For Linda Werner, cooking has always been her true passion.
“For me it’s a real creative process,” said the owner of My Everyday Gourmet Personal Chef Service. “I don’t even think about it. I step into the kitchen and honestly, my heart sings. I’m just buoyant.”
Werner comes to her clients’ homes and often prepares a week or two worth of meals based upon their individual tastes and preferences.
She said that most of her clients use her services because they don’t have the time to prepare meals for them or their families.
“They’re too bagged out, they’re exhausted and don’t have the time to pick something up and stand in the kitchen for 45 minutes preparing (dinner),” says Werner who admits she’s fallen into the routine of microwave meals and take out in the past. “This way, families can spend more time together and they don’t have to feel guilty about not having a nice dinner on the table for the kids.”
Werner boasts of an arsenal of recipes from all regions of the world. If her client prefers French cuisine she may recommend Boeuf de Bourguignon or Coq Au Vin. If they crave Thai food, she suggests one of her curry-based dishes garnished with lemon grass and Thai basil.
“My pallet for food is internationally-based,” she said. “I like variety, it was introduced to me from a early age, that became integral part of me.”
She says that she uses only fresh, locally produced organic ingredients in her menu ideas.
“My motivation is to inspire people through healthy food by opening up their eyes to what’s available,” Werner said.
By preparing meals in her client’s kitchen, Werner also can teach them how to create their favourite dishes.
“If you want to participate or watch and learn, that’s all part and parcel of the whole process,” says the gourmet chef.
However, it’s not just about the food.
Werner says her goal is to build relationships with people and has a great appreciation for her customers.
“I have one client and he is mobility-challenged and he’s also vegetarian. He’s the sweetest man and he’s absolutely thrilled when I come down. I cook for him and leave behind a fridge full of food because he doesn’t have the ability to go out and get groceries and cook,” she said. “So there’s also a little bit of a social element to me being there … For me, it’s more than just cooking; it’s sort of an all-encompassing feeling that makes me feel really good.”
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