Category Archives: Personal Chef

4 Smart Reasons to Shop at Your Local Farmers Market

Some people look forward to baseball in the spring. Others look forward to flowers in bloom. I’m a chef, so naturally I’m ready for farmers market season!

One of the most exciting things about the coming of spring is the re-opening of farmers markets here in Delaware. Your local farmers market is THE place to find that fresh produce you’ve been craving all winter long. Berries, spinach, stone fruit…ah, I can’t wait!

Beyond the food, farmers markets provide so much to the local community. From fair price points to neighborhood gardens and everything in between, there are so many reasons I shop at farmers markets for my family and my clients:

The best meals start with the best ingredients—and small farmers truly care about reducing waste, eliminating chemicals and treating animals ethically. Sometimes, they can’t afford organic or humane labels, but are every bit as conscientious (if not more) than their industrial counterparts. Talk to your farmers to learn more about their farming practices. They’re always happy to help!

Did you know that shopping for seasonal food (at the farmers market or grocery store) could actually save you money? This is because in-season ingredients are more abundant. It’s simple supply and demand. The more you have the less you charge. Plus, if your food doesn’t have to go far, purveyors can cut down on travel expenses. This is better for your wallet and the environment.

Local farmers markets often support local communities. At the Southbridge Popup Farmers Market, you’ll find chemical-free and discounted produce. As an added bonus, all proceeds support the market and community garden. Do some research to learn more about giveback campaigns and volunteer opportunities at farms in your area.  

If you stop and think about it, eating seasonal food just makes sense! There’s a reason we naturally crave soups and stews to keep us warm in the winter, just as we crave light salads and fruit in the spring and summer to keep us cool and energized. Eat in accordance with nature and you’ll have all the nutrients you need to stay healthy.

Ready to start shopping?

Throughout April and May, look for:
• Asparagus
• Artichokes
• Fava beans
• Peas
• Spinach
• Rhubarb
• Radishes
• Any other local favorites!

Don’t have time to get your family to the farmers market? I’ll bring all the fun and seasonal food right to your table with my Delaware-based personal chef services. Contact me, and let’s talk!

How to Choose the Perfect Caterer for Your Event

I got married in November, and I’m often asked if I prepared the food for my own wedding. Not only did using a catering service cut down on my stress day-of, but showing up to my own wedding smelling like onions with accents of sauce spatter was just not an option!

For me, food was still a hugely important part of my wedding, as I wanted guests to enjoy a fine dining experience. Our Philadelphia venue, Union Trust, worked with us to put together a menu that wowed guests and showcased our personalities and taste preferences. It was every bit as perfect as I’d hoped.

As a chef, I want each and every one of my clients to feel the same way. Even a small celebration, be it a bridal shower or bachelorette party, calls for catering services that show this same dedication to style, quality and personality.

As someone who has experienced both sides of the event-planning process, I know how to make your party one to remember. And I care that your vision is expertly executed from beginning to end. How do we go above and beyond to meet your expectations? At About the Table we:

Customize Menus
Just like your style, your palate is unique. We customize each catering menu to ensure you and your guests enjoy a personalized experience that reflects all the flavors and cuisines you love. No matter your theme, preferences or dietary restrictions, we’re here to serve.

Take Requests
A great catering service encourages you to think out of the box and incorporates those ideas into your event. The four-tier cake at my wedding featured yellow cake with chocolate chips and chocolate frosting. And it tasted exactly like the Dunkaroos I used to eat as a kid! Have a special request? Just let us know and we’ll make it happen.

Invite Conversation
The best part of any celebration is having all of your closest friends and family in one place. It’s a rare treat to catch up with cousins from California or aunts and uncles from Florida. While they’re all in town and at your event, you want to make sure you have plenty of time to chat with everyone. This is at the core of everything we do, and we make it a priority to create and style dishes that invite conversation.

As a fellow bride, I know how important this time is for you. If you’re looking for a caterer that will help make your dreams come true, we’re taking orders for spring and summer events. To learn more about our boutique catering services, visit our Catering page for details and sample menus. Or, call me and let’s chat: 302-365-0143.

Jameson Bread Pudding: An Irish Dessert to Share

Every holiday has its traditional foods and desserts that you only find yourself indulging in once a year. St. Patrick’s Day is no exception. From the corned beef and cabbage to the whiskey-laden sweets, hosting a special St. Patrick’s Day feast is the perfect excuse to get family and friends together to say “Sláinte!”

Whenever I prepare food for an intimate dinner or party, I like to put a unique spin on classic dishes to wow my guests. I adapted this bread pudding recipe from one of my culinary school textbooks to make it reminiscent of Irish soda bread.

To achieve a festive flavor profile, I start by layering thick slices of challah. Challah is a rich, braided bread that’s already a little sweet. I sprinkle in plump raisins and prepare a simple custard mixture. Then, I spike it! Naturally, an Irish dessert recipe wouldn’t be complete without a little Jameson Irish whiskey.

The result is a decadent, family-style dessert that you can serve straight from the oven. Top with a dollop of homemade whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or fruit puree. Of course, you’ll want to pair it with snifters of Jameson whiskey or Irish coffees!

Whether it’s for a large gathering or a table full of close-knit family and friends, enjoy passing around and sharing this delicious Irish dessert on St. Patrick’s Day (or any day)!

Jameson Bread Pudding
Serves 8-10
¾ cup golden raisins
4 oz. Jameson Irish whiskey, divided
1 lb. challah bread, sliced in half lengthwise, then into ½-inch thick slices
1 stick butter, melted, plus more for greasing
9 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1¼ quarts milk
Ground nutmeg
1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 13″x9″ glass baking dish.
2. In a small bowl, soak the raisins in 2 oz. of the whiskey for up to 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
3. Brush both sides of each piece of bread with melted butter. Arrange the bread slices so they overlap in the baking dish, sprinkling the raisins between the layers of bread.
4. Whisk together the eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla and remaining 2 oz. of whiskey until thoroughly combined. Add the milk and whisk to combine.
5. Pour the egg mixture over the bread. Refrigerate for 1 hour, or longer, so the bread absorbs the egg mixture. If necessary, push the bread down into the pan once or twice after the mixture has had time to stand.
6. When ready, sprinkle the top lightly with cinnamon and nutmeg.
7. Set the pan into a large pan filled with approximately 1 inch of hot water, creating a hot water bath. Place in oven and bake for 1 hour, until set.
8. Serve warm or cold with caramel sauce, whipped cream, ice cream, fruit puree or confectioner’s sugar.

About the Table is ready to host your next gathering. From anniversaries and birthdays to Mother’s Day and graduation day, About the Table designs customized menus (featuring hors d’oeuvres, entrees, side dishes and desserts) for all your special occasions. Contact us to learn more about our catering services.

How a Personal Chef Saves You Money

When I tell people I’m a personal chef, I often hear the following: “Wow! I’m not rich enough to afford that kind of service.”

It’s an understandable reaction. Most people assume that having a chef prepare customized meals for them, especially on a regular basis, would break the bank. Unless they happen to be a professional sports player or movie star.

I have good news: personal chef services aren’t actually as expensive as they seem!

Let’s break down the numbers so I can show you what I mean.

Say you and your family of four eat out 7 times a week—a few times for lunch and a few times for dinner. At an average meal price of $15 per person, plus tip, that amount would be around $510. Let’s also add that $250 you just spent on groceries for the week, back when you thought you’d have more time to cook.

Add the time cost of driving to the restaurant, waiting for your food, and then waiting for the check (for each meal you eat out!), and you may realize you’re not saving much by eating out all the time.

Now say you hire a personal chef to cook those meals instead. No need to worry about tax or tip. And the time savings alone are worth the price—how heavenly it is to open the refrigerator and find dinner already prepared, ready to quickly heat and serve!

The best part? The meals are made from scratch, infinitely healthier than restaurant fare, and tailored to your taste preferences and food allergies. No need to compromise your intentions to eat healthier. No more rotting vegetables in the fridge—and that means grocery savings, too. By the way, did you know that according to the United Nations Environment Programme [] 30-40% of the US food supply is wasted? That’s more than 20 pounds of food per person, per month!

Most of the people who say they can’t afford a personal chef direly need one. They don’t have time to cook. They want more time around the table with the family. They have food allergies that don’t allow them to eat at restaurants. They end up throwing out half the groceries they buy at the end of the week. All of these problems become non-issues with help from a personal chef.

If you’ve been wanting to hire a personal chef but thought it was out of your budget, we need to talk. About the Table is committed to bringing you and your family together at the dinner table for more connection and conversation over delicious, home-cooked meals. Visit our Personal Chef page for more information and sample menus, or contact us to find a meal plan that works for you.