Although I like to cook and bake, there are times I wish the HouseKeeping Fairy would drop dinner down on the table (oh and clean up after too?). In my doctor’s office a few weeks ago, I thumbed through a CT Mom guidebook to see services in my area. I spotted an ad for a personal chef – TLC Home Cooking – and thought “What a great idea!” After a few emails, Judy Buonocore and I met to discuss how her services benefit moms and families!
First, a personal chef is not a caterer, but someone who provides meal preparation services in your home on a scheduled basis. Judy left 25 years in corporate America to follow her passion for cooking into her new business, TLC Home Cooking, launched in March 2011. She loves to cater to families, knowing a selection of ready-made home-cooked meals can be a lifesaver for parents on the go!
Clients fill out a food questionnaire so she understands their likes, dislikes, health concerns and dietary needs. Then she customizes a 2-week menu plan. Two weeks of meals includes 5 entrees and 2 sides enough for 10 dinners. She uses a database of hundreds of recipes tested by the US Personal Chef Association to be great for freezer storage. Because she grocery shops the same morning she cooks, the food is made with the freshest ingredients!
Then, Judy arrives at your home once every two weeks and spends about 3-4 hours prepping and cooking the meals. She stores each meal in containers you keep as long as you work with her (there is a container fee). When she leaves, three meals are in your fridge, and seven are in your freezer for later! Her cooking style is comfort food / healthy family fare, but she’s able to work with your favorite cuisines too!
Judy came to our house last week with boxes of chefs tools, pots and pans, and prepared a delicious Slow-Cooked Short Rib dinner with garlic mashed potatoes and green salad! How lovely it was to sit down to a home-cooked meal I didn’t have to plan and prep! When she left, she cleaned up the kitchen so well, I would never have known she’d been there except for the delicious smell of short ribs in the air!
Even our 2-year-old had some mashed potatoes, short ribs, and the olives out of the salad (he likes to stick them on his fingers!). So this dish (Judy’s signature favorite!) was a hit in my family for sure!
I can imagine how helpful it is to have someone create 10 nights of dinner, especially as we add a new baby to the mix! Hiring a personal chef is perfect for expectant or new moms, moms who work or have kids with lots of activities, or for people who don’t enjoy cooking. Or, people with special dietary considerations would benefit from a personal chef service, because you can fully customize your meals and discuss with Judy your restrictions and preferences!
If you’re looking for a personal chef in Connecticut, you should check out Judy Buonocore – she’s easy to work with, her food was delicious, and her service was professional and top-notch! She also can do dinner parties and cooking classes! She’s currently offering Mother’s Day and New Mom packages, and I think giving a gift of personal chef services is a great idea!! (Pretty please, hubby?)!
WIN IT: If you’ve been wondering how a personal chef might fit your life, why not enter to win a dinner from Judy at TLC Home Cooking? Winner receives: One meal for up to 6 people cooked at their home at a date and time agreed upon by TLC and the recipient. It does not include serving the meal. TLC will supply several menu choices to select from based on answers to a food questionnaire. The service includes 1 entrée and your choice of 2 sides or 1 side and a dessert. Entrants must live in Central or South East Connecticut, my service territory. ARV $200.
Enter in the Rafflecopter form below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
GIVEAWAY RULES: Open to residents of Central / South East Connecticut only! Must be 18+ to enter/win. Winner will be notified via email directly and have 48 hours to reply to claim their prize. Fulfillment handled by TLC Home Cooking. Giveaway ends on April 24, 2012.
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a one-dinner service to assist in writing this review. All opinions are my own and 100% honest.