In our modern world where time is currency and eating well is a prime objective, enter Mollie Benjamin with Atlanta Personal Chef Services.
But wait, Mollie is not a “chef,” per se. She has a retinue of seven to 10 culinary trained chefs that she sorts, measures, and matches to sends to clients’ homes to prepare mouthwatering family meals. Imagine your fragrant kitchen wafting with homemade rosemary focaccia bread, Thai curry spring roll bowl, salmon satay skewers with coconut peanut sauce, Thai basil cauliflower rice, sautéed ginger bok choy, and edamame and cabbage dip.
Benjamin explained, “Dinner service pricing starts at $400 for couples and $460 for a family of four plus the cost of groceries. This includes a customized menu created each week, and a chef who will prepare four dinners in your home each week, including grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, maintaining a stocked and organized kitchen, and leaving reheating instructions. Most clients find that having four dinners prepared for them each week is the perfect compliment to their own cooking and eating out.”
Other pricing options are available. Weekly meals are balanced entrées complete with protein, starch, and sides, and soup, salad, or appetizer prepared each time. Fresh homemade dessert is prepared on occasion.
Atlanta Personal Chef Service begins with a consultation between the personal chef and client. During this meeting, they discuss dietary preferences, any specific restrictions or allergies, and the client’s meal preferences and goals. The chef is responsible for sourcing all ingredients – grocery shopping for fresh produce, meats, and other ingredients. On scheduled days, the chef will come to the client’s home to prepare the meals or prepare meals in the APCS prep facility if preferred.
Generally, the service involves cooking two days’ worth of meals at once and storing them in the client’s refrigerator. The meals are typically packaged and labeled with instructions for reheating or cooking. Meals are packaged in glass containers and re-used.
Benjamin then addressed current trends, “Our clients have shown a strong preference for natural and organic foods, with emphasis on high-quality meats and seafood, preferably sourced locally when available. They are increasingly drawn to minimally processed ingredients that retain their natural flavors and nutritional value. There’s a growing demand for meals that are not only delicious but also visually appealing, emphasizing vibrant colors and diverse textures. Moreover, we’ve noticed a shift towards lighter and more refreshing options.”
Special diets are also front and center as APCS caters to specific dietary needs – vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or low-carb diets, and can accommodate various cuisines and culinary preferences.
Benjamin explained, “Our hand-selected chefs all have culinary degrees and several years of professional cooking experience; many having worked in fine-dining restaurants or five-star hotels. Once hired, all chefs are required to undergo training with a lead chef before working solo. We are very careful to match our chefs to your needs.”
Benjamin grew up in East Cobb in what she called “the warm embrace of Temple Kol Emeth.”
At 15, she jumped into the hospitality industry by working in fast food before attending the University of Georgia. After graduation, she started her career at Alon’s Bakery and Market at their off-site catering operation, where she developed her passion for orchestrating and crafting unique catering experiences. Next, she joined Your Party by Karen, helping to create those “happily ever after narratives and mitzvahs.” She then became director of private events at Atlanta National Golf Club, followed by assistant banquet manager at Four Seasons Hotel. During the pandemic, she worked for Royal Food Service.
Benjamin proffers some advice for those times when one doesn’t have a personal chef: “Smart grocery shopping: When you hit the grocery store, stick to your list, and avoid impulse buying. Be resourceful with your ingredients to reduce waste. For example, if you purchase carrots, consider using the tops for dishes like chimichurri, turn peels into a nutritious vegetable stock, or even create homemade dog food from them.”
She concluded, “Atlanta Personal Chef Service is such a unique concept. I am excited to share it with the world and get families back to the dinner table! Clients may even find their kitchen cleaner than when they left it.”
For more information, visit https://atlantapersonalchefservice.com/