Boston personal chefs discuss their services
Who we talked to
What services do you offer?
Robin Lang: "I offer personal and private chef service. I offer gift certificates, romantic dinners, weekend brunches and cooking lessons."
Danielle Schertzer: "I go to people's homes and cook from three to seven entrees a week, depending on how many people there are."
Joyce Amorim: "The basic service is the preparation of five entrees with side dishes. So, it's basically 20 meals for a family of four."
How do you charge for your services, and what's the cost?
Lang: "The private chef service is $65 an hour. That begins with the menu planning, grocery shopping, food service and the cleaning of the kitchen."
Schertzer: "It depends on the number of entrees. I charge them for the groceries. The rest is my hourly rate. The average cost for a family of four is $300, plus the cost of food."
Amorim: "The cost is anywhere from $425 to $500, depending on how many meals they want. That's for everything, including my time and the groceries."
What's your experience in the industry?
Lang: "I was a sous-chef at a French restaurant while I was studying interior design. I started my business two years ago."
Schertzer: "I've been in business five years. I'm French, so I have clients who love to try my food. I also lived in Italy, so I can cook that."
Amorim: "I've been a cook for many years. My husband was a chef. I went to the Culinary Business Academy in Atlanta."
Do you have a set menu?
Lang: "They can use my master menu, which is six pages long. They can alter anything on it."
Schertzer: "I have some clients who tell me what they want. I send others menus every week."
Amorim: "I prepare the menu and send it to the client. They can make any changes to it."
Do you have a dish you prepare that's the most popular with your clients?
Lang: "People seem to love my eggplant Parmesan."
Schertzer: "Vietnamese chicken with caramel sauce and cilantro."
Amorim: "Veal chops or pork chops with apples and onions."
Will you cater to people's dietary needs?
Lang: "If they give me restrictions on dietary needs, I follow it strictly."
Schertzer: "Yes, if they have any allergies, high blood pressure or high cholesterol."
Amorim: "Sure, absolutely."
What sets you apart from your competition?
Lang: "I specialize in natural and organic food, and I think that's what sets me apart."
Schertzer: "My background. My clients who have traveled to Europe love me."
Amorim: "I like the personalized aspect of this business. It's not a job. It's a passion."