My name is Mila!
Mila Furman from the Girl and the Kitchen is a trained private chef, instructor and food blogger! Offering private cheffing in the Chicagoland Area and NorthShore for anyone who is looking for delicious, wholesome food that impresses everyone and leaves no one hungry. Invite Mila Furman and her chefs into your kitchen to cook your family’s weekly meals and or private dinners for all your events!
We also specialize in private cooking lessons as well as brand ambassadorships through Girl and the Kitchen, a well established blog and FB page!
At Girl and the Kitchen we understand that each of our clients are unique with personal tastes, dietary goals, health considerations, and specific nutritional needs. Meals and menu plans are tailored specifically for each client so that all of our clients’ family needs are met.
FAQ’s and General Questions
What is the difference between a private chef and a personal chef?
- A private chef is employed full time by an individual or household. Usually living in their home and preparing up to three meals per day.
- A personal chef serves numerous clients, typically one per day. A personal chef provides multiple meals that are custom designed for the clients’ requests and dietary requirements. These meals are packaged and stored in the client’s home so the client may enjoy them at his or her convenience.
Who needs a personal chef?
- Individuals who believe in the importance of eating fresh homemade meals at a reasonable price.
- The reason most people hire a personal chef because they have particular diets, they want to make healthier choices or they do not have time to cook due to their hectic schedules. In our case, many of our clients are overwhelmed with their crazy and hectic schedules and are sick of eating overpriced, overly caloric food at restaurants several times a week.
- Our clients get wholesome, delicious, restaurant quality meals in the comfort of their own home that are also perfect to utilize for lunches for the next day.
- Professionals, working families, expecting or new parents, seniors, people with specific diets, people recovering from illness are all the different kind of clients that Girl and the Kitchen currently serves.
What areas do you serve?
- We like to say that our cars go anywhere!!!
- We will drive to almost any suburb in the Greater Chicagoland Area. Currently we have clients on the Northshore, Western Suburbs, Southern Suburbs and even in Wisconsin! Our chefs have also been invited to travel with our families out of state and out of country when the clients decide that they need a vacation but cannot LIVE without their private chef. Accomodations and agreements for this are discussed in advance.
How do you know what foods I enjoy?
- As your personal chef, your diet is the first order of business. In our first consultation, we will review yours and your family’s diet, preferences and dislikes. We will also stay in constant contact via text message ensuring that each meal is exceeding your expectations! We understand that not all flavors are each client’s cup of tea and that is precisely why we customize our menus to each client’s needs.
Do you have to prepare meals in my home?
- Yes. Health department regulations require all meals be prepared in the home of the consumer or a licensed and inspected commercial kitchen. Preparing meals in your home guarantees that you are provided with the highest quality food possible.
Where do you do your shopping?
- This depends entirely on the client. Since we charge our hourly rate for shopping we are happy to shop at our clients’ favorite stores upon request. Otherwise, we will shop at the stores that we know have the best produce, proteins and dairy. Sometimes, depending on the menu and the clients’ needs we will need to stop over at 2-3 stores for different ingredients. When we arrive at the client’s home we will supply the receipts as well as hours that were used for shopping for reimbursement.
Can I do my own shopping?
- Yes, absolutely! In fact, most of our clients prefer that since they do grocery shopping for their families either way. We use a very organized App on the phone that keeps our client’s groceries extremely organized and detailed. Once the menu has been confirmed, that grocery list is made available within the App. If the client has any questions while grocery shopping, we try and make ourselves as available as possible to the clients while they are grocery shopping (via text messages) to answer any and all concerns.
How do you come up with a menu?
- Each week Mila or one of her chefs will personally send you a menu for the week. Together, we will come up with a menu that best fits your needs and wants. We never send recipes but instead we send descriptive menu options. If there is ever a change to an ingredient in a dish we will gladly work with our clients to make it fit their needs.
Are you insured?
- Yes. We can provide proof if necessary.
Can you provide references?
- Yes, please contact Mila for references.
Do I have to be home when you are cooking?
- No, you do not. In most cases clients are working or running errands while the chef is preparing meals.
How long does this service take?
- Depending on the number of entrees. Our chefs can take anywhere from 3 to 6 hours. We are happy to accommodate your schedule. Times vary depending on complexity of the menu and your preferences.
Is it ok if I watch or help?
- Your chef will have a very specific production schedule she must adhere to produce the highest quality food in a timely manner. When distracted, ingredients can be missed, over cooked etc. It is best if our chefs are uninterrupted while cooking so she can produce safe, tasty, healthy high quality food for you. However, we would be happy to discuss with you before or after your personal chef service.
How often will you come to my house to cook?
- Meal service is offered daily, weekly, bi weekly (every other week) or once a month.
How far in advance should I reserve your time?
- Typically a week is preferred. Please contact Mila if services are needed any sooner.
Is there anything I can do prior to your visit?
- Have your kitchen counters free of clutter, your sink cleared and dishwasher emptied as well as have space in your refrigerator and freezer. Also please leave out any particular cleaning products and or equipment you would like us to use.
Do you instruct cooking classes?
- Yes! Chef Mila creates customized cooking classes either privately or for small groups with unique themes and lessons! Our classes are so much fun that we like to call them cooking parties instead of classes! Mila believes in teaching valuable techniques instead of just a recipe!
Personal Chef Questions
What is included in your meal plan?
- Each plan includes initial consultation which will help determine your needs and preferences, customize menu creation, menu approval, nutrition, dietary recommendations, grocery shopping, in house preparation, packaging, labeling, handling instruction and kitchen clean up.
Is the menu the same every time?
- No. A new menu will be created for you each service. If you prefer the same meal again, that is not a problem. If you are not sure what you would like to eat, we will recommend menus for you based on your diets and cravings.
Are side dishes included?
- Yes. Each entrée comes with one side dish. A starch, vegetable or salad. These sides are specifically created to accompany your entrée.
I have small children, can you make meals for them?
- Absolutely! We can create special meals/snacks for your children.
How will my meals be packaged?
- Pyrex containers are ideal. These glass containers are freezer, oven, microwave and dishwasher safe. Not only do these uniform containers’ keep your food remarkably fresh, but save you space in your fridge and freezer. We are also happy to use whatever containers you currently have.
Are the meals fresh or frozen?
- Each service is individualized to your needs. Some services consist of all fresh food, some frozen and some a combination of the two. Some dishes do not freeze well and can be discussed when planning your service. Other dishes freeze very well and are created to be used in conjunction with the fresh meals.
Do I re-heat my food?
- Yes, you will be left with detailed instructions (if necessary) about how to heat your meals. If meals are frozen, simply thaw them in the refrigerator the night before and follow the easy re-heat instructions for your microwave or oven.
How much refrigerator/freezer space do you need?
- That all depends on how many meals you order, but it usually takes up a considerable amount.
How long do meals last?
- This depends on how many entrees and how many people are being served. We will work with you to figure out exactly how much food will work for your family. In terms of shelf life, each meal lasts about five days in a refrigerator (three for fish) and up to two months in the freezer. All freezer meals are clearly labeled and dated for easy selection.
How much does this cost?
- Prices are discussed with Mila. Groceries are not included.
Why aren’t groceries included in the price?
- Accountability. Girl and the Kitchen Personal chef services wants to make sure you know exactly how much is being spent on your groceries and where she is purchasing them from. Additionally, each client’s preferences vary. For one client shopping at a conventional grocery store may be fine, but to another only organic specialty products will do. Your grocery budget is unique.
How do I know how much the chef spends on groceries?
- At the end of your service your Personal chef will give you the receipts of groceries purchased.
How much do groceries cost?
- The cost for groceries can vary from client to client depending on their individual needs. The averages grocery budget for a personal chef service is $150to $200.
When and how do I pay you?
- We prefer Chase Quickpay, however we also accept checks, cash and Venmo and Paypal.
What is your cancellation policy?
- For all meals, 48 hours advance notice is required before you cancel your meal service. If you do not cancel within 48 hours a 50% deposit is forfeited.
Am I locked into a contract every week?
- Absolutely not! You pay for each service individually and can end your service at any time.
Client Services Agreement
- Fee-plus System:
- We work on a fee-plus system, meaning anything outside the scope of agreement there will be a fee charged to accommodate. This includes change of venue, number of people eating, complexity of menu and any other changes the Chef deems applicable.
The following will familiarize you with our policies.
Clients are expected to:
- The charges for Girl and the Kitchen Personal Chef Services are based on the meal/ dish package chosen (starting with 6 meal/ dish). These rates do not include the cost of groceries.
- A proposed menu options will be submitted to you 48-72 hours before we come to cook for you. You accept the offer by email or text confirmation that you have received and accepted the menu provided. If you would like additional menu ideas or changes please let us know as soon as possible. All menu changes must be submitted at least 24 hours before services will be provided.
- By accepting the menu and our offer to provide the grocery and services, you are entering a legal agreement between Girl and the Kitchen and you for us to provide the meals as indicated on the menu and for your payment in accordance with this Contract.
- Once you accept the menu, we will shop for all necessary food items and ingredients and then prepare and cook the meals for you in your kitchen or commercial kitchen. Alternatively, we will send you a grocery list if you choose to shop for yourself. Each week’s scheduled cooking session will be scheduled in advance and more than likely, will be the same day each week. You should ensure that the kitchen is clean and ready at the scheduled time and pets and children are out of the kitchen area.
- A fee for storage containers will be included in grocery cost, if applicable. Please keep your containers we will use at your next service date.
- You must supply a key or garage code for chef to gain entrance, if you are not going to be home.
- You will provide an empty trash can that the personal chef can use to dispose of waste, unless otherwise specified by the chef.
- A 5 business day cancellation notice is required for all scheduled cooking sessions. Cancellations made within the 5 business day period will incur a penalty of 100% of the quoted price plus the cost of groceries if already purchased.
You can expect your chef to:
- Show up on the agreed date and time for the cooking session prepared to work. Your chef should arrive in a 45 minute window discussed in the initial consultation. If that were to change the chef or will let you know.
- Be dressed in appropriate attire.
- Disinfect the kitchen with cleaning products before and after the cooking.
- Clean the affected areas of the kitchen during and after the cooking session.
- Handle and store fruits, vegetables, meats and seafood appropriately.
- Respect your privacy and property.
- Provide confidentiality between the chef and/or nutritionist and you.
- Provide advance notice of any unforeseen cancellation by the chef.
- Upon our departing from your kitchen, package and label your food with any pertinent instructions.
- In order to provide the best possible service for you and for safety reasons, the chef will not be able to answer the phone or the door or be responsible for work people in the home.
- Once a meal is turned over to the client, it is your responsibility to properly handle and maintain. Girl and the Kitchen Personal Chef Services is not responsible for problems that may occur with your refrigerator/ freezer, or due to improper handling or storage of food.
- Girl and the Kitchen Personal Chef Services is not responsible for any illness or death due to manufacturing flaws or recalled products. Girl and the Kitchen will inspect all groceries, but is not responsible for conditions unknown or unforeseen.
- If it is discovered that a product is contaminated or has been recalled, we will promptly contact you and advise to avoid the item.
- We highly recommend a food thermometer and is required that food is reheated to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. We can supply you with a food thermometer if you do not have one.
- Food should not be left unrefrigerated for longer than 2 hours.
- It is recommended that frozen food that is to be eaten is defrosted properly in the microwave or defrosted in the refrigerator overnight. Defrosting food in the microwave should only be done if you plan on immediately heating the food. Otherwise, use the refrigerator.
- While we are a chefs/ cooks and have educated ourselves or have a degree in health/ nutritional sciences, we are not medical doctors, nor certified nutritionists.
- We do not provide medical advice. You acknowledge that we have advised you to seek the advice of your doctor or other health care provider if you have any medical questions.
- If you fail to pay any amounts due to Girl and the Kitchen (a subsidiary of MMC Team Inc) under this Agreement for our services or for groceries, you agree that such amounts will accrue interest at the annual rate of 25% from and after our notice to you that payment is overdue and, in addition to such costs, you are responsible for any costs of collection of such amounts, including, attorneys’ fees.