Kitchen Charm - Personal Chef & Meal Prep Services

Modesto, CA

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About this pro

How does your business stand out?

I have been cooking since I was very young. I enjoy everything about cooking from the planning stages, shopping, preparation, and of course serving it to happy people! I am comfortable with preparing all kinds of dishes from standard comfort food fare like Chicken and Dumplings to a spicy Thai meal of Pad Thai or Pulled Pork on homemade buns. I offer long term, ongoing Personal Chef Services as well as short term services and special small events. You might be a busy family with no time to cook. Maybe you or a loved one needs some extra help at meal time such as recovering from surgery or other life event. You may have a special event such as an anniversary or birthday and prefer celebrating in your home without the distraction of a restaurant meal. If you are in charge of company events at work whether for recognition or the Holidays, a casual gathering makes your employees or co-workers fell valued and special without leaving the office for an expensive restaurant meal.

What do you enjoy about the work you do?

Cooking is what I love and where I find true joy. Nothing brings me more satisfaction than a client who is happy with the dish or meal they have enjoyed and I prepared. I enjoy meeting new clients and creating meals that they truly enjoy. It might be a childhood favorite they haven't tasted for years or a lost recipe found and recreated just for them. Sometimes clients have life events or health issues that make eating healthier a requirement and they don't know where to start. It can be overwhelming when doctor's orders require you to make a complete turnaround in the way that you eat. I have happily brought clients from a life of eating out of fast food bags and pizza boxes to coming home to healthy meals just waiting for them to heat and eat. I enjoy the flexibility of working for myself and the personalized service I am able to offer my clients. My schedule is their schedule - hence the personal part of being a Personal Chef!
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Location

Modesto, CA 95350

Background check

Complete

Years in business

4

Number of employees

1

Times hired on Thumbtack

7

Reviews

6 Reviews
  • Mrs. C. Apr 13, 2017
    Personal Chef
    Verified Review
    She was great!
    I was provided with a personal chef to grill at our house for a party of 10. Joan was excellent - the food was delicious and she was very easy to work with. She was here when she was supposed to be here and went over and above in her food preparation and presentation. I am hoping to be able to have her do this again soon.
  • David H. Jun 27, 2016
    Personal Chef (Ongoing)
    Verified Review
  • Ellen B. Dec 2, 2015
    On-going Meal Delivery
    Verified Review
    Joan is an awesome personal chef. The food is amazing and handily packaged. The kitchen was spotless when I got home. The house smelled wonderful. I feel lucky to have her working for me!
  • Kaye R. Mar 18, 2015
    Had a great experience with Joan last summer where we met at a farmers market and chose strawberries to make jam later at my home. We almost ran out of sugar and jars, but better planning next time will help. Joan brought all her equipment and offered to come back this summer and teach me to can peaches.
  • Joyce R. Mar 10, 2015
    Joan was recommended when our original caterer had an emergency and had to cancel at the last minute. Joan had been cooking meals for an elderly family member of one of my staff and they felt she might be able to fill in. We were a small retirement party of 15 celebrating with an informal cocktail party. Joan was able to create some tasty bites with less than 72 hours notice. I would utilize her skils again if the need arises!,
  • Katharine C. Jan 6, 2015
    Personal Chef
    Verified Review
    Easy to work with and very flexible.

Q&A

What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?
My fee starts at a rate where I can comfortably assume the costs of standard pantry items such as oils and spices with 'wiggle room' for other costs which may be special ingredients I already possess or basics like onions and potatoes. Depending on what kind of Personal Chef Services you are looking for, the costs will vary. Weekly ongoing meal services will be at a different cost than an intimate birthday dinner for 6. Our first consultation will lay the groundwork for pulling together an initial quote for services. From there, costs and fees can be finalized and agreed upon.
What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
I like to have an initial phone conversation prior to setting up a personal consultation to go over my clients needs and schedule. I confirm with my client a preliminary menu whether it's one they provide for me or one we create together. I make sure we agree upon all costs and what my fees entail before starting services. If possible, I go through the clients existing cooking equipment and appliances that allows both of us a working start to a smooth and satisfying meal service with no surprises!
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I am a member of the United States Personal Chef Association USPCA.com. I currently participate in various training and studies to further my skills as a Personal Chef. Because my work is also my greatest joy, I am constantly researching and looking at new food trends and ingredients. I have won several awards for my baked goods, jams and jellies as well as participated in local food contests.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
It has always been a dream of mine to cook for a living. However, this dream was realized by sheer necessity a few years back. In these trying times where steady work or a consistent paycheck isn't always an option, my life-long obsession turned into my career and I love it!
What types of customers have you worked with?
I cook meals for everybody! It may be 1 or 2 times a week for clients who are busy working families or couples, single professionals, folks recovering from surgery, friends hosting out of town guests, mom's who just need a break! During the holidays, I have been asked to prepare nibbles and goodies for small or medium size get-together's in the home or office.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
I had a client with serious chronic health issues. One of her main concerns was the inability to gain weight coupled with a lack of appetite. She had the opportunity to participate in a ground-breaking study and treatment of her condition in another state. One of the criteria was that she meets a certain weight in order to be approved for the program. Her condition also limited many foods that could cause flare-ups or worse. We sat and worked out a meal plan based on her recipes as well as her dietitian's recommendations. Her meals were geared to weight gain as well as taste appeal to help with her appetite. After 6 weeks she had gained nearly 10 pounds and a few weeks later happily walked on the plane to the clinic in Arizona where she would stay for 90 days. Her and her family was as elated as was I. She asked for a banana crème pie for her birthday before she left - she could not tolerate gluten and many other ingredients but I made a beautiful pie she loved and admitted she ate almost half of in one sitting!
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
You will have my full focus for your meal or event from start to finish. I am always happy to answer your questions or work with you on different scenarios for your meal or event. I will remain available and focused on your needs and requirements to create your perfect Personal Chef Service!
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
Consider your budget and how much you are willing to spend from the start. The services and fees offered by a Personal Chef are different than a traditional meal delivery service or take-out. Sometimes picking out a main dish or entree and building a menu or theme around that makes planning a special meal or event easier. If you are looking for everyday meals for ongoing service, consider the feasibility of reheating or additional steps your meal might require. A hearty stew may just need a quick reheat and a chunk on homemade bread, where delicate fish may need a separate sauce and heat treatment before joining the rest of the meal. Because your service is personal and based solely on your needs and preferences, don't be afraid to ask "Can you..."