Last weekend, my family and I had the awesome opportunity to try out Kitchensurfing.com. Just checking out their website already had me thinking this was sheer brilliance — connecting private chefs for your every cooking occasion! You have no idea how many times in the past I have wanted to hire a chef for various parties hosted at my home but didn’t know how to go about it, how much to charge and how to make it work. Kitchensurfing.com allows you to search 2 different ways. Either peruse their extensive listings of amazing chefs (both professionally trained and home-grown) and send them a request or fill out a simple form with what you’re looking for with a budget and watch your inbox as chefs bid for your job. While I was salivating reading all the different profiles and menus, and dreaming of all the different situations I could utilize Kitchensurfing.com‘s services — Girl’s Luncheon, Cocktail Party, BBQ, Birthday Party — I opted for the latter. After filling out a simple form, I waited for the responses to come in. The site operates with a simple inbox interface and within hours my inbox was filled with delicious menu proposals.
I exchanged emails with several chefs, checking out their profiles and sample menus. I only wish I was able to view my original query and make edits to it as needed but after tweaking a few different menus through the email interface we finally settled on Chef Lance for my early birthday dinner. I have to say it was not an easy choice, as the other chefs also had amazing menus. Choosing just one was akin to breaking up with your hairdresser. The email interface really made you connect personally with a chef, which is not necessarily a bad thing, especially for something as intimate as inviting someone to cook in your kitchen. I just felt awful for not choosing the other chefs. Alas that is the way it works and I was reassured that they didn’t feel as rejected as I thought they did. I opted for Chef Lance’s menu of simple flavors because of my son’s severe allergies. As always when trying something new with a severely allergic child can be nerve racking. My ever picky eating kids needed simplicity and yet their parents, needed a more adult meal. In reading Chef Lance’s profile, his passion for food really came through. While he wasn’t classically trained at some Le Cordon Bleu… I love that fact that he was a self-taught chef. While some might consider that a little dicey, he reminded me of an old friend who use to make the most amazing Thanksgiving spread, all without training. So there was a bit of nostalgia there and we couldn’t wait for him to come.
Booking was simple. After agreeing to the menu and pricing, I simply pressed ” book it” What I love most is that bookings are all-inclusive, payment is up-front and includes tip. Chefs do all the shopping and bring everything from cookware to the tools they need. Chef Lance and I exchanged a few more emails and even offered a phone call to discuss further and we were all set.
Chef Lance arrived promptly at 4pm, 2 and a half hours before our appointed dinner time, made himself comfortable in our kitchen and began cooking right away. While you definitely don’t have to supervise, Chef Lance didn’t mind me overseeing and walked me through our entire menu with lots of helpful tips for my own cooking. Having a chef in our kitchen was a real treat, a true joy to watch. I loved that he was super clean, washing his hands and wearing gloves whenever handling food. He even cleaned up as he was cooking, telling me a clean kitchen was just as important as a good meal when cooking for others. He didn’t even bat an eye when my children kept interrupting him with questions while he was cooking. When they wanted juice, he kindly served them. Dinner was served promptly at 6:30pm and the husband and I sat down salivating as one amazingly beautifully plated and delicious dish after another was placed in front of us. The meal was a perfect balance for us. A little steak and potatoes for the husband and elegance for me. It definitely won over my husband who didn’t think fruit should be mixed with anything other than ice cream.
All in all, we had an amazing experience with Chef Lance. While I was definitely initially interested in the Kitchensurfing concept for a future party at our home, Chef Lance opened my eyes to the beauty of having a Personal Chef cook meals for a special occasion. Chef Lance will definitely be cooking more meals for our family and we’ll definitely be checking out Kitchensurfing for all our entertaining needs.
To see more photos from our KitchenSurfing experience, please visit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/momconfessionals/sets/72157633724973223/
GIVEAWAY & DISCOUNT CODE
Those ready to have an amazing, luxurious experience? Use code KSKIDS for 15% off your FIRST booking. [EXPIRED]