Georgia Magazine - June 2019 - 38

GEORGIA Cooks

By H.M. Cauley

Dinner is served!
Personal chefs provide top-notch
cuisine, service

H

COURTESY NORA VON DUYKE

aving a personal chef may seem like a
luxury reserved for the likes of Hollywood
A-listers. But given life's hectic pace and
the call to eat healthy while accommodating allergies and sensitivities, more regular folks are looking
to professional cooks to answer that "What's for dinner?" question.
According to the San Diego-based American
Personal and Private Chef Association, 3,000 or so
members are independent cooks who head to a
client's home, whip up a number of meals that meet
specific taste preferences and dietary restrictions,
and leave the prepared meals ready to eat in the
freezer. Members also have insurance, a business
license and a certificate of food-handling safety
through the state or a local municipality. Many are

38

Individual beef Wellingtons are one of Chef Nora Von
Duyke's signature offerings.

Georgia Magazine

June 2019

also dieticians and nutritionists.
"A lot of times, clients are
busy individuals," says Candy
Wallace, executive director
of the American Personal
and Private Chef Association, which she founded 27
years ago. "Sometimes we're
replacing Mom or Grandma
in the kitchen; it can be a
very personal relationship.
We contribute to the clients'
well-being so they don't have
to think about it."
Catering to the needs of
individual clients offers chefs
an alternative to working
grueling evening and weekend hours in the restaurant
industry. That was a key
reason Alpharetta-based Amy
Churchill began cooking for
Fried Green Tomato Caprese Salad
individuals in 2002.
"Doing meal service allowed me to earn an income
while my kids were in school,"
she says. "I got my certification, liability insurance and membership in the chef association and started cooking for friends
and family, who got the word out. I also put together a website
and spread the word on social media."
Churchill starts by learning clients' food preferences and
dietary restrictions and putting together menus, then doing the
shopping, prepping, cooking and freezing. In one day, she'll
often prep five or six meals and leave the clients with reheating
instructions.
Scottie Johnson of Warner Robins began cooking after retiring from the Army in 2015. A fan of TV food shows, he headed
to culinary school, stayed to teach for two years after graduating
and then segued into working for individuals.
"I bring a five-star restaurant into your home, and, best of
all, I clean up," he says with a laugh. "A lot of times, couples or
families wind up in the kitchen, watching and asking ques-



Georgia Magazine - June 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - June 2019

Contents
Georgia Magazine - June 2019 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - June 2019 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - June 2019 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - June 2019 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - June 2019 - 4
Georgia Magazine - June 2019 - 5
Georgia Magazine - June 2019 - 6
Georgia Magazine - June 2019 - 7
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