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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: A personal chef sounds expensive, is it?

A: Don’t confuse private live-in chefs with our Personal Chef services. A private chef is employed by one individual or family full time, and is often preparing 3 meals a day! A personal chef services one client at a time either on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis.  A personal chef provides a customized selection of freshly prepared meals which are packaged and stored for the client to enjoy as it fits their schedule and lifestyle.

Q: I am a decent cook, why do I need a Personal Chef?

A: To reclaim your time and energy. Add up the time you spend shopping, cooking, and cleaning each week, and then imagine having that time FREE instead.

Q: Do you prepare the food in my kitchen?

A. Connecticut law requires personal chefs to use their client’s kitchens unless the chef has access to a licensed commercial kitchen. But don’t worry, we bring everything we need including our own pots, pans, and utensils and all the ingredients necessary to prepare your entrees. Your kitchen is left clean and the only evidence of our presence is the wonderful aromas left behind.

Q: How long will you be in my kitchen?

A: Each client has specific needs, therefore it is impossible to say exactly how long the cook date will be. However a general guideline is somewhere between 5–8 hours depending on the complexity of the menu.  I am willing to work with your schedule or situation and we can make arrangements in advance so that my cooking date is compatible with your schedule.

Q: Do I have to be at home?

A: No. Actually, most clients prefer to be at work during the cooking process, which actually benefits both parties. This allows the chef to operate safely and without distractions, thereby reducing possible injury. This also allows the chef to remain focused on creating the meals you requested without the confusion of conversation.

Q: What can I do to prepare for your arrival?

A: Please have a clean kitchen, an empty sink and room in your fridge and freezer. Generally, a considerable amount of freezer space is needed, depending on your menu and the sizes of containers. This is why we charge a container fee. Appropriate size and uniform containers result in efficient storage.


Q: Can you use my containers?

A:. I prefer to select the appropriate size and style container to fit your requirements (menu selection/number of servings).  Uniform size containers take less storage space in your freezer.  I will bring the appropriate size container for each entree on the cooking date.  Container fees will be added to your grocery bill. You will also be required to have the containers thoroughly washed and ready at the beginning of each cook date, in a pre-designated area where they can be easily found.  However, if you do have a well-equipped kitchen and have containers you believe to be suitable, I will be happy to review the containers prior to purchasing new ones.

Q: The cost seems to be about what I pay for an entree in a restaurant, why is that?

A: Fees are based on service plus food.  The fees actually represent all the components that make up a professional personal chef service.  The service fee includes the initial assessment process, time spent researching and customizing recipes to reflect your requests, submitting meal selections for your approval, time spent in grocery stores, travel time to your home, packaging, labeling and storing your meals.  If you were to compare a personal chef service to restaurant service you could think of it this way: For a restaurant you must travel there and possibly wait for a table, wait for a server to take your order and bring your food. After eating your meal you must pay, tip the server and drive back home.  With a personal chef service, you can always choose the meals you prefer and dine at your convenience - in front of the television if you choose or by candle light!

Q: Are you insured?

A: Yes. Chef Marcia Puc carries liability insurance and Sweet Pea Cuisine LLC is registered with the State of Connecticut.  Marcia carries a current Food Handler’s Card (ServSafe) and has been trained in safe food handling.

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