Personal chef Jen Rogers wants you to have dinner with your family, even if she has to be the one to cook it.
“I had been listening to families who struggled every day to sit down to dinner together,” the JP resident told the Gazette. “I decided that it was time to go [back to cooking] full time and set the example for both of my children that you can do what you love and be successful.”
Last month, she finally took the leap and went back to doing what she loves best: cooking for others by starting her personal chef business, PerfectBite.
“Cooking as a personal chef allows me to be creative, be home every night to have dinner with my family and to sing at work,” she said.
Rogers tries to keep herself local in more ways than one: aside from sourcing her ingredients through local growers and grocers “as much as possible,” she also tries to not stray very far from her JP condo.
“I try to keep myself focused on JP, Brookline, Mission Hill and downtown Boston, but I understand that the there may be needs in other places,” she said.
A typical Rogers-prepared meal starts with a menu. She meets with all her clients before signing a contract and notes any food restrictions and preferences, making sure the meal will be non-toxic and enjoyable. Rogers then shops for the meal that morning (grocery costs are extra) before cooking it in her client’s kitchen. Rogers packs the meal up for the family—in disposable or reusable containers chosen by the client—in the fridge or freezer, and leaves heating instructions.
“A good chef finds a way to make every meal special,” she said.
Her services range from $250 for three meals for two to $415 for five meals for five. She also advertises custom plans.
Rogers had been cooking professionally for over two decades. She “loved the rush of the kitchen,” but hated “the awful restaurant hours,” coming home at 3 a.m. But as a single mom, she had no choice.
“That [kind of job] really took away a lot from my family time and did not allow for as much [culinary] creativity as you would think,” she said. Eventually, she took a break from cooking and she took an office job instead.
“I never could seem to find my happy place doing that. When I cook I sing. I lost my melody when I went into the corporate world,” she said.
Rogers can be reaches through her website, PerfectBiteJP.com.