Philadelphia personal chefs discuss their services
Who we talked to
Gabriella Follo-McCullough, owner
The Seasoned Chef
Karen Docimo, owner
Karen's Chef du Jour
Ken Bangham, owner
Savory Kitchen Personal Chef Service
How do you charge for your services, and what's the cost?
Gabriella Follo-McCullough: "A standard service - 10 (two-person) meals, 20 servings of food - $360 including groceries."
Karen Docimo: "$325 for a couple, plus the cost of groceries - 10 (two-person) meals, 20 servings of food."
Ken Bangham: "My fee structure is based on my day rate, which is $225, plus the cost of food. The average would be about $130 for the grocery cost."
What's your experience in the industry?
Follo-McCullough: "Two years as a personal chef."
Docimo: "I have 15 years of experience in the industry, eight years as a personal chef."
Bangham: "This is my fifth year as a personal chef."
Do you have a set menu?
Follo-McCullough: "I pretty much create a menu that matches what the client wants."
Docimo: "I create a menu based on the likes and dislikes of each client."
Bangham: "I fine-tune things to meet people's needs. You have to be able to adapt."
What dish is your specialty?
Follo-McCullough: "The homemade pastas, that is a specialty. I also do Indian food."
Docimo: "I'm first-generation Italian, so Italian food is a specialty. I make fresh pasta and gnocchi all the time. Kids love my meatballs."
Bangham: "Good, wholesome, down-home comfort food."
Do you have a dish you prepare that's the most popular with your clients?
Follo-McCullough: "Barbecue meatloaf. A lot of people just want comfort foods like meatloaf and mac and cheese."
Docimo: "I get a lot of requests for my beef tenderloin, filet mignon with truffled mushroom ragout and jasmine-scented gingered rice."
Bangham: "Crab cakes. Everybody loves my crab cakes."
Will you cater to people's dietary needs?
Follo-McCullough: "Whatever the customer wants. It's their tastebuds. If they are on a special diet, I can take care of that too."
Docimo: "I prepare meals based on what the client wants: calorie targets or Weight Watchers, South Beach Diet and any of the major diet plans."
Bangham: "I'm not a dietitian, but I can follow the guidelines their physician sets up for them, as well as popular diets - the gamut."
What's one spice or ingredient you couldn't live without?
Follo-McCullough: "Salt. That sounds really boring, but salt is one thing I can't even imagine not being part of food."
Docimo: "Garlic - and chipotle chile pepper in powdered form."
Bangham: "Garlic. I love garlic."