Frequently Asked Questions

Can I have my meals delivered?

At this time we are not able to offer delivery, but it is something that we have in the works for the future and we will be sure to post updates on our website.

I have a small kitchen, can a chef really still prepare meals in my home?

Do you have running water? Do you have a working oven? Do you have a working stove top (gas or electric)? Are you able to clear enough counter space for the equivalent of 2 large cutting boards? If you answered “yes” to all of these questions than our chefs are able to utilize your kitchen for all their preparation needs!

My (spouse, child, partner, roommate etc.) and I adhere to different nutritional lifestyles and/or have different preferences, is this something you can accommodate?

Short answer, absolutely! Long answer, depending on what restrictions, requirements, aversions, allergies, etc. that we are working with and how much overlap there is or is not, you may find that our Custom Service Membership best meets your needs. Unsure which options is best for you? Just email us and we’ll help you figure out the best plan for your households needs.

With a personal chef, can I expect the meals to be like eating at a restaurant every night?

Our chefs are professionals cooking with fresh, quality ingredients, but the service is still weekly meal preparation where the meals require re-heating. There is nothing quite like having a meal cooked to perfection and then immediately served for your dining pleasure, but we do our best to come close.

Can my chef keep track of my Macronutrients?

We will support you in your nutritional goals by adhering to specific guidelines for various diets, Keto friendly, low-carb, no added sugar, high protein etc. but at this time, we are not able to supply macronutrient breakdowns. If this is something you are looking for, please let us know and we will consider moving in that direction based on client demand.

Do I have to sign a contract or can I just order meals some weeks and not others?

This is a contracted service because at its core, you are hiring a personal chef not just purchasing meals. We are as committed to our chefs as we are to our clients and that means providing them with a stable schedule they can rely on as a source of income.

When do I get to review the contract?

The contract is emailed to you after you have completed your Client Profile and you have been assigned a Chef and a start date. However, we have some basic info below and are happy to go over specifics with you prior to that, at your request, just email us.

What are the basic terms of the contract?

We work off of 90 day revolving contract where SPC, the chef and you, the client, all agree to a session day, time and frequency and the number of meals prepared per session. The first 30 days are a trial in which we can adjust to make sure the frequency, number of meals and portions are all meeting your needs, and the service may be cancelled at any time during this period. After the initial trial, we request 30 day notice if you do not intend on renewing your contract for another 90 days.

What about vacations or if I need to skip a week?

We do have 2 weeks’ worth of sessions (2 or 4 sessions based on frequency) built into each 90 day contract as ‘skip days’. After that, we may need to charge a “service retention fee” to ensure that your chef is being compensated during your extended absence, but we will always work with you to schedule make up sessions etc. whenever possible rather than charging for a service you are not receiving.

If I have an item in my DNL (Do Not Like) or allergy list that is in a meal that I select, what happens?

Your chef is an expert on your tastes, preferences and restrictions, and they are also professionals who know their way around the kitchen. We will omit or substitute any ingredients that conflict with the information you have provided in your profile or that we know from your personal feedback. If an ingredient is essential to a dish that you picked and cannot be omitted or substituted, we will email you and ask you to select a different dish.

What if I like everything in a dish but want to make a substitution for one part of it?

We have many items on the menu that allow you to select your protein, vegetable, accompaniments etc. and we encourage you to utilize this function to come up with countless combinations! We feel menu items that don’t offer this are really best enjoyed the way they are presented. Find yourself really, really wanting to swap out one element so you can enjoy that dish you’ve been eyeing up? Just send us a message and we’ll do our best to make it happen for you.

How often do you change your menu items?

We completely change out our menus quarterly to reflect that change in seasons so we can take advantage of fresh, local produce as much as possible. Some dishes will remain the same throughout the season while others well swap out weekly or bi-weekly for new inspiration.

What if a dish I love is no longer on the menu, can I still order it?

You will see some fan favorites adapted to reflect the season rather than being removed all together in our quarterly overhaul and many dishes will be rotated on and off throughout the season. If you are really craving a dish you had a couple weeks ago, send us a message and if the ingredients are still seasonally available we’re happy to make it for you.

I really don’t like repeating the same meal, what if the updates aren’t frequent enough for me?

If you feel like you aren’t seeing enough new selections that meet your needs and preferences, please let us know! We will see if we need to re-evaluate our new item frequency in certain areas of cuisine or nutrition. Some people may just want all new items every week, and if that is you, then you may want to consider our Custom Service Membership.

What happens if I forget to place my order?

We ask that all orders be placed at least 48hrs prior to your session as there are several steps that need to happen in between receiving your order and your chef arriving at your doorstep, groceries in hand. We will send you two email reminders but if we have not received your order 18 hrs prior to your session, then you will automatically receive the same menu as the previous session.

I pay for the session when I order, but how to I get billed for my groceries?

We will send you an invoice for your groceries via QuickBooks within 48hrs of your session. You can set up for a direct bank transfer (recommended) or pay via credit card for an additional 2.9% processing fee.

What happens if my chef purchases ingredients I already have in my pantry?

This does occasionally happen, but our chefs do their best to minimize this by taking notes on your pantry at every session. The more sessions you have, the more in tune with your pantry your chef will become. If a duplicate item is purchased, your chef will always utilize what you had on hand first and save the item they purchased for a future session.

Can my chef use fresh items I have in my fridge, garden or from my CSA?

For clients taking advantage of our Custom Service Membership, this is one of the built in benefits as your chef is considering these factors when creating your menu. However, our Meal Plan clients can opt to take a more active role in their grocery planning by selecting the “View Grocery List Prior to Session” option in their client portfolio. We will email you the grocery list and you can check off all of the items that you currently have on hand. Just please be sure you send the revised list back to us within 18 hrs of your session or we will not be able to utilize the information you have provided.

Can I just do the grocery shopping myself?

It seems like this would be a viable option, and a good money saver, but it can actually really complicate the process for both you and your chef. There are many times when items on our shopping lists are open ended for your chef to make choices based on what is seasonally available or to cross utilize products to keep your grocery bill down. Your chef also has to make judgements about substitutions when stores are out of or don’t carry specific items. If you want to help, or just have a bit more control, keep your pantry stocked with essentials like oils, vinegars, spices, condiments etc. that your family frequently uses and enjoys and take advantage of the “View Grocery List Prior to Session” option described above.

What happens with the leftover groceries that aren’t used for my meals?

Any groceries that are not utilized in your weekly meals are yours to keep. Don’t cook at all? Our chefs do their best to minimize the leftovers of perishables, especially if they find that their clients are not putting them to use throughout the week. We will preserve what we can for the next session, maybe whip up a salad or roast off a sheet pan of root veggies or find a way to cross utilize some would-be leftovers in the dishes that we’re already making. Don’t worry, we don’t want to see food wasted any more than you do!

I have particular brands that I like for certain products, will my chef purchase these for me?

Your chef will do their best to match brands with what you typically keep in your household whenever possible but you are also welcome to provide us with a list of your absolute favorites. We have our go to’s as well, but your preferences come first, as long as they are available at our “Preferred Grocery Stores” and do not clash with our “We Do Not Cook with Ever” ingredient list.

What are your "Preferred Grocery Stores"?

Our personal preference is Whole Foods as it is a one stop shop for any and all nutritional lifestyles, but this is not always the best option based on location. We will also utilize Mom’s Market, Sprouts, Roots (or other local organic shops), Wegman’s and if need be Trader Joe’s, The Fresh Market and Harris Teeter.

What is on your “We Do Not Cook with Ever” ingredient list?

Meat products from a CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation), Refined Oils & Trans Fats, Refined Sugars (including high fructose corn syrup), MSG, Artificial Food Dyes, GMO produce or products containing GMO’s (to the best of our knowledge).

Do I need to have special containers for my meals?

SPC will provide one glass Pyrex Easy Grab container per contracted meal. We ask that these are available and clean for your session each week. Your chef will utilize your containers for any smaller side items that need to be packaged.

How much refrigerator space does my Chef need for my meals every week?

Each meal portioned for 2-3 servings will be packaged in a 2 qt container which is .75" wide x 13.75" deep x 2.25" high Each meal portioned for 4-6 servings will be packaged in a 3 qt container which is 9.5" wide x 16.25" deep x 2.25" high These containers are able to stack one on top of the other and 2 deep in almost all standard size refrigerators. There may be some small side containers in addition to these for some meals.

Do I need to be home for my sessions?

We ask that you be home and available for 10-15 minutes of your first session in order to do a walkthrough with your chef and answer some questions. We can be flexible with the timing of your first session to accommodate this necessity. After that, we do not require that you be home for your sessions.

How can my chef gain access for sessions if no one is home?

Many clients choose to have a key made for their chef or give them an access code. Other clients prefer to leave a particular door unlocked. Some clients prefer to schedule their sessions for when they or another house attendant will be home.

What kind of clean up can I expect to come home to after my session?

None! If you wanted to do dishes you could have just joined a meal kit subscription. You can count on coming home to a kitchen that is as clean or cleaner than you left it.

Does the chef bring all of their own equipment or do they use mine?

Your chef will bring their own knife, a kit of essential cooking tools, and some of their favorite must haves, but they will also utilize items in your kitchen such as pots and pans that would be too bulky to transport. You will have an opportunity at your first session to go over any special care instructions for your equipment as well as convey to your chef anything in your kitchen that is “off limits” for their use.

How complicated are the re-heating instructions?

It is our goal to leave you with as few dishes as possible so we aim for one step, one container re-heating whenever possible. a.k.a Preheat oven, remove Pyrex container from fridge to come to room temp, (do something non-cooking related of your choosing), place Pyrex in oven for some specified number less than 30 min, (do something non-cooking related of your choosing), place hot delicious food on table, enjoy a balanced meal, place Pyrex container, plates and cutlery into dishwasher, go about your evening.

What are the chefs qualifications?

All of our chefs have a professional culinary background be it culinary school, catering, cooking instructor, line cook or executive chef. All of our chefs undergo a multipoint background check and are required to maintain a current ServSafe certification. Check out our Chef Profiles to get to know our team!