By Tim Leeds
Marlene Wilson said she is trying to find out how much interest there would be in the area for a personal chef service.
Wilson said the personal chef service is one of the fastest growing service industries in the country, although it seems to be slow in coming to Montana. She said she thinks there are a couple in Great Falls and Billings, but doesn't think there are many.
Wilson said the idea of a personal chef is to go talk to prospective clients who can't or don't want to do much cooking. She said the chef would devise a list of meals the clients want, then buy the materials, take them and equipment into the client's home and cook and freeze about 20 meals for them.
Wilson said the chef would have a large selections of recipes for the clients to choose from, and could customize them to the clients' tastes. For example, she said, if someone likes beef stroganoff but doesn't like onions, the chef could customize it to their tastes.
The chef would then clean up the kitchen and leave the client with thawing and cooking instructions to prepare the meal. Wilson said the service would be good for people who don't have time to cook or just don't like to cook, people who find themselves eating out a lot, or for people coming home from the hospital or mothers coming home with a new baby.
Wilson said the cost of the service would be comparable to eating out most meals. She said it would vary with the specific selections a client made, but would be about $200-$250 for 20 meals for a couple or $300-$350 for a family of four.
Wilson said she wants to know how much interest there is in the area for the service before she makes a commitment to starting a career in it. She said it does seem like a natural career for her.
She said she has always liked to cook, and has considered opening a catering service.
"But I saw this and thought, This is even better,'" she said.
Wilson said she saw a number of a personal chef, and the URL address for the USPCA (U.S. Personal Chef Association) in a cooking magazine she was reading. After calling the number, and visiting the site, she said, she decided to look into the possibilities in the Havre area.
For more information about a personal chef service, call Wilson at 395-4448.