A personal chef is a chef who is hired by different clients and prepares meals in the clients’ home kitchens, based on their needs and preferences. The personal chef will create a customized meal plan, shop for all groceries, prepare the meal, and clean up the kitchen. The chef typically leaves prepared meals packaged in containers for the client to store in the refrigerator or freezer to enjoy later. Some personal chefs also focus on preparing dinner parties and other special events, which means they are responsible for shopping, preparing the meal, serving the guests and cleaning up afterward. The menu is preplanned and discussed with the client, then prepared in their home.
It didn’t take me long to find someone who’d cook for me.
Brian, a guy I knew from my favorite café, was a chef who had worked at a couple of top restaurants in Missoula. Due to the lagging economy, he was in between jobs and looking for something to do.
I told him my idea and he agreed to cook for me if I could enlist another person to make it worth his time.
My friend Jason — website designer and fellow bachelor — liked the idea of not having to cook and agreed to join me.
Now all we needed was to negotiate a price with Brian and establish a few “food rules”.
How Much It Cost and “Food Rules”
Our food rules were pretty straightforward:
Organic food when possible
Grass-fed beef, free range poultry, and wild-caught fish
At least one serving of high-quality protein per meal
Vegetables or salad at every meal
Acceptable carbs: brown rice, quinoa, and some pasta, but only in small servings
The recipes, combinations, and food pairings were left up to Brian.
We settled on $130 each per week, which would cover the cost of groceries (Brian would do the shopping) and time spent in the kitchen.
For that $130 dollars, Jason and I were guaranteed at least 10 healthy meals each every week.
That broke down to roughly $13 per meal, about the same price you’d pay for a good sandwich or a mediocre salad with chicken.
As long as Brian made us each at least 10 meals and followed the above food rules, he could mix and match as much as he wanted and spend the money however he saw fit. In fact, it was in his best interest to keep his food costs low while still maintaining high-quality ingredients.
Jason and I would swing by Brian’s house twice per week, on Mondays and Thursdays, to pick up our next batch of food, pay, and review the food receipts from the previous week to make suggestions.
With the details worked out, Jason and I sat back, let Brian work, and enjoyed great meals.