According to a recent study on Finder, it is estimated that in 2020 around $19.2 billion dollars will be spent on Valentine’s gifts and an additional $30.7 billion dollars spent on activities such as a romantic dinner or a getaway in America alone. The average millennial will spend about $110 on gifts, around $89 on dinner, and about $196 on travel. If you are thinking of creating a unique romantic dining experience for you and your partner, or a dinner party for a group of friends or family on Valentine’s Day, a birthday or any special occasion, instead of simply getting them a bottle of their favorite perfume, an expensive bottle of wine, a box of chocolates or going out to dinner at a fancy restaurant, create a memorable romantic night by gifting them an experience.
According to dating expert Laurel House, gifting an experience helps to deepen love and strengthen the connection between couples. Why not put all that money into creating the most romantic dinner at home? Here’s how.
Hire a Professional Chef
Chances are the only experience of fine dining you have with a professional chef is at a restaurant or a dinner party. The thought of hiring a personal chef for an evening might seem extravagant to most young couples but, in reality, you can find reputable chefs at affordable prices online.
According to HowMuchIsIt.org, the cost to hire a chef is anywhere between $75 and $175 for a party of two, inclusive of the groceries for the meal preparations. You can expect to pay an extra $20 – $30 per plate for every additional person to the party. Creating a guest list and deciding how many courses you are looking for will help you to know in advance what the costs will be. You can find an easy to use Home Chef Cost Calculator here.
One of the best things about having dinner at home is that you are not restricted to one location. You can set up the dining table in the living room, the backyard, the front porch, the balcony, the rooftop, or any preferred, special spot. You can also create the perfect ambiance by playing love songs and lighting scented candles.
Benefits of Hiring a Professional Chef
1. A typical chef in a restaurant prepares meals for several guests at the same time. They make the same things, day after day and not necessarily things they love to cook. With a chef in your home, you have their full attention and can expect nothing but their best.
2. You can easily hire a chef at any time by contacting a professional chef company in your region. Bookings can be made online or over the phone.
3. As mentioned above, it can even be more affordable than going to a restaurant (especially if you like a nice wine with dinner). You get to enjoy larger portions and keep the leftovers without worrying about wasting.
4. Saves you time and you don’t get overwhelmed. You don’t have to do grocery shopping or any cooking. You neither have to prepare the meals nor set the table. Just relax and enjoy a 5-star treatment.
5. Allows you to have a more personalized romantic experience – you get to create the menu, choose the table setting, set the ambience, and have a great conversation with your guests without splitting your attention with anything.
6. For entertainment purpose, you can have your chef cautiously pull off some culinary stunts such as pouring wine into a frying pan to create flash fire or tossing dough in the air to create brief moments of excitement.
7. Take your time – You pick the start time and the meal pace – you’re never rushed to give up your table.
What to Know When Hiring a Professional Chef
1. First, you need to understand that a private chef is not the same as a personal chef even though their job description is the same. A private chef is usually in a full-time contract with an individual, a family, or an organization. While a personal chef is available for hire on a part-time basis. You can hire a personal chef for just an evening or even for breakfast.
You can find reputable chefs through websites, adverts, word-of-mouth, or through a referral. You can also refine your search by area, so you don’t have to pay a travel fee for out-of-city chefs, and by culinary specialty. This is particularly useful when you travel to another city or when you want to maintain certain dietary goals.
2. Secondly, interview with your prospective personal chef to get a full understanding of their culinary skills and personality. The best chefs can not only cook amazing dishes but they also bring personality into their presentation to create a unique dining experience for couples. For example, Nusret Gökçe, owner of Nusr-Et, became an internet sensation in January 2017 after sharing a video of himself sprinkling salt stylishly onto a steak. Gökçe is now highly sort-after by large companies and wealthy individuals as a personal chef due to his style and entertainment factor.
3. It is important to go over the recipe and list all the food concerns you and your partner or guests may have such as allergies to certain foods, as well as all the other details such as day, time, and special requests.
Difference between Hiring a Freelancer and a Company
One of the benefits of hiring a chef from a company over a freelancer is that you will have options based on culinary and dietary specialties. Reputable companies have chefs that are trained in various local and international cuisines from American, Mexican to Thai, Greek and more. They also ensure your chef has the requisite skills, is trained on food safety standards and is fully background checked.
The latest Home Chef Companies, such as NAKS, let you order a chef online that can be in your home in as little as 2 hours of booking for the same cost you would have paid to eat out. You and the chef come up with a custom menu that meets your culinary needs. Only then does your chef visit the local grocery store or farmers’ market to get the ingredients. Everything is prepared from scratch so that you get the freshest, healthiest meal made precisely to you taste and dietary needs.
With a personal chef, you can truly enjoy your date night without having to compromise on a prix fixe menu, be shoe horned into a small inconvenient time window, or have to do it yourself and take time from your special guest(s).
The next time you are planning on going out to a restaurant for a dinner party or looking to spend a quiet romantic evening with your loved one, consider hiring a personal chef instead. The most romantic dinner is an experience.