaire and understand your food preferences and any dietary needs. We will also discuss your preferences regarding packaging (i.e. whether you would prefer recyclable or disposable storage containers). Then I will research and create customized menus for your approval. Next, I do all of the grocery shopping and will come to your home to prepare your meals. I will package and label your gourmet dinners and leave them in the refrigerator or freezer with complete instructions on how to enjoy them. When I leave, your kitchen will be spotless and your house will be filled with the aroma of home cooking.
Q. What does the service cost?
A. Pricing varies, depending on the number of entrees and servings being prepared. The cost of groceries and packaging is not included in the basic fee and will depend on your personal preferences. Please contact me for pricing.
Q. What does the service price include?
A. The price of the service includes:
• Client consultation, food questionnaire and kitchen review
• Personalized menus research, planning and creation
• Grocery shopping for the very best, freshest ingredients
• Cooking, packaging, labeling and storing
• Kitchen clean-up
• Pantry items such as flour, oils, sugar, herbs and spices are included
The cost of groceries is not included in the service price.
Q. Do you cook in my kitchen?
A. Yes, all meals are prepared in the safety of the client's kitchen and I leave the kitchen spotless when I am finished.
Q. How long will you be in my kitchen?
A. It depends on how many meals I am preparing and the menu that has been selected for the cook date. Typically, the service takes about 4 -6 hours from start to finish.
Q. Do I have to be home when you come to cook?
A. No, you do not have to be home on your scheduled cook date as long as appropriate arrangements are made in advance for me to gain access to your house.
Q. How is the food packaged?
A. A variety of containers are used depending on the food. We will discuss packaging options at the initial consultation. You may want to use Pyrex or Corningware containers that can go straight from the fridge to the oven or you may prefer to use re-usable plastic containers. Container choices accommodate the following: microwavable, stackable, refrigerator/freezer friendly, leak-resistant, durable and economical.
Q. How do I get started?
A. Please contact me by phone or email to schedule a complimentary in-home consultation. I will sit down with you to complete a comprehensive questionnaire detailing your dining preferences, dietary needs and lifestyle requirements. From there I will create customized menus that you will approve, and we will schedule a service day.
Q. Who is the American Personal & Private Chef Association (APPCA)?
A. I am a member of the APPCA, the most recognized professional association for Personal Chefs.
Private chef, culinary informer, diet enhancer, and maker of easier lives.