Anita and Jeremy of Sabor en Casa
Would it not be perfect to get home after a long day and see the table laid, a wonderful meal cooked and everything ready for a dinner with 10 friends? That is the service personal chefs offer to busy professionals, or to anybody who wants to impress their guests.
The idea is already a success in cities such as New York and London, where people are even paying a chef not just to make them one meal but to cook for them seven days a week. In the States, the American Personal & Private Chef Association helps customers find professionals for their kitchens. In Barcelona, the phenomenon is now appearing and looks set to grow.
Alexander Fernández began working as a personal chef in December 2007. Or, more accurately, he works as an architect and devotes his leisure time to cooking. “I have always loved helping in the kitchen, preparing dishes and experimenting with food,” he said explaining that when he moved from Guatemala to Sweden he began to collaborate with different restaurants and catering services.
Having tasted his dishes, his friends encouraged him to develop his passion and Fernández got his first call to cook for a group. The calls have been increasing steadily ever since. “I meet the customer some days in advance to talk a little bit about his preferences for the event and I propose a menu. One of my specialties is salmon with purée of cauliflower and a dessert made with cardamom. It is also a matter of surprising their palates.”
The day of the event, the personal chef buys the ingredients and cooks the dinner. “I have mainly cooked for groups of people in their 40s and 50s, some of them were business meals,” he explained, adding that the cost might be between €30 and €40 per person.
Briton Matt Kemp is more than a chef, he is a singing chef. He trained in London for six years. “There, I learned so much from the African chefs I was working with, they were able to make something amazing from nothing.”
That is why one of his four menus is North African, which includes couscous with chickpeas and tagine of beef with aubergine. The other three menus are Italian, Mexican and Irish, and each runs to about €25 per person. He buys everything in La Boqueria: “I love this market, you can get fresh and organic food, everything of really good quality,” he said.
After the meal, the singing chef performs a 40-minute set of soulful acoustic music. “I have been playing for 15 years now, so I have written lots of music.”
Sabor en Casa consists of Jérémy and Anita, two French chefs who preferred not to give their surnames, and who promise a journey through the senses powered by their dishes. They offer creative cuisine and emphasise that they take special care when choosing the ingredients to be especially aware of environmental issues.
Their menus are the Classical, the Gourmet, the Vegetarian, Pica Pica and El Pucherazo. “For a long time I had been working as a kitchen boy, but now I have a creative spirit that I want to develop,” Jérémy explained. Their prices vary from €23 to €50 per person.
Personal chefs provide a way to prepare a worry-free meal for friends, a hands-off offering of dishes that allows hosts to feel like guests.
Tel. 666 792 746
Matt Kemp (The Singing Chef)
Tel. 634 617 422
Anita and Jérémy (Sabor en Casa)
Anita: 680 964 161
Jérémy: 664 363 453