Personal chef aims to ‘take the stress out’ of mealtime

July 20, 2018

A personal chef business that launched earlier this year is gaining traction with a focus on special diet and allergy-friendly meals.

Chef Ellen Doerr started Chef Ellen: Personal Chef Services following time in the restaurant business and as a way to get back into the culinary world after being a stay-at-home mom. She’s a graduate of the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Colorado.

“I was reading quite a few articles about the expanding medical industry in town, and it dawned on me that with the rise in food allergies and prescribed diet plans, we have not seen much of a shift in the restaurant industry in the area to meet the demand for special diet and allergy-friendly meals,” she said.

She started the business as a way to introduce custom meals and meal planning.

“I meet with clients, go over their taste preferences and dietary needs, build them a menu for up to 20 portions a cook date, take care of the grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning and storage of meals with reheating instructions,” Doerr said.

Doerr cooks in the clients’ homes. She’s finding most inquiries come from families dealing with food allergies and diet requirements such as weight loss, low sodium and gluten and dairy intolerances.

“It’s not uncommon for different members of a single family to have different allergies, which makes mealtime difficult,” she said. “I try to find meals they can all enjoy, and if needed I will prepare portions for different family members that can all be heated and enjoyed together, taking the stress out of getting food on the table.”

She’s exploring adding a delivery service but plans to always offer in-home cooking.

“When it comes to families with severe allergies, knowing that no allergens are brought into their home and that their food is prepared using safe cookware is important to not only keeping everybody healthy but providing peace of mind that they might not have eating out,” Doerr said.

She primarily uses her website, siouxfallschef.com, and Facebook page to help get the word out about her business. She also works with Live Well Sioux Falls to provide healthy recipes and has worked with personal trainers on client weight-loss plans. She has offered cooking classes through The Pinning Place as well.

“This year has been an exciting year of new opportunities and getting to educate our city about the services now offered,” she said. “I am so passionate about this venture. The networking never seems to end so that I can reach as many people as possible.”

Personal chef aims to ‘take the stress out’ of mealtime

A personal chef business that launched earlier this year is gaining traction with a focus on special diet and allergy-friendly meals.

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