FAQs

What is the difference between a Personal Chef and a Private Chef?
A personal chef is a chef that prepares custom designed menus and meals for you in the safety and comfort of your own kitchen.  A personal chef handles all of the grocery shopping, meal preparation, packaging and labeling and cleaning of your kitchen.  You work together with your personal chef to create menus specific to your food preferences and dietary concerns.  A personal chef owns their own business and has the flexibility to serve several clients, while a private chef typically is employed by one client or family.

Will you be cooking in my kitchen?
Yes. For your protection, state health laws do not permit me to cook your food at a different location that is not a commercially inspected kitchen. All of your food is prepared in the safety of your kitchen, strictly adhering to food safety and sanitation guidelines.

How long will you be in my kitchen?
As I will be cooking several entrees and side dishes from scratch,  This can take anywhere from four to six hours.  I am always willing to find a cook date that is compatible with your scheduling needs.

Am I required to be home while you are there cooking?
It is of course your choice to be in the home or not while I am there cooking.  If you are not going to be home, you may leave me a key or security instructions to let myself in.

Is it OK if I watch or help?
Although I do enjoy talking to my clients, I would prefer not to have extra hands in the kitchen.   Because I will be preparing multiple entrees and accompanying side dishes, it would be better for me to give my undivided attention to the cooking process.  This way I can make sure that no steps are missed, and that all safety and sanitation guidelines are followed.

How much does your service cost?
The fees for Bella Cucina Personal Chef service represent all of the components that make up a professional personal chef service.   We provide a complete assessment of your food preferences and dietary needs, customize your menu selections, shop for all groceries needed and professionally prepare all of your entrees from scratch.  We also package, label and appropriately store all of your entrees and side dishes.  For restaurant service, you must drive to get there, wait for a table, if you have allergies or special requests, you are not always guaranteed that they are honored.  After eating your meal, you must pay for it, tip your server and drive home.  With Bella Cucina Personal Chef service, you can heat a beautiful entrée that has been specifically prepared for your palate and requirements, and eat it in the comfort of your own home.

Do I pay you ahead of each cooking date?
Yes, it is customary to pay for the service in advance of the cook date.  For your convenience you may pay me for the upcoming cook date on the day I am there cooking.  I accept checks and credit cards.

Do I heat the food?
Yes.  Entrees that have been stored in your freezer should be defrosted overnight in the refrigerator.  I always leave detailed, easy to follow heating instructions for every entrée.

How long with the food last?
Depending on how many entrees you order, and how often you eat at home, we can determine exactly how long your meals will last.  We will be happy to help you determine just how often you will want to schedule Bella Cucina  to serve your needs and to fit into your busy schedule.

How should I prepare for the cooking date?
On your cook date, your kitchen counters should be clean and cleared of anything other than normal small appliances.  Your stove, oven and refrigerator should be in working order.  Space will be needed in the refrigerator to store groceries, until they are prepared.  Both the freezer and refrigerator should have adequate space to store your delicious, professionally cooked entrees and side dishes.

How do I get started?
Please contact Chef Mary by phone or email to set up a complimentary consultation.