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What it's like to get a personal chef

Ever had a personal chef? I never even THOUGHT about having one until I decided to do a special brunch event this past weekend, and wow- it's a party changer for sure.

A personal chef will come into your home/event space with everything they need to cook your meal, but prepare it on site! I decided to celebrate all of us Covid Couples/to-be-weds who are vaxxed and ready to finally get married! Here's what I can tell you about the experience after having the most amazing meal cooked by Chef Tiya!

What you do before the event

I talked to Chef Tiya about what we were celebrating, our "theme" and colors, and what allergies and dislikes we had. Many people might go over menu specifics, but I wanted her to create whatever she thought was best, as long as olives weren't involved. We also talked about my space. I was worried about living in a small city apartment, but she assured me she's worked in the tiniest of kitchens and could make anything work!

In order to make the event vibe match the great food we were served, I ordered a new tablecloth and a sequin runner, plus matching tableware. I did have to clean my apartment and empty out my fridge a bit because we're a little messy, but I also used it as an excuse to get the annual spring cleaning in.

How it works the day-of

Esculent 11 catering came three hours before the event to get to cooking. When we unloaded their car, I honestly didn't think there was that much they came with! [Spoiler alert: I was wrong.] Chef Tiya brought one other chef with her and even though they appeared semi-squished in my space, they were preparing so many different types of food. There were a couple of things I had on hand that they used, like olive oil and syrup. All of the serving plates and platters that were needed came with them!

What is personal chef etiquette?! I had no idea. There was a lot of Googling ahead of time to learn that I should mostly stay out of their way, and let them do their thing, so I spent the three hours setting up the outside table and getting work done. I wish I could have asked so many more questions, but *mind your business EB!*

When it was time to eat, we helped them load up the food that was so beautifully arranged and bring it downstairs, where we heard all about what she had cooked.

What they cooked

The menu that she served was UNBELIEVABLE. We're talking pomegranate-glazed lamb chops with hashbrowns, shrimp and grits, mini avocado toasts with shrimp on top, french toast with a homemade mango syrup, veggie frittata, tons of fruit, bacon and sausage, asparagus and individual yogurt parfaits! This was all for TEN people! I would have been impressed with shrimp and grits plus some sides. She also included a pitcher of mimosas.

What happens after you eat

We had so much food left over... and three days later, we're still eating it thanks to putting it in containers I had in my home. Chef Tiya had offered to come back in a few hours once our guests had left and we were totally done, but we were able to box things up quickly to help her out! I asked her for her venmo so that my guests could tip her on their own, as did I, and she was on her way! The best part: My kitchen was totally clean. It was like no meal had ever been cooked there! No after-party cleaning besides rolling up my tablecloths!

If you're wondering about cost, it depends on the meal and the amount of people you're feeding! It's comparable to your average bottomless brunch cost per person, though! I did provide my own drinks for my guests, but that was easy and fun for me!

Final thoughts

I'm already thinking of all of the events in the future that I plan on hiring Chef Tiya for. As much as I enjoy a potluck and seeing what everyone brings, nothing compares to these meals, or the stress-free aspect of it. I also love being able to support a local business and a woman who decided at the beginning of this year that it was time to really go for it and start her own company.

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