TRENDS: Mushroom for Improvement…. Personal Chefs Not Just for the Uber Wealthy!

As a child of Lithuanian, Scotch, Irish heritage the idea of a good home cooked meal was as mysterious as the pyramids.   My mother much to her credit worked as a real estate agent in the 70’s (in my view a pioneer back then) and would come home throw a steak on the grill and kill it ten times over!   I would dream, hope and pray that she would get stuck working late and instead opt to buy me a Swanson or Libby Land TV Dinner. (see below if you don’t remember).   Ahhh the simple life…  where the only other option was perhaps dining out (Perkins Pancakes was a favorite) at a local restaurant.     The idea of actually having someone else come to our house to cook was something far out of consideration and reserved for people like the Carringtons or the Ewings!    But the times they are a changing’!


A cheaper alternative but less results!

Something I’ve noticed in the past few years among renters, friends and associates is the growing request for personal chefs.    One client who doesn’t want their name mentioned specifically cited the difficulty in not only getting reservations on a summer weekend but the simple fact that getting from home to wherever is more difficult than sitting through Russell Crowe’s performance as Noah!   OK, they didn’t make the Noah reference but they did say it’s a pain in the butt to drive in town.

Also, with more diners having to adhere to diet restrictions due to such things as food allergies or even vegetarian guidelines, hiring a personal chef certainly makes it easier.    One personal chef I spoke with said while he’s “not exactly sure if the average Joe is hiring them just yet,” people who a few years ago wouldn’t normally have thought of hiring a personal chef are jumping the bandwagon.
While prices vary, one chef I spoke to Dominic Ohrlich who was trained at Culinary Institute in Hyde Park said it varies for the occasion but average costs are about $500 to $800 a day.    While not exactly chump change, it would probably cost you the same to go to dinner with friends and get a muffin at Round Swamp Farm.   If you’re curious, you can visit Dominic’s site at!

Meanwhile, if you’re bored this weekend (the weather is supposed to be lousy) you might want to consider heading over to Bay Street Theatre where Conviction is having it’s world premiere.    According the to the blurb,  it’s a delicately balance, beautifully nuanced family drama that digs deep
beneath the surface of a happy suburban existence.      The show stars American Horror Story’s Sarah Paulson who I thought stole the movie “Down with Love.”   If you want more information or tickets visit Bay Street’s website here!    I haven’t seen it yet but from what I hear it’s one of the theater’s best productions in years!