I would love to have a personal (Top) Chef, if only for one meal

I have watched Top Chef for a few seasons, but only this season have I actually wished I could try the food. I was really impressed with the dishes the five chefs came up with at Rick Tramonto’s Steak and Seafood restaurant last week. I am not a “foodie” so I can not appreciate food like “squid emulsion” or “foam.” Unfortunately, my palette is limited to mostly sweet and salty. Remember the blind junk food test from Season One? I could do that! In the past, I had to wait until the last final episode to appreciate how these chefs can create dishes from experience, how they can adapt the ingredients into their recipes, and how they can cook a meal in thirty minutes without a microwave! This season, you can’t just be a good chef, your food has to have meaning; the “foodies” have to feel your love, your passion, your soul. In a perfect world, my own personal chef would emerge happily from the kitchen and in a friendly manner discuss the courses for the evening meal. It would be so different from a server reading “tonight’s specials” at a restaurant. My personal chef would explain the whole history of the meal, from conception to birth: how he or she shopped for special ingredients to make my meal healthy and memorable: found the certain fresh vegetables at the market for the salad, and how he or she came across this one exotic fruit for the dessert. For a brief moment I could pretend I was a “foodie” about to be served dinner with love. I guess the the feeling I’m imagininging is “nurtured” and I am reminded how far I have gotten away from the “nourishing” aspect of food; meals have become just things to whip up and woof down. Although I would enjoy the pampering a personal chef would provide during a dinner service, I would want him or her to help me make my own positive connections with food. Is it possible for me to get excited about shopping for ingredients or do I have to out-source this ability? Is the goal of a personal chef to get you into a dependent-on-them lifestyle or to teach you to be more independent?

For more information try these links: The American Personal & Private Chef Institute and chef2chef a culinary portal


2 Responses to I would love to have a personal (Top) Chef, if only for one meal

  1. Cory says:

    Hey JP,

    I came across your blog while looking for pictures for my website. I’m starting a catering business on the side doing just what your talking about. Shoot me an email, I’d like to get your ten cents on a couple things as the way you described a personal chef coming to your kitchen to cook is exactly my business model, and you seem to fit my target demographic (I’m in NYC, so I’m not soliciting you as a client, just want to pick your brain for a minute or two.)



  2. pjbottoms says:

    Hi Cory. I’ll try to email you soon, I have been so busy at work! This post is based on an experience I had at a small dinner party at the house of a college president. The way the chef talked about “his food” reminded me of they way the chefs on Top Chef and to Hell’s Kitchen talked about their recepies in their interviews. It is completely out of my skill set (or even my way of thinking) to be inspired by ingredients, especially fresh ingredients in my cooking. I think it would be cool if you could take your clients on a “field trip” to the fresh markets in NYC, bring the ingrediants back to a kitchen, and show your clients how to prepare them in certain dishes. To me this represents the difference between a personal chef and a cateror(sp); the later focuses on the event, whereas the pesonal chef focuses on the client.
    Thanks for your comment!


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