Charlotte personal chefs discuss their services

Charlotte personal chefs discuss their services

What services do you offer?

Lynette Niemand: "I do weekly services where I cook dinners for busy families or perhaps the elderly. I also do parties."

Kevin Hincemon: "I go into people's homes and cook nutritional meals for them. I'll cook gourmet meals, freeze them and they can reheat them."

Alex Allson: "I'll go into the client's home and cook two weeks' worth of food. It's a very customized service."

Do you offer personal meal planning and preparation?

Niemand: "Yes, I do. It depends on what the client wants. They might want meals in the fridge or fresh cooking."

Hincemon: "Absolutely. I have a criteria sheet that I go through with the client. I learn their likes and dislikes, dietary needs and allergies."

Allson: "The diets can be very specific. It could be no gluten, no cholesterol or high protein. Whatever the client wants."

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

Niemand: "It's usually how many entrees and their size. I charge a service fee, plus the price of the food."

Hincemon: "It's usually by the menu they choose. Generally I do five entrees and five sides. I usually charge $275, plus cost of food."

Allson: "The cost for a standard two-week service is $430, and that includes everything from shopping to labeling."

What's your experience in the industry?

Niemand: "I started my business in 2003. I'm a professional member of the American Personal and Private Chef Association."

Hincemon: "I've got 30-plus years of experience. I also have a culinary degree and the certifications that come with it. I also write a food column in the local newspaper."

Allson: "I have a culinary degree. I've been doing it for three years. I'm a food writer and critic for a Charlotte parent's magazine."

What types of food do you make?

Niemand: "Basically anything that my client wants. I make Italian, Chinese, Indian and Mediterranean. I personalize every menu."

Hincemon: "I'll do American, international, romantic. I run the gamut."

Allson: "Tastes in North Carolina are very conservative. They like beef, pork and chicken."

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

Niemand: "I have a salmon dish that is very nice. It's called pecan-crusted salmon."

Hincemon: "On my romantic dinners, it's typically steak or lobster."

Allson: "I have one client who really loves my teriyaki beef."

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

Niemand: "Salt. I think it's the spice of life."

Hincemon: "As far as spices go, it's got to be crushed black pepper."

Allson: "Rosemary or sage. The smell, aroma and taste are pretty special."

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