Philadelphia personal chefs discuss their services

Philadelphia personal chefs discuss their services

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."

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