About The Chef
Christina Ritger grew up the daughter of a naval officer stationed around the world. As such, she was indoctrinated into the culinary world where her love of cooking and entertaining began. She furthered that passion by later attaining a culinary arts degree from the International Culinary School at the Art Institute. Prior to and continuing after graduation, Chef Christina worked as pastry and garde manger in a local, fine dining restaurant. Realizing that the restaurant life wasn’t what she was looking for, Chef Christina built her own business as a personal chef. Hence, The Convenient Gourmet was born.
You Got Questions, I Have Answers
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a Personal Chef and a Private Chef?
A Private Chef is employed by one person or family, full time and prepares all their meals, often as a “live in”. A Personal Chef has several clients, usually serving one client a day and prepares multiple meals that are custom designed for each client. The meals are packaged, labeled and stored (either in the refrigerator or the freezer) so that the client may enjoy them when convenient for them.
What do I need?
Is there anything I can do prior to your visit?
Do I have to be home when you are cooking?
How often will you come to my house to cook?
Personal chef services are offered one-time, weekly, bi- weekly (every other week) or once a month.
Do you have to do the cooking in my home?
Yes. Virginia State Health Department regulations require all meals prepared by a personal chef to be cooked in the home of the consumer or a licensed and inspected commercial kitchen. Preparing these meals in your home ensures that you are provided with the highest quality product possible.
How is the food stored?
The meals can be packaged family style, or in single or double portions depending on your needs. Pyrex Glassware is recommended. All packages will include complete directions for reheating and serving.
What is your cancellation policy?
For all personal chef services 72 hours advance notice is required before you must cancel. If you do cancel within 72 hours the full fee is owed for your service.
Can I afford a Personal Chef?
Absolutely! Most clients find the cost of a personal chef to be about the same as the cost of their groceries, take out, and restaurant meals. Then consider the time you will save without all the grocery shopping, running for take out, and waiting for service and food at restaurants. Now add the benefit of having a variety of healthy meals prepared to your individual needs and preferences. If you eat out often, this service may not only save you money and time, but provide you with health benefits too. Aren’t you worth it?
Can you follow my special diet?
Yes! We will ensure that any special dietary needs are met.
How do you know what I like in my diet?
Your diet is the chef’s first order of business. In the initial consultation, you will fill out a short food questionnaire that gathers information on your likes, dislikes, personal preferences, dietary restrictions, allergies etc.
What areas do you serve?
We serve within a 50 mile radius of Willamsburg,Virginia
Do you serve outside your service area?
Yes. However, a small travel surcharge will be added to your bill.
How far in advance should I reserve a date?
It is recommended you reserve a date as soon as possible.
How do I get started?
Contact us and we will schedule a time for your free consultation. During this meeting we will discuss your dietary needs, meal plan options, and food preferences.
Do you have your food handler's card?
Yes. Chef Christina has food safety manager’s certification.
Can you provide references and a resume?
Where do you do your grocery shopping?
This varies from client to client. If you prefer a certain store or market we will do our best to accommodate you.
Do I have to eat organic ingredients? What if I can't afford it?
No, you do not. During your consultation you will be given the option for organic or non-organic groceries. While organic is recommended for optimum nutrition and taste, conventional groceries are also available. Chef Christina will work with you to create a grocery budget you are comfortable with.
Can I choose what I want to eat from a menu?
Absolutely! We want you to eat what you love.
Is it okay if I watch or help?
The chef will have a very specific production schedule they must adhere to produce the best quality food in a timely manner. It is best for the chef to be uninterrupted while cooking so they can produce safe, delicious, high quality food for you. However, the chef would be happy to chat/discuss with you before or after your personal chef service.