How it works

GardenFresh is a Personal Chef Service that provides customized daily dinners for you and your family. Meals are prepared in the safety of your home and stored in containers that are easily reheated so you can enjoy food you want at a time you want.

We start by completing a “Client Assessment” that takes just a few minutes to complete. Based on this information I research recipes to match your taste in food and the type of cuisine you like. Then I develop a Custom Menu Plan to suit your tastes and desires. If you have any favorite family recipes they can also be included in your Menu Plan.

A few days before each cook date a Menu Plan is emailed to you for your approval. Menu Plans includes entrée, vegetable side dish, starch (pasta, potato, rice) and possibly a salad. The menu is not based on a generic list, but is customized based on how you like your food prepared. We will rotate recipes as we schedule cook dates. So you won’t have the same selection of meals each time we cook for you; you will have variety.

I will shop for groceries at the store of your choice. Depending on your cook date, it is possible to buy produce at a local farmer’s market. Herbs and some vegetables may come from my market garden .

My menu software tracks ingredients you don’t like or are sensitive to and flags them if they are included in a recipe I choose for your Menu Plan. They would then be excluded or substituted for an ingredient that you do like. It also tracks heath items such as Total calories, Total Fat (g), Saturated Fat (g), Cholesterol (mg), Sodium (mg), Total Carbohydrates (g), Sugar (g), Fiber (g), Protein (g), Alcohol (g), Calcium (mg), Vitamin A (IU), Iron (mg), Vitamin C (mg). A “parameter” can be set to limit the amount of one of the above items during menu planning. So if you want to limit Saturated Fat or Cholesterol it can be accomplished with this software. The total for each category would be an estimate (it is not completely accurate) but it would be close enough to follow a diet plan. The software also tracks recipes you like and would want to have rotated regularly into your menu planning. A menu history keeps track of how many times a dish was prepared for you and when so a recipe is not overused unless it is one of your favorites.

On your cook date, I bring my own cookware, utensils, cutlery, oils and spices. I use a portable refrigerator that can run on both auto and house current so your food is kept fresh and safe during transport and while I’m at your home. My cookware can be used on gas, electric, ceramic, induction and in the oven so whatever range your kitchen has it will work with my cookware. It is also stick resistant so less oil can be used to decrease both total calories and fat calories.

The food containers I use are disposable, recyclable aluminum that are designed to be used in a microwave oven, as well as in a conventional oven. Food can be stored in your refrigerator for up to four days. If not eaten on the fourth day it should be frozen. The container will allow food to be stored in the freezer for up to 90 days. Just take the container out of freezer the night before, place it in refrigerator to defrost, and reheat the next day.

I request that clients provide feedback after each cook date so dishes can be adjusted to meet your palate or to identify a dish you really like. This can be done by email or by phone.

I graduated from California Culinary Academy, San Francisco, a Le Cordon Bleu school. I’m ServSafe Certified, which means I know proper food handling procedures and safe temperature ranges so your food is safe to consume. I’m also certified in Nutrition from the National Restaurant Association.

As you can see I offer a comprehensive service that is designed to meet your individual needs. Most clients have me cook 20 entrees on each cook date which would be ten meals for two people or five meals for a family of four. Each meal plan has five different entrees with side dishes and each entrée is good for four meals. So a family of two will repeat their entrees the second week. A family of four will have a different entrée for one week. The cost of this plan if scheduled on a regular basis is $250 plus grocery cost and container cost. The $250 covers recipe searches, menu planning, grocery shopping and transportation. A regular basis would be every two or three weeks. On a “once in a while” basis it would be $265 plus the above costs. This is just an example – a schedule and plan will be developed to meet your individual needs.
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