Meet "Chef Jeff" Madison's personal chef
Staff Reports Madison County Record
Hey, what's for dinner?
I don't feel like cooking tonight – do you? Let's go grab a bite somewhere.
If you were to ask one of today's professionals, chances are you might hear answers such as – "I'll pick up a pizza or some fast food on the way home," or "I usually stop at the deli section of the grocery store", or "I'll pop something frozen in the microwave."
In today's fast-paced world, many people don't have the opportunity to plan, purchase food, and prepare a meal – much less an entire week's worth of meals.
So, why not let an expert do all the planning, purchasing and preparation of dinners for you – right in your very own kitchen?
Meet Jeffrey Anderson – Madison's very own "Chef Jeff."
Chef Jeff offers an alternative to your dinner dilemma. He's the owner and head chef of Entre Express Personal Chef Service.
"As a personal chef, I plan menus, shop for groceries, and prepare nutritious dinners for busy people," Anderson said.
Anderson and his family have been living in Madison for seven months. The Minnesota native said the move to Madison has been a nice experience and he's looking forward to putting his culinary skills to the test with the city's residents.
"A typical client is a professional individual or couple who is concerned about health and wants to have delicious, preservative-free dinners, but doesn't have the time to plan, shop for, and prepare them," Anderson said. "Since we've been in Madison, I've been introducing what I did in Minnesota for four years to several church groups using the same philosophy. I'm starting to put this business into play now."
So, is having a personal chef a luxury or necessity?
"If your first thought is that this service would be an unaffordable luxury, you may want to think again," Anderson said. "What is your time worth? Time has possibly become the most precious commodity we have. Good health may be second. What's the point of being successful if you aren't healthy enough to enjoy the results of your success?"
Anderson has been in the food and restaurant business his entire adult life. He said he tried to get away from it, but he kept getting lured back. Some of Anderson's family is involved in the business and his wife enjoys cooking as well.
"Career-oriented professionals evaluate ways to make the most of their time and many of these busy people would rather spend the time it takes to plan, shop for and prepare nutritious meals in other ways," Anderson said. "Close your eyes and imagine that you come home from your long and busy day, and in about 10 minutes, you put the finishing touches on a healthy, well-balanced and delicious dinner – then sit down and enjoy it."
Chef Jeff said some of his previous clients arranged for a personal chef every other week, while others found that a monthly service fit their needs.
"Entre Express will customize the service and menus to fit your situation," Anderson said. "This business has become a stable and successful business by providing busy people with an alternative to their usual style of dining."
To plan, shop for and prepare 10 nutritious dinners for two, the service charge is under $300. The price also includes the cost of purchasing groceries.
"I start with a comprehensive interview to determine food preferences as well as dietary requirements. This is where my clients let me know they hate broccoli, don't want just soup for dinner and need to eat foods low in saturated fats and salts," Anderson said. "This information is the basis for a customized menu I create."
Anderson said no two clients have the same menu.
"I have an on-going communication with the clients to make sure they are satisfied. Each client receives their next menu up to two weeks in advance," Anderson said. "They can make changes or suggestions and also let me know if they will be having guests for any of the meals."
An overview of Chef Jeff's typical day shows him creating a shopping list from the customized menu.
"Then, I make my rounds of favorite stores, arriving at the clients home and preparing 18 to 20 dinner entrees – complete with labels and instructions," Anderson said. "It really is a lot of fun. It's something I enjoy doing and it gives me the opportunity to meet a lot of nice people."