Frequently Asked Questions
- How does this work?
After receiving your call or email with request for kitchen help, one of our personal chefs will follow up with you to learn more about your specific needs and discuss a pricing overview. From there, we prefer to meet with you for an in-home consultation lasting approximately 30-45 minutes. At the consultation, we will discuss your specific mealtime challenges and complete a Food Questionnaire to understand your food preferences and dietary needs.
- Do you deliver meals already made or do the cooking in my home?
Meals are cooked in your home using your equipment. Honest to Goodness does not deliver already-prepared meals or cook meals that are designed to stock your freezer. Meals are stored fully-cooked on your dishes or in your storage containers to reheat throughout the week when you are ready to enjoy them. An extra perk of cooking in your home is the delicious smells lingering after your cooking day.
- How often do you come to cook and for how long?
Once per week is recommended to prepare enough meals to get you through a majority of the week. Your chef cooks for 3-6 hours at a time to provide a variety of dinners with lunch leftovers. Breakfasts, snacks, and baked goods are additional options.
- Do I have to sign up for weekly service?
Ours is a working relationship that develops over time and improves with consistent feedback. Clients enjoy the greatest peace of mind when we work together on a weekly basis. We do require new clients to commit for at least one month of weekly services (4 consecutive weeks). Preferred pricing is extended for commitments of 3 months or 6 months so you have the best possible value as we integrate into your lifestyle.
If you are concerned about watching your budget, you may hire your Personal Chef for every other week or on an on-call basis. If you decide that you would like another service provider for whatever reason or none at all, we respect your decision and hope you’ll come back to us!
- Do I have to be home while you are cooking?
No, you are not required to be home. We don’t mind if you are though. Most clients provide a key, code, and/or alarm instructions so that they may work or continue other activities without inconvenience. Your house will smell like the comforts of home-cooking and you will find your refrigerator full of delicious meals when you return home!
- How do you charge?
Honest to Goodness charges a flat hourly fee for services related to menu planning, grocery shopping, meal preparation, event planning, cooking lessons, and kitchen organization. Groceries are charged for reimbursement at actual cost. Contact us for a pricing estimate specific to your needs.
- Is there a contract?
No contract is required for weekly cooking services. For large events or other situations with specific logistical needs, we do require a contract and retainer toward our services.
- Can you provide references?
Please refer to our Taste-monials for delicious feedback from our many satisfied clients!
Let’s Talk About the Food
- What is your cooking style?
Honest to Goodness cooks a little bit of everything, preparing healthy meals from scratch using only whole, fresh ingredients richly-enhanced with herbs and spices. Your chef will focus on integrating vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins into your diet through comforting food that also tastes good. Weekly menus typically incorporate various styles of cuisine, anything from “meat and potatoes” to adventurous palates.
- Do you accommodate special diets?
Absolutely! Many clients have specific diets, food sensitivities, and food allergens to accommodate. Honest to Goodness customizes menus to suit your low-carb, low-fat, low-sodium, anti-inflammatory/Abascal TQI, diabetic, gluten-free, Paleo, heart-healthy, elimination, Whole30, Atkins, or other diets. Please provide as much information as possible regarding your individual needs so that your menus are planned accordingly.
- Do you have menus from which I order? How do I know what I’ll be eating?
Feast your eyes on some of our most recent creations! Your chef plans a variety of seasonally-inspired menus to bring to your table using some of these reference sites, though the options are endless. Two to three days before your scheduled cooking date, your personal chef will email you a menu customized to your tastes and dietary preferences. You have the option to request changes to the menu up to one day in advance.
- Can you make food from our family’s favorite recipes?
Yes, we always take special requests and will cook according to any recipes you provide.
- Do you buy the groceries or do I?
You have the choice to purchase groceries on your own from on a provided list based on the week’s menu. Otherwise your chef will grocery shop for you and bring everything over on the day of cooking. You are welcome to send a list of other needed groceries to your chef so you can save extra time during the week. Thank goodness for that!
- Where do you do your grocery shopping?
Honest to Goodness shops at all major grocery stores depending on the ingredient list, including QFC, Fred Meyer, Trader Joe’s, Costco,Whole Foods, PCC Natural Markets, and Safeway. You may request organic, natural, and non-GMO products too.
- Can you teach me how to cook?
Yes, Honest to Goodness offers one-on-one instruction for anyone wanting to learn cooking techniques or receive help with preparing a special meal for that special someone in your life. Our chefs also enjoy group cooking classes if you want to have a gathering at your home for an interactive chef demonstration.
Other Relevant Questions
- Are you a caterer?
Yes and no. We cater in-home and in venues where a kitchen is available for our use. Since we do not have our own commercial kitchen, we are not licensed and insured to prepare food in advance for delivery to you. There are circumstances for large event needs where we can rent a commercial kitchen and secure additional insurance. Please contact us with your specific event plans to receive a custom proposal on how we can serve you. If we are not the best fit to cater your occasion, we have a list of highly qualified and trusted caterers in the area to recommend to you.
- What areas of town do you serve?
Honest to Goodness serves the greater Seattle and Eastside areas, including (but not limited to) Edmonds, Shoreline, Bothell, Bellevue, Mercer Island, Kirkland, Redmond, Issaquah, Woodinville, Renton, and Burien. We will travel outside of this range for an additional stipend.
- Are you insured?
Yes, each of our chefs has general liability insurance through our corporate membership with the USPCA to protect both parties for any cooking done in your home.
- Do you offer gift certificates?
Of course! Who wouldn’t want to receive the gift of healthy meals and more time? Gift certificates are perfect for anyone you know who is strapped for time and/or dislikes cooking. Special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and housewarming parties are perfect to honor with the help from a Personal Chef and Kitchen Concierge.
- What is CPC?
CPC means Certified Personal Chef, a credential offered by the United States Personal Chef Association. Candidates must be in business for a minimum of 2 years, meet rigorous eligibility criteria, submit letters of recommendations, and pass 2 different exams.
Laura previously earned her CPCE in 2008, which is a Certified Professional in Catering and Events. This is a certification offered through NACE, the National Association for Catering and Events. Chef Laura was amongst a select group of fewer than 300 people in this country with this pedigree. Laura is also an award-winning event planner with experience in thousands of successful events during her previous career.
- Do you cook for a lot of celebrities?
A personal chef cooks for individuals, couples, and families from a variety of socio-economic lifestyles. Enjoying chef services is not just for the wealthy elite. The value of your time and your health is worth every penny in improving your quality of life with an experienced food professional. Yes, you can afford a chef!
- What else is cooking?
Chef Laura has resumed the writing of a book that was back-burnered for a while as she cooked for people like you and built up a team. What’s the name of the book? you ask. Can you keep a secret? So can Laura.
While our team has high aspirations for cooking glory, a TV show on the Food Network is not one of our goals.
And the Last, Most Important Question
- When can you start?
As soon as possible!