Zacki's Culinary Creations

Durham, NC

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About this pro

How does your business stand out?

Because I custom make meals for individuals be it someone with diabetes, going through cancer or wishing gluten free meals. My culinary skills range from smoking, Lexington style BBQ for a taste of NC or preparing Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. I also teach cooking and etiquette classes and lecture in churches about foods from the time of Jesus...Because my background is also art and design, am known for my beautiful and unusual presentations especially with natural flora and herbs from my garden...I love working in personal homes and making memories for my clients.

What do you enjoy about the work you do?

That it is a God given gift instilled in me long ago as a young child growing up in Chapel Hill with a vegetable and flower garden. By the age of 6, I was making breakfast on a tray for my parents complete with a pansy, gardenia or camellia. My first income was selling fresh mint to Fowler's food store at 5 cents a bunch...I still use this favorite herb all year as well as others that are grown in my back yard and "the secret garden" that I share with friends. If I don't grow it, I find someone who does.

Location

Durham, NC 27713

Years in business

31

Number of employees

3

Times hired on Thumbtack

97

Reviews

69 Reviews
  • Kelly C. Aug 21, 2017
    Wedding Catering
    Verified Review
    Zacki's professionalism and quality of food was excellent. Her two staff members were also top rate. I enjoyed getting to know Zacki and would have her again as a personal chef. She catered a dinner for 50 people for my daughter's wedding. It was beautiful and delicious.
    Zacki M. Aug 21, 2017

    We, at ZCC have catered quite a few weddings, but none as perfect as this July evening was at the lovely Rigmore House. Julia and Ivan had known each other since their teens, so there were many guests from all over who knew each other. The weather held together for an outdoor ceremony that included 2 properly adorned family dogs, a trumpet voluntary, and much joy. Heartfelt toasts were made, the DJ played music for everyone, the wedding coordinator to the bartender were superb. My staff and I worked hard to make some magical food and had a wonderful time as well!

  • Isaiah W. Aug 20, 2017
    On behalf of my extended family we extend our sincere thanks to making mom's 70th birthday so special. Food service and service were top notch. We would again like to thank you. Best Ashlee
    Zacki M. Aug 20, 2017

    This was such a fun "Cook In Your Nook" as Mom was made Queen for the night, crown, sash, and adoration! The menu had pictures of the Royal families bodies with Ashlee's family faces. Mom was totally surprised.

  • Thumbtack Customer Aug 18, 2017
    The food was excellent and prepared with such care for the taste and the presentation
  • Mary E. Aug 6, 2017
    "Many, many thanks for the gift of nourishment and love. Every detail was comfort and strength. My son inhaled Coach Smith's favorite deviled eggs!...And, the chicken pot pie was the best ever...and that Greek rice soup was 3 days of cheers!
  • Al L. Jul 26, 2017
    Personal Chef
    Verified Review
    My family and I really enjoy Chef Zacki's cooking, It is ALWAYS HOT AND FRESH, The presentation is Excellent!! Most of All the food tastes MARVELOUS!!!! I couldn't have a made a better decision in choosing a Chef. The only down side, my family likes her cooking better than mine, so now I can't let her go!!!!! I recommend her to anyone!!!
    Zacki M. Jul 26, 2017

    In my Quest Bible study (at UNC's Beautiful Kenan Stadium,) we talked about purpose and talents. At this stage of life, know that the Lord gave me a gift of civility, hospitality and the ability to cook and make people happy...and, Al and family are the kind of client that I love to have...Al, perhaps cooking lessons next with you by my side!

  • Mary T. Jul 19, 2017
    Event Catering
    Verified Review
    I had an office party last night of 12 people at my house and Zacki was AMAZING. The food was original, the service was on point, and she was just so friendly and inviting. I highly recommend her and her company!
    Zacki M. Jul 19, 2017

    Am so blessed, after hundreds of personal chef bookings and small caterings to have such appreciative clients. With an exchange of details attended to, photos received, this evening ran so smoothly. We changed food and beverage locations around due to preference to be outside next to the pool...and that was "easy as pie."

  • Amy B. Jul 6, 2017
    Personal Chef
    Verified Review
    Zacki's service was outstanding. She was personable and got along with all of my guests. Everyone loved her and her food. She was very easy to work with in planning my dinner party and her attention to detail was very much appreciated. I would recommend her a million times over! She is the best you'll find in this area.
    Zacki M. Jul 16, 2017

    This is why I love "To Cook in your Nook," and work with lovely and appreciative clients. My assistant, Karen, and I probably had as much fun as the guests! Amy's family and friends were all so easy to please.

  • Anne S. Jun 26, 2017
    Highly recommend Zacki. Always superb!!!
    Zacki M. Jul 20, 2017

    Anne travels all over the world with her health organization and has a very sophisticated palate. Just did a "transition" party for her; "From Rawanda to Durham to Jackson Hole." It seems that whatever I cater for her is always appreciated. Her "tips" are unusual baskets and trays that broaden my catering repertoire.

  • Robert M. Jun 22, 2017
    I recently had a few friends come visit from Chicago. I wanted to do something different, so I decided to get a personal chef for a evening in. I searched and found Zacki's Culinary Creation and Chef Zacki. I was very impressed by her food and the ability to have them interact with us when cooking the dinner. The cook in your nook was perfect for our evening. Thank you Zacki. I look forward to our next catering together.
    Zacki M. Jul 16, 2017

    You are so welcome Robert and hope to prepare many more meals for you!

  • Charles B. Jun 20, 2017
    Event Catering
    Verified Review Updated
    Do what she says as far as the contract. And bring the experienced help that was agreed to. DIDN'T HAPPEN...
  • Verified Review Original
    Do what she says as far as the contract. And bring the experienced help that was agreed to. DIDN'T HAPPEN...
  • Emmi V. May 20, 2017
    Event Catering (Buffet)
    Verified Review
    She did a nice party for my son's graduation. Her Mediterranean Platter was excellent.
    Zacki M. May 20, 2017

    Felt so sorry for Emmi as she dropped her son's graduation cake and we could not put Humpty Dumpty back together again. Thankfully, there was a HT around the corner and all came together with much merriment.

  • Darbee J. May 15, 2017
    Personal Chef
    Verified Review
    Zacki was absolutely fabulous! She helped us honor our mom for a 70th birthday party! The food was delicious, the service and professionalism was top notch, and I am already trying to think of another event we can hire her for. I highly recommend!!! THANK you for making the night so special, and giving us one of the best meals, that on restaurant could compete with. Darbee Jackson
  • Suzy G. May 3, 2017
    Lovely experience
    We had weekend guests from California and wanted to enjoy their company and not prepare weekend meals. Plus we were glued to the Masters. My cousin Zacki prepared a lovely dinner and breakfast casserole for the next morning. Our guests were so impressed that they wrote Yelp reviews! Suzy Goree
  • Michelle A. Apr 27, 2017
    Private Cooking Lessons
    Verified Review
    I had a great time. I love the hands-on experience. It was fun! I enjoyed it. Can't wait for my next baking lesson with Zacki. We made the upside down cake, apple empanadas, and tres leches.
  • Keith M. Apr 9, 2017
    Event Catering
    Verified Review
    Warm, delicious hospitality
    Zacki's food suggestions and choices were wonderful! Our guests loved her, the food, and the gracious service. You'd have thought Zacki was a member of our family.
  • Joan S. Apr 6, 2017
    Corporate Dinner Catering
    Verified Review
    Family Feast
    Healthy tasty food, lovely presentation. My family had lost a loved one, so the meal was a godsend and a comfort
  • Gabi H. Apr 4, 2017
    Personal Chef (Ongoing)
    Verified Review
    AMAZING
    I work at a VIP lifestyle management group and hired Zacki for one of my VIP clients who raved over how amazing she was with the children and how delicious the food was. If we have a client out in the carolinas again, we are 100% going to Zacki. She made it a fun, tasty, and seamless experience for my clients. :) Shes the best!!
  • Hinar P. Mar 12, 2017
    Private Cooking Lessons
    Verified Review
    Zacki + Cooking Lesson = Best Cooking Lesson Ever!
    Zacki was absolutely wonderful! She was so knowledgeable and fun to learn Ancient Mediterranean from. My partner asked if she could "spice up" our Valentines Day plans with a private cooking lesson (on somewhat short notice-I'm so thankful she was able to schedule us in!) and it ended up being one of the best surprises I've ever had. I was a little in shock the entire time, overwhelmed with how awesome the entire experience was. Absolutely worth it. I would love to do more cooking lessons with Zacki. She totally got me hooked on cooking Mediterranean now - I've fixed up my own versions of it a few times since then. And the food was *AMAZING*!!!
  • Flo E. Feb 16, 2017
    Personal Chef
    Verified Review
    Wonderful Valentine's Dinner
    Zacki prepared a fabulous Valentine's Dinner for 6 couples. It was a fun evening featuring delicious food. Everyone enjoyed it
  • Patrick G. Feb 15, 2017
    Burns Supper
    What a great experience. We hosted a dinner for 8 celebrating the Scottish holiday, Burns Night. We approached Zacki just a week before the dinner with quite an obscure menu and she did a wonderful job. Zacki was extremely organised, flexible and a pleasure to work with. Zacki was enthusiastic, catered to all of our needs, timed the courses perfectly and had a good laugh with us. We we're extremely impressed and would be delighted to have her back for any occasion.
    Zacki M. Feb 15, 2017

    Patrick and his roommate, Alastair put together one of the most unusual evenings I have ever been experienced as a personal chef. The celebration of Scottish poet, Robert Burns, with kilt, bagpipe.and their beloved "haggis," was done with absolute charm and flair...And, these gentlemen are ONLY sophomores at UNC!

  • Heidi B. Feb 8, 2017
    Corporate Lunch Catering
    Verified Review
    Fantastic Corporate Lunch
    Corporate Lunch in our conference room. Excellent service and delicious food. Chef Zacki is a pleasure to work with!
  • Penny O. Jan 15, 2017
    Event Catering
    Verified Review
    Excellent experience and Food
    The whole experience exceeded our expectations! Food and The homey personality that was brought into our home! I felt like I've known her for years. Zacki has a lot to offer. She's passionate about teaching and it shows in her spirit. I'm excited to have her again.
  • Amy K. Jan 8, 2017
    Personal Chef
    Verified Review
    Wonderful dinner with Personal Chef Zacki
    Zacki was WONDERFUL! Once we hired her, we had to change the date back by a week. Zacki worked with us and we had a wonderful dinner on the 5th instead of the 13th. We were celebrating my son completing his college applications - he's a beginner chef and loved working with Zacki on the dinner. She was kind enough to let him "tag along". I would definitely recommend Zacki to my friends!
  • Tre P. Nov 7, 2016
    Personal Chef
    Verified Review
    Excellent Service
    Zacki provided great service from beginning to end for our housewarming. She surprised my guests with her amazing autumn desserts and autumn specialty drink. Zacki also had my children to assist her as they were excited to do so while learning. Thanks Zacki!
    Zacki M. Nov 9, 2016

    Tre had such precious girls. When you know that kids are watching you prepare something and it takes all their attention, that is when you can ask if they would like to join in and be part of my catering.. Both girls did a super job and seemed to feel their accomplishments.

  • Dana H. Oct 19, 2016
    Event Catering
    Verified Review
    Quality and wonderful food styling
    Zacki and her team took care of the preparation of food, setup, serving and cleaning. the team was wonderful and the food was fantastic.
  • Dawn C. Oct 14, 2016
    Personal Chef (Ongoing)
    Verified Review
    Delicious, homemade meals for my family, freeing me up to enjoy my kids!
    Zacki is clearly extremely passionate about food, and her creativity and experience shine. For our large family of 7, she was detailed and flexible in meeting our needs. Having her prepare meals for us was more economical than eating out all the time.
  • Bryan T. Sep 18, 2016
    Event Catering (Buffet)
    Verified Review
    Carolina's Finest!!!
    I arranged a tailgate party for 50 people and I could not have been more pleased with the food, service, and personal touch provided by Zacki's Culinary. Zacki and her sidekick, Catherine, provided exceptional food that all of my guests raved about and truly enjoyed! I'd never even think of using someone else for an event.
    Zacki M. Sep 19, 2016

    Picnics are always a challenge because of weather to flies this time of year. There is a lot of extra work put into portables; safety being the first consideration... But, this tailgate gathering under tents, shade trees in a nice parking lot was about as good as it gets. Bryan and I communicated for about a month as he was in Indy. This was a celebration of family, especially NC State b-ball hall of famer inductee, Dwight Johnson. Kids played ball in the safe parking area, relatives cobbled down my BBQ chicken, Coach Roy WIlliams lima bean salad and Coach Dean Smith's fave deviled eggs w/ watermelon pickles...Kathryn and I decided that we wanted to be adopted by this lovely family who made us feel as if we belonged.

  • Katie L. Sep 15, 2016
    Personal Chef
    Verified Review
    Bday celebration
    Zacki helped my kids make a cake. They enjoyed making this special treat for their dad's bday.
    Zacki M. Sep 17, 2016

    Katie's kids were so much fun and thrilled that they make their first cake; a strawberry one that made the whole house smell yummy. My treat was a tour of the "fairy gardens."

  • Tim E. Sep 2, 2016
    It's not just food! It's an amazing event that tastes great!
    For my wife's birthday, Zacki helped me plan a fun, interactive menu that turned out wonderfully! All of our guests are still raving about her food, how engaging she is, and the overall event. For a crowd of 10 or so, I would highly recommend the "Feijoada Completa"! It is a fun way to prepare the meal, yet have your guests get as involved in the process as they want. Every detail, down to the selection of drinks and even the music, were perfectly matched to our menu! What a great way to spend an afternoon. We are already trying to plan our next event and are already looking forward to Zacki and her cooking!
    Zacki M. Sep 2, 2016

    This was as much fun for me as for Tim, wife, mom and friends, and the reason I love what I do. At my core, I am a teacher and enjoy sharing what took me years to learn. "Cook In Your Nook" is a culinary experience of international places I have visited, tasted, smelled, enjoyed and now can offer you some of the tasty "highlights!"

  • Donna K. Aug 15, 2016
    Event Catering (Buffet)
    Verified Review
    Zacki was very attentive to detail, presenting her food on beautiful hand-painted platters and arranging everything very nicely. The food was good--I recommend the Meditteranean platter! My favorite items were the chicken wings and the deviled eggs on the Dixie platter.
  • Esther J. Jun 29, 2016
    Personal Chef
    Verified Review
    She was very patient and the meal was fantastic. It was a wonderful experience.
  • Sarah O. Jun 27, 2016
    Personal Chef
    Verified Review
    Zacki did a fantastic job in communicating with me leading up to my event, ensuring that my menu was perfect. She arrived with her team on time, and had done a lot of the prep work in advance, which saved on some of the on-site work. Her dishes were delicious and exactly as described - ours was a Moroccan-themed dinner party, and she created ground lamb-filled Moroccan cigars, almond-stuffed dates, cauliflower flatbread, a chickpea and chard tagine, a lamb tagine, and couscous. She also made a beautiful fruit plate to go with our birthday cake for dessert. The guests loved everything. I would say, if any constructive feedback could be made, it would be: 1) Zacki asked me in advance if I needed to rent any platters from her for an additional charge, which I declined, because I have a TON of platters, dishes, serving bowls. When she arrived, however, it seemed she was looking for much larger serving platters than I had, which kind of sent me in a tizzy around my house looking for additional platters to leverage. Just be clear up front what needs are so everything is smooth sailing on the day of your event. 2) Zacki brought two assistants with her to help, and introduced one as the "host." I wasn't quite sure what that meant but assumed it was somebody very personable who would chat us up while serving platters, talk about what the dishes were, etc... While incredibly gracious, he was more quiet than anything and didn't really "host," per se. So just be clear up front if you're looking for that type of interaction! I will definitely use and recommend Zacki in the future. She's a one-of-a-kind personality, and she really does take the art of cuisine seriously. Fantastic to know there's someone who can artfully create memorable "global" cuisine right here in my backyard (literally and figuratively!)
    Zacki M. Jun 29, 2016

    This event was one of the most memorable I have ever catered. Sarah went way out on the creative limb to pull together a total surprise 40th b-day party for her husband. She hired the Greenhouse Picker Sisters to set the ambiance and pull out things from their warehouse for this exotic setting. The guests were all amazed, enjoyed all the variety of drinks including a very potent gin, lemon/mint signature one. Heard they all had already planned to have Uber's to drive them home...As I am always concerned about the best size platters to use for different dishes, I have an extensive collection that I offer to rent from my own handpainted wooden chargers, to rustic and handwoven ones I picked up from Iran, Mexico, Africa, Vietnam. Though I sent in photos, don't think Sarah realized the need for "big" nor exotic. We made do, but liked to have all that paired with my food before...And, my extra In staff guy, who I had hoped would be more of a host in explanation of foods, ended up, thankfully being more of my dish washing help as there were a ton of beautiful china serving pieces that needed attention. He also was our toting help as things were very heavy, down stairs and in a slanted yard. I am best at creating a menu, the ambiance if needed, inventing the dishes, prepping and presenting them. After 30 years in this business, better to hire a strong guy toter and dish washer person and let me do "the magic."

  • Elizabeth M. May 2, 2016
    Personal Chef
    Verified Review
    Zacki created a great traditional NC BBQ experience for my out of town guests. She was very personable and the food was delicious!
  • Michael G. Apr 23, 2016
    Personal Chef
    Verified Review
    Chef Zacki and her assistant Shana were a pleasure to deal with. Food and drinks were excellent. Her stories were very entertaining and informative. I would highly recommend her.
  • Anne H. Apr 4, 2016
    Zacki prepared a wonderful ancient Mediterranean meal for our intimate private wedding party. Zacki is very knowledgeable about ancient foods which brought unique flavors to the dishes she lovingly prepares. Every guest at the party enjoyed the appetizers, salad, two great entrees and a healthy and tasty fresh fruit pastry for dessert. The food was fresh and delicious and Zacki and her assistant Kathryn were a joy.
  • Kevin T. Mar 13, 2016
    Personal Chef
    Verified Review
    Zacki and her assistant were wonderful. They cooked an excellent meal and were instrumental in our event being a much enjoyed success. We will certainly be keeping her top of mind for future private dining events.
  • Elda F. Jan 13, 2016
    Personal Chef
    Verified Review
    For New Year's Eve dinner we were lucky to find this talented chef. The meal was prepared nicely and the main course was served buffet style with a lovely presentation. Zacki strengths were her attention to details in planning and her professionalism.
  • Joe M. Dec 25, 2015
    Personal Chef
    Verified Review
    Everything was perfect: food, presentation, conversation, professionalism and personalization. Will absolutely use Zacki and Sherri again.
    Zacki M. Dec 26, 2015

    This just married couple wanted a very special dinner beginning with "Dixie Juleps" that reminded Erin of her Derby Days. She is an emergency vet and had worked all night, so wanted this to be a special treat for her and her air force pilot husband. They were delightful.

  • Valerie P. Dec 22, 2015
    Personal Chef
    Verified Review
    Zacki and her assistant were the saving grace for my office Christmas party this year! Not only did Zacki come through for me when I made my request through Thumbtack at the very last minute, she went above and beyond my expectations by preparing a wonderful, delicious meal while explaining her dishes and including our group in her "cook in the Nook" session. We enjoyed ourselves so much, we are already anticipating having her back again soon!
    Zacki M. Dec 26, 2015

    Despite very short notice, this was such a wonderful family to be of service to and so easy to make an evening bright. Just fell in love with them all!

  • Megan L. Nov 25, 2015
    Zacki is a captivating chef and speaker. She offers a wealth of information and knowledge!
    Zacki M. Nov 25, 2015

    Have been a spokesperson for the new Humana Center in Raleigh where I also demonstrate healthy recipes. Have an educated audience who keep me on my toes!

  • Laura S. Nov 17, 2015
    Zacki is personable and well spoken, and is a great teacher. Her food is absolutely delicious! I would recommend her to anyone looking for a personal chef or caterer.
  • Rita W. Nov 2, 2015
    Event Catering
    Verified Review
    Not sure how her food is. She wanted to charge a fee to come and look at our kitchen. We did not use her for our catering needs.
  • Kenny R. Oct 21, 2015
    Personal Chef (Ongoing)
    Verified Review
    I coordinated a surprise birthday dinner for my wife just last night. Chef Zacki was responsive from the start (2 weeks notice mind you) and made the night an amazing experience after we put our children down for sleep. We had appetizers, salad, sides, bread, main course (TWO in fact) and we ate so much we could barely move. She was very accommodating and even spent some time with us after cooking, which was fabulous. We wanted to make sure any chef we hired could eventually be a part of our family, and I have no doubt that Chef Zacki is that. I would recommend her personally and look forward to learning from her more about food, nutrition, life, and even God's love! K & Q
    Zacki M. Nov 2, 2015

    Kenny, what a joy it was to be part of the surprise birthday that you carried off so well...With so much going on in your busy doctor lives and family, I look forward to being part of a positive solution for the future dinners.

  • Christine W. Oct 7, 2015
    Personal Chef (Ongoing)
    Verified Review
    Immediate response to my ad. Great communication regarding the recipes and number of servings to make. Zacki has you start with a detailed questionnaire which gives her an idea of preferences and special diets or allergies. Zacki came exactly on time and was a dynamo in the kitchen. The food.... Wonderful! My plan was to cook several meals ahead and freeze them for my husband when I travel. It worked exactly as planned. I recommend Zacki wholeheartedly and will have her back in my kitchen!
    Zacki M. Nov 2, 2015

    Christine, I hope that your "boys" are recovering from their medical procedures and that you finally found the chicken marsala that we made...I look forward to being in your kitchen again when you need my assistance.

  • David B. Sep 8, 2015
    Event Catering
    Verified Review
    50th Birthday party for significant other
  • Abie E. Sep 8, 2015
    Event Catering
    Verified Review
    Zacki and her team did a fabulous job of organizing the catering and decor for a surprise birthday party at my home. They came in 2 hours before event start to set up the decor and lay out an immaculate spread of foods. Her crew included another chef who did some special grilling, a bartender and her assistant, who did a smashing job at presention of the food platters. They also help serve my guests during the party and were simply very professional and impressionable. Zacki and her crew made the event a huge success - and the did a great job at cleaning up at the end of the event, packing all left-overs in a manner that made it easy to the die-hards at the party to continue on. Thank you chef Zacki !!
    Zacki M. Sep 9, 2015

    My ZCC team said this party was as good as it gets. Everyone seemed to have a great time and the music, dancing, food and drink were still going on after 6 hours. It was family as young as 7 and as old as the lovely grandmother who did not shy away from the dance floor. My ZCC team prepped hard and delivered well. So proud of them! Chef Zacki

  • Harley M. Jul 8, 2015
    Event Catering
    Verified Review
    Zacki is very easy to work with and accommodating. The food is quite good and the attention to detail and service superb. This was an open house party for my 101 year old Mother-in-Law. I would definitely use her again.
    Zacki M. Nov 2, 2015

    This was such a treat for myself and intern, Gin. To be in the presence and help celebrate the 101st birthday of this amazing lady was an observation of grace alive, well and just amazing!

  • Leslie W. Jul 7, 2015
    Personal Chef
    Verified Review
    Zacki and her assistant Katherine did a phenomenal job! They were professional, courteous, and a joy to interact with. The food was fresh and delicious! I will definitely use her services again!
  • Ben W. Jun 28, 2015
    Personal Chef
    Verified Review
    Zacki brought our dinner party to the next level. We were very happy with the food and especially interaction with guests. Can't wait until our next party.
    Zacki M. Nov 2, 2015

    Have now done a couple of parties for this lovely couple. They go all out to entertain and it is a delight to help make their evenings so special.

  • Ashlie C. Jun 25, 2015
    Personal Chef (Ongoing)
    Verified Review
    Zacki made lovely meals for my family and was genuinely great to chat with to boot! She has really relieved pressure for me this week to balance our intense schedules and ensure our little guys are exposed to a variety of delicious and fresh food!!
  • Kimberly H. Jun 7, 2015
    Personal Chef
    Verified Review
    Zacki worked with me to plan a surprise 40th birthday dinner for my husband. She tailored the menu to his likes and favorites and even threw in a couple of surprises! She involved our two 12 year old sons in the food preparation and they had so much fun. Zacki and her assistant Gin are delightful and provided a tasty dinner with a fun, relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere.
  • Kristie B. Feb 9, 2015
    On-going Meal Delivery
    Verified Review
  • Jason M. Feb 2, 2015
    Personal Chef
    Verified Review Updated
    Zacki did a wonderful job catering my wife's surprise birthday party. She pulled it all together on short notice including a signature drink and a great meal. She also went outside the box on some inventive appetizers to make the evening special. Everything was perfect thanks to Zacki!
  • Verified Review Original
  • Julio R. Jan 25, 2015
    Personal Chef
    Verified Review
    Zacki and her assistance Julie were phenomenal. They were sweet, interactive, educative, and the food was amazing. I highly recommend anyone interested in outstanding customer service, great food, at a competitive price to please give Zacki's Culinary Creations a try; you won't be disappointed.
    Zacki M. Nov 2, 2015

    This was one happy and fun family gathering. What I enjoy, is not only the teaching part of a "Cook In Your Nook," but feeling right at home in their kitchen. This job was so much fun!

  • Matt N. Dec 30, 2014
    Event Catering
    Verified Review
    I hired Zacki's Culinary Creations for my corporate holiday party and to prepare the holiday gifts for my team. We had a great time with Zacki and her assistant Princess. Zacki helped put together and prepare a french fusion cuisine and an excellent french cocktail for all to enjoy. The most outstanding aspect was the baskets she created for my team. They were beautiful, personal and very well done. I was very pleased with the quality and presentation of the baskets. Thank you Zacki.
  • Helen E. Nov 19, 2014
    Personal Chef
    Verified Review
    Excellent experience! I will use her for all my events! Zacki catered my sister's birthday party which included a cooking demonstration. It was fun and my sister and all her guests had a wonderful time.
    Zacki M. Nov 2, 2015

    This was the most "tender" of all the parties I have done. It would be sister Frances last birthday. She was crowned "Queen for the Day," but immediately became queen of our hearts. When she said that it was the best birthday she ever had, I truly think it was...We had her help make some of her favorite foods. She was surrounded by dear friends, love and laughter.

  • Jeremy D. Sep 28, 2014
    Personal Chef
    Verified Review
    I used Zacki for a suprise birthday party for my wife and several of her friends. Zacki and her assistant were very professional and all 9 women had great things to say about the food, I got back in time for leftovers which were fantastic.
  • Linda H. Sep 5, 2014
    Event Catering
    Verified Review
    Zacki prepared and presented a lovely, very tasty afternoon tea time buffet for a Life Celebration of my father. She and her assistant were extremely helpful and kind throughout the event, and even allowed my young niece to help by circulating among the guests with a tray of desserts. This made her feel like she was truly participating in the celebration of her grandfather, and I'm sure she will be talking about that for weeks. Thanks for a lovely afternoon, Zacki!
  • Kumar S. Sep 1, 2014
    Personal Chef
    Verified Review
    Zacki is an extremely talented and innovative cook. She is DEFINITELY an expert in her field. I was on a new diet (low carb, no refined sugars, high in veggies, no corn or soy, gluten-free) and even though the list of "CANNOT EAT" foods was high, she called and instantly said that there's A LOT that I CAN eat. Boy was she right. She cooked up a storm with me and even with my schoolteacher paycheck, it was affordable. She focuses on trying to make you self-sufficient with your cooking, so you don't really need to rely on her time and time again, but, trust me, you'll miss her food and her special ingredients, so you'll call her back. At first, the price was a bit high for me given my current job, but when you do the math, and realize how much time you're saving and how much you are learning a lifelong skill, it's well worth it. Stop shopping and just give her a call. Just don't call her too often because I need her to squeeze me into her schedule. That homemade Baba Ghannough and roasted Mediterranean chicken are calling my name again.
  • Mary E. Jun 25, 2014
    Event Catering
    Verified Review
    Zacki Murphy is at the top of her game. She did a super job of creating great food for my party. I would definitely recommend her to anyone...I'm looking forward to using her services again,
  • Jane D. May 31, 2014
    Event Catering
    Verified Review
    Zacki Murphy and her team surpassed my highest expectations. We had a party of 50+ from all corners of the world & 8 families. Zacki listened and delivered the perfect combination of exquisite finger food to make this party a roaring success. From open face salmon sandwiches, to mini crab cakes, shrimp, prosciutto wrapped asparagus, not to mention her incredible juleps, this party had it all for a very special group of world travelers. I won't ever look to another firm for my catering needs in the Durham area. The largest error to be made is to not contract with Zacki for your unique event.
  • Stacey M. Feb 22, 2014
    Personal Chef
    Verified Review
    Zacki was so much fun, educational and made a very memorable night for our daughter's 16th birthday cooking party! She has so much cooking knowledge and loves to make everything beautiful! Thanks!!!!
  • Camille B. Feb 8, 2014
    Event Catering
    Verified Review
    Zacki was great to work with. She meet with me a few weeks before the party in order to set expectations. She arrived the day of the party at the agreed upon time and proceeded to makr my party fabulous! Food was excellent and wonderfully presented.
  • Kristen K. Jan 17, 2014
    Event Catering
    Verified Review
    Zacki and team delivered an amazing experience for our guests during our holiday party. This was my first time hiring a caterer and was so thrilled! The food looked amazing and tasted even better! Zacki was very helpful and patient in trying to help us balance variety, quantity and expenses. Great experience!
  • Lisa P. Nov 3, 2013
    Wardrobe Consulting
    Verified Review
    95% of time was spent cleaning out and organizing my closet. I needed help with maximizing what I have, identifying key pieces and identifying anything I might need in order to so. Then I could have eliminated what I didn't need.
  • Jim D. Oct 4, 2013
    Personal Chef
    Verified Review
  • Winifred G. Feb 15, 2013
    Personal Chef
    Verified Review
    Zacki brought my ideas for Valentines Day to life. She made my wife's night by making all of her favorite things along with providing just the right amount of ambiance. Her culinary skills were exceptional she made our taste buds rise and clap. Than again Zacki, Winifred.
  • Carolyn B. May 24, 2012
    Event Catering
    Verified Review
    ***** five star
  • Jean W. Mar 14, 2011
    Personal Chef
    Verified Review
    “I am so glad that we are organizing my clothes and closet. It is such a good feeling to get rid of all the clothes that do not fit, are the wrong color or style, and don't work for me. Thanks to you, I will never again make such disastrous and wasteful purchases. We have made good progress, and I look forward to more sessions to refine my wardrobe and do a little shopping for any needed clothes, shoes and accessories.” …Jean J. Wilson

Q&A

What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?
I do not have a complicated pricing system.
What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
-To learn their sincerity of hiring a professional (not doing this themselves) and that they have a real price margin in mind or if not, a budget for everything. - That they have a kitchen available for ZCC to prepare their food. - For them to understand that there are other prices involved such as the cost of travel, staff, rentals. - Once this is in place, to choose the menu and decide on other services such as the setting up of decor, the cooking and presentation and to understand if they wish clean up. My main focus is the meal experience and often the client does not want to pay us to stay and clean up. This is fine with us.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I am always reading, googling and experimenting with new recipes. Especially with the WWJE? (What Would Jesus Eat?) program as it is a continual learning curve. I especially enjoy the historical and Biblical aspect...This week, we are meeting for the second time with a Messianic Jew to guide us with our first Seder this spring. My assistant is learning some Hebrew and I will be in charge of this special meal to be shared with about 100 members at a church in Raleigh. So, yes, continuing education is absolutely necessary.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
It was a natural progression with my love of the earth from about the age of four. I always had a garden and my cooking started with a little stove heated by a light bulb; good for s'mores...Later, I had 4 years of home economics and got hooked on making preserves and sauces...After UNC, went to work as a professional model and had time in between to go to culinary school and study with some master chefs. Traveling all over the world as a model, picked up an appreciation for different cuisines...Started working as a stylist and menu planner for Martha Stewart, Family Circle Magazine...and finally opened my own little southern joint in NYC...After 9/11, I returned south to prepare comfort food.
What types of customers have you worked with?
Personal chef, menu planning, recipe development. I also teach private cooking classes and etiquette classes...Also, take "My Manners on the Road" and work with the whole family...I also organize kitchens and pantries...After modeling, started image consulting and re-imaged closets to helped my clients shop and pack wisely for trips...I also go into churches, teach "An Ancient Mediterranean Meal: Foods from the Time of Jesus" which involves a cooking class, the presentation of a delicious feast and give a 30 minute power point talk about the food, customs and Kosher laws from 2,000 years past.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
It was a class last week where the mom wanted to make gluten free cupcakes for her family and neighbors. Her family had allergies,she had gone organic and wanted to try some desserts without gluten...We discussed favorite flavors and I sent her a list of ingredients to purchase and several recipes...She even bought a mix master, everything that I had requested and more...Not only did she get into the preparation, but so did her six and three year old. They loved decorating the little cakes. It was alot of fun for all and I bet her neighbors loved the results as well.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
To carefully read my website, e-mail me with questions or call me for a short conversation...I can also do a consult at your home and that is $50 an hour to an hour and a half. A travel fee may be added...To be specific about your needs and to know that if you "don't know" what you want for a special occasion or even for supper, that I am a professional who has been at this for a very long time. I am here to make your journey a pleasure and not a chore. My prices are fair market.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
That I have been cooking for most of my life and that I really care about what I personally cook for you and your family...That everything is custom made with your diet in mind as much as what will bring you comfort and be nutritious...That meals are not just fuel for your body, but can be a time of enjoyment and relaxation...That I can also teach you the basics of food preparation and cooking, so that you can be independent...or if you don't want to be, then you've got me to make it easy.