San Antonio personal chefs discuss their services

Do you offer personal meal planning and preparation?

Clemmie Patterson: "Yes. I even have cook books for diabetics and cancer patients and I make the right meals for them."

Martha López-Mobilia: "Yes, it's very personalized. I do an interview and ask if they have any diet restrictions and what their preferences are."

Grazia Hughes: "Yes, I do an interview and find out if they have any allergies and what they like or dislike. Then, we decide the menu."

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

Patterson: "I'd say, for a family of four, it's about $40 per meal. But, I'll charge them according to the foods they want, because the price of food has escalated."

López-Mobilia: "Normally it's a flat fee. I charge for five complete meals with protein, starch and vegetables and then one dessert for the week. It's around $300 for the week."

Hughes: "I charge based on the package they choose, which are all for a family of four. The smallest package is 12 meals, and it's $180 plus the cost of ingredients and the biggest is 20 meals for $270 plus the cost of ingredients."

What types of food do you make?

Patterson: "International cuisine, old Southern cooking, Italian, Asian and general American comfort food. I also do heart- healthy menus."

López-Mobilia: "I make a lot of Italian and Peruvian foods. But, I can make anything they like. I'm open to any cuisine."

Hughes: "Mostly authentic Italian food, that's my specialty."

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

Patterson: "My grilled salmon, everybody just goes bananas when I make that. But, I've never had bad feed back from anything I've made."

López-Mobilia: "Beef empanadas. I have some clients that have been with me for seven years and they have to have that every session."

Hughes: "Yes, there are two items, spaghetti and meatballs and pizza that I make from scratch."

What sets you apart from your competition?

Patterson: "I can make almost any dish that anybody asks me and I'm willing to keep trying until I get it right. I'll cook at home and throw it in the garbage if it's not right. I don't experiment on my clients."

López-Mobilia: "I make people really enjoy my food with the flavors I bring out without all of the fat and sugar. Being from a different country you can put a different twist on what they're used to eating."

Hughes: "The fact that I'm Italian and I cook authentic Italian food that isn't Americanized. What I cook is as Italian as can be. I lived there for 30 years and cooked there for years before I started my business."


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