Take Out, Made In

The Urban Chef
Take Out, Made In

Moms and cooking have a love/hate relationship. Some of us love it while others, well, hate it. To be fair, most of us love the idea of cooking healthy meals for our families, the taste of well prepared food and even treating friends to an occasional dinner party. It’s the day-to-day grind that gets us down and results in high cost, high calorie take out.

Planning is the key to avoiding the take out trap (check out EatSavvy for lots of family friendly ideas). However, even with great planning we understand the shopping, prep and cooking stars don’t always align (say on hockey practice night) and it’s a good idea to have a back-up.

Andrea Undseth is The Urban Chef. Trained in hotel management and culinary arts in Europe, Undseth applies her entrepreneurial talent and cooking abilities to cooking for Calgary families. A mother to two girls, Undseth understands dinner table dynamics and offers several diverse services that all take place in your home kitchen. Here is a list of what she offers at The Urban Chef.

Birthday Parties
Elementary school aged kids have fun preparing their very own pizzas, quesadillas or pancakes with hand-decorated cupcakes for dessert. Food and monogrammed aprons included.

Personal Chef Services
In a preliminary discussion, outline your families preferences and Undseth will visit bimonthly with fresh groceries in hand to prepare freezable, healthy meals that fit your family’s profile. Menus are totally customizable and can be specialized for people with celiac disease, diabetes or heart conditions. Undseth prepared some manicotti with cheese, sausage and tomato sauce for us that not only knocked our socks off but was a hit with the preschoolers at the table.

Baby Food
From infants to toddlers, the youngest member of the family needs attention too. Baby food preparation can be tacked on to Undseth’s Personal Chef Services or requested as a stand-alone service.

Of course full service catering is available too but that’s an entirely different story. Thinking this sounds great but wondering about the bottom line? Birthday parties are $350 and and two weeks of meals ranges from $250 to 350 plus the cost of groceries (bill supplied). For customers that would like to continue the service, the cost goes down. While it’s cheaper and healthier than two weeks of take-out, it’s definitely a new line item on the food budget.

In the end it comes back to the same old ratio: time versus money. Make it work for you with a combination of good meal planning and a little help from The Urban Chef.

Savvy Special: 10% off first-time personal chef services if cookday is booked before February 28th, 2009

The Urban Chef
www.theurbanchef.ca

Tested by Heather J., Calgary
Tagged under calgary, meals, catering
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First published 2009.01.15

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