The Personal Chef Industry

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Fitchburg chef takes his skills on the road

Fitchburg chef takes his skills on the road

FITCHBURG—Starving for dinner ideas? Personal chef Javier Fuertes is ready, willing and able to provide answers.

"I am offering this service to people who just don’t have the time or the talent to prepare meals," said Mr. Fuertes, owner of The Dinner Maker.

"You don’t have to settle for preservative-laden foods, or whatever is available at the fast-food drive through. You can eat well and have enough time to do everything you have to do and still enjoy great food."

Mr. Fuertes started off as a software engineer. "After doing that for about 10 years, I decided that I wanted to go in another direction." He attended the culinary program at Johnson & Wales University, Providence, R.I., graduating with honors. He was given the Silver Key award and was inducted into the Alpha Beta Kappa society.

He has worked at the Top of the Hub restaurant in Boston and The Harvard Club, among other restaurants. At the Top of the Hub, he was assistant banquet chef and then took on the position of sous chef.

"I loved working in that environment because there’s a lot of energy and it’s great working as part of a team," he said. "I worked through all of the different food stations and it was a tremendous opportunity to grow and to learn in this profession."

But the commute to and from Boston and the long hours of work caused him to revisit an idea he had investigated a few years ago.

"I was looking for a way of reaching out to people and wanting to see them enjoy better wholesome food at home," he said. That venture was in becoming a personal chef.

In opening his business, The Dinner Maker, his goal was to bring back the quality of time and life back to those who have lost it to either take-out ordering, dining out, and unexciting dinner quests at home.

Mr. Fuertes said he works with his clients to customize their meals. "If someone has a problem with salt, or cholesterol, or watching certain foods, I can work with them to develop a menu that will meet their needs."

Standard services offered by the chef include menu planning, grocery shopping and meal preparation. The chef comes to the home of his clients to cook the meals. He packages the meals, labels them and gives complete instructions on heating and serving them. The majority of the meals he prepares are "freezer-friendly."

"A lot of people don’t like to food shop and a lot of people waste money going to the grocery store," he said.

"Many people may wonder if they can afford to have a personal chef, but I think in most cases, I can show people where I can actually save them money buy cutting down on food that is wasted, and the time and traveling they have to invest to either prepare meals, or go out and purchase meals."

Mr. Fuertes said that since opening his business last fall, he has clients throughout Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. "I am willing to go just about anywhere to provide this service. In addition to the personal chef services, Mr. Fuertes is available to do cooking classes and demonstration parties in private homes.

Information on the services provided by Mr. Fuertes may be obtained by visiting the Web site, www.thedinnermaker.com  , or by calling him at (978) 343-8860.


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