Providing Meals in a Crisis

Food speaks to us of nurturing and love. When a family or individual is in crisis, it’s natural to show we care by providing food. I get calls and emails from people wanting to use my services to provide meals for a sick friend, a bereaved spouse, or the family of someone who is ill.  Usually this offer is welcomed and appreciated, but sometimes it isn’t.

These are some things to consider before arranging meals:

If you are using a personal chef who doesn’t have a commercial kitchen, the meals will have to be prepared onsite. When a family is in crisis, a stranger in the house can be added stress.  Consider allowing the chef to prepare the meals in your home or the home of another friend or family member. The meals can then be delivered at a convenient time.

Beware providing too much food.  Schedules change. Things come up. Tonight’s dinner doesn’t get eaten until 2 days later, and the meal planned for that night is suddenly pushed to the end of its refrigerated life.

Plan on meals that can be used for dinner and reheated for lunch, portioned for a single serving or for everyone sitting down together.

Sharing a meal can offer a few moments of normalcy in the midst of crisis and chaos. You can help make those moments happen for people you care about. All it takes is a little planning.

Menus this Week

Posted by on Mar 7, 2012 in diabetic, medically restricted diets, Personal Chef, Uncategorized | 1 comment

Situation: Elderly couple. One the caregiver for the other.

Dietary considerations: Diabetes, low-fiber diet, meats ground.

Preferences: Comfort food.

Marinated Salmon & Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Puree

Ground Chicken Parmesan & Parmesan Toast

Ground Turkey Tetrazinni & Apple Sauce

Risotto with Sweet Italian Sausage

Ground Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry & Rice


Situation: Retired couple entertaining house guests

Preferences: Meat

Stout-Braised Short Ribs

Steak au Poivre

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Cheese and Ham

Meatballs al Forno


Situation: Single elderly woman

Preferences: 4 vegetarian meals and 1 meal to include chicken or turkey

Corn & Vegetable Soup & Fruit Salad

Shepherd’s Pie & Corn and Quinoa Salad

Vegetable Pot Pie & Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Butternut Squash

Pasta with Roasted Vegetables

Vegetable Quiche Cups




Posted by on Jan 13, 2012 in Personal Chef | 0 comments

Welcome to my blog.

I am a personal chef on Bainbridge Island, Washington, also serving Poulsbo, Kingston, Silverdale and other North Kitsap County communities. In the coming weeks and months I’ll be writing about a variety of subjects. Some will be food related, but many will be about my experiences as a personal chef. If there is any particular subject you’d like me to address, please post a comment and I’ll do my best to respond.

What I do.

As a personal chef, I cook multiple, customized meals in people’s homes. Some of my clients hire me to cook for them weekly. For them I provide most of their dinners and, by preparing generous portions, several of their lunches. Many of my clients opt for an every-two-week schedule. This is often the most cost effective option for those wanting me to prepare most of their main meals.  I also accommodate clients’ schedules for every 3 weeks, every month and every 6 weeks. And I have a number of clients who aren’t on a set schedule but call when they know their lives are going to be especially hectic. Families and individuals who choose less frequent schedules are usually capable of preparing most of their own meals, but want enough assistance so they aren’t overwhelmed or tempted to resort to less healthy meal alternatives.

Many of the people I cook for are on special diets and they look to me to provide a variety of nutritious and delicious meals within the parameters of their dietary restrictions. In addition to the popular weight loss regimens (Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach, etc.), I’ve prepared meals for people who are diabetic, require low-fiber diets, have swallowing issues, need heart healthy meals, can’t tolerate gluten, are vegetarian or vegan.

After you contact me, we’ll set up a free, no-obligation consultation in which we’ll discuss food likes and dislikes, food allergies, medical issues that affect diet, how you eat now, how you’d like to eat. Based on this information, I’ll propose a menu for your review and approval. Then we’ll set a cook date.

On the agreed cook date, I’ll arrive at your home with all of the groceries, equipment and supplies I’ll need to prepare your food. I’ll use your stove, oven and sink. After preparing your meals, I’ll package and label them and leave reheating instructions. And, of course, I’ll clean up and leave your home smelling wonderful and your refrigerator/freezer stocked with delicious and nutritious meals. I’ll leave a proposed menu for the next cook date, but there is never any obligation or any contract to sign.