Orlando personal chefs discuss their services

What services do you offer?

Kevin Marshall: "Basically, we provide home meals for our clients. I'll come to your home and prepare meals for an entire week. I'll bring my own utensils and do all the grocery shopping and clean up afterwards."

Kate Higgins: "I prepare meals, cook for dinner parties, provide cooking lessons and cooking parties. I do all the grocery shopping and bring my own equipment to cook with. I then package the food into containers with specific heating directions for each dish."

Byron Boquet: "As a personal chef, I'll shop for your groceries, come to your home with my own cookware, prepare your meals and then package and freeze them with simple heating instructions – your meals are ready to eat when you are."

How do you charge for your services, and what's the cost?

Marshall: "It depends. It costs $250 plus the cost of groceries if you order meals for the week."

Higgins: "I charge a bit differently than other personal chefs. Instead of charging large sums for meal packages, I only charge by the meal. Depending on the dish, it's usually around $20 per serving for an entré and one side."

Boquet: "I charge by the plan. For example, a 5 x 2 plan (five entrees, two portions each), or a 5 x 4 plan (five entrees, four portions each) and the price ranges from $250 to $450."

Do you have a set menu?

Marshall: "I can customize them or I do have set menus as well."

Higgins: "No, all clients are different so I work with them on a personal level."

Boquet: "No. Each service is tailored to satisfy client's tastes and needs. All menus are custom designed."

Do you have a dish you prepare that's the most popular with your clients?

Marshall: "I have a dish I call 'Mom's meatloaf' that's made with ground turkey."

Higgins: "My barbecue chicken lasagna."

Boquet: "Gumbo."

Will you cater to people's dietary needs?

Marshall: "Absolutely. I'll cook low-fat, low-sodium, vegetarian, whatever you want. That's the beauty of hiring a personal chef."

Higgins: "Yes, absolutely. I currently have a client that has severe food allergies. We work together on a weekly basis to find food she's allowed to eat and also likes to eat."

Boquet: "Oh yes! I'll cook healthy, low-carb, no-carb and gluten-free are a few examples."

What's one spice or ingredient you couldn't live without and why?

Marshall: "Potatoes, because they're so versatile."

Higgins: "I'd have to say fresh sage. It can really bring a unique savory flavor to a variety of dishes."

Boquet: "Tony Chachere's seasoning. I feel it's the right mixture of spices and brings out greattasting flavor in the food."

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