Healthy Meals – 2011

Healthy Meals. – By: Long Island Personal Chef – Bill McCabe

House calls for Healthy Meals

Outsourcing our lives: Personal Chefs cater to a growing clientele — and not just the rich

Good intentions of eating healthy and staying fit often clash with the overbooked lifestyles many people lead. Therefore; some of those consumers “who want it all but still want to maintain their sanity” are turning to personal chefs.
Personal chefs have found a growing customer base not only among working couples with children but also single professionals on the run as well as people with dietary restrictions and seniors who want to remain independent.

Unlike the private chef, the personal chef will shop and prepare the week’s meals all in a day, leaving clients with special preparation instructions. The customer essentially is paying for a supply of meals made with fresh ingredients and none of the preservatives and nitrates of frozen dinners and take-out food, said Candy Wallace, founder and executive director of the American Personal Chef Association. Her organization estimates the number of personal chefs nationwide at 8,000.

“My clients are basically dual-income families who do not have time to shop or cook,” said Bill McCabe of Hauppauge-based Bills Great Meals. McCabe served as Houlihans Culinary Director and as General Manager for LongHorn Steakhouse.

Norman Haywood, a family practitioner who lives in Northport, warmed to the idea of a personal chef after comparing the price tag of frequently eating out against the cost of McCabe’s services. Haywood and his wife, Jeanette, a nurse who runs the busy practice with him, have a 25-year-old son attending SUNY Old Westbury and a 14-year-old daughter. They figured they were paying anywhere from $35 to $70 five to six times a week on eating out or ordering takeout. Now they spend between $450 and $525 for two weeks of McCabe’s personal chef services.

“We figured it was really cheaper than eating out, plus eating out became mundane,” Haywood said. “It was either Chinese or Italian. We were excited when Bill came with so many different ideas about so many different dishes.”

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