UStory: Fresh Chef Experience
Every year I promise myself that I’ll learn to live a healthier lifestyle. But here I sit with my laptop and a half-eaten burger with fries on the side. A day into the new year and I’ve already failed to live up to my personal goal.
I know learning to cook healthier is the best way to combat my overreliance on fast food. And to be fair to myself, I have taken steps to do just that. But what keeps me from progressing, I feel, is the lack of support I get.
Now don’t get me wrong. Figuring things out on my own can be rewarding. But watching cooking videos on YouTube can only get me so far. Learning should be a shared experience. You want to bring in as many people as you can and have them be a part of it all. You want to surround yourself with people to learn from, while having fun in the process.
Fresh Chef Experience to the Rescue!
Well, all those who can relate to my predicament can rejoice. Fresh Chef Experience is here with the perfect solution. The premise is simple: experienced chefs come to your home, provide all the food and equipment, and teach you how to cook. You can invite friends or family over and make it a party! They’ll even clean up after you’re done so you can enjoy eating the fruits of your labor.
In the forefront of Fresh Chef Experience is Chef Kathy Douglas, a graduate of the Sullivan University Culinary Program and the one who started it all.
Here she is making a TV appearance on Wave Country with Dawne Gee in Louisville, Kentucky where her business is based.
It’s one of those “Why didn’t I think of that?” kind of concepts. Intrigued, I spoke with Chef Kathy to ask how Fresh Chef Experience began, as well as her main motivation.
“…a lot of people started asking me to teach them techniques. So I decided to create fun and educational cooking events to bring back enjoyable home cooking. Fresh Chef Experience teaches cooking techniques focusing on preparation from fresh, raw ingredients to promote healthy cooking at home. But they are also a lot of fun! Most guests open wine and make the cooking classes a party.”
Sure, you can go to a class to learn all this stuff. However, you can’t beat taking classes from the comfort of your own home with loved ones. Having Kathy and her team clean up afterward only adds to the appeal.
“Fresh Chef Experience Cooking Classes & Parties happen in your home kitchen! Our professionally trained chefs arrive at the home with everything required to have an excellent Fresh Chef Experience Cooking Class or Party. We bring all the food for the event and all the equipment to prepare the food. We set up, entertain, and clean up the kitchen. Everyone just learns and has fun!”
All the instructors are culinary school graduates and working professionals.
As I’ve pointed out in numerous blog posts, starting a business can have its set of challenges to overcome. Fresh Chef Experience is no exemption. For Kathy, her struggle had to do with acquiring all the equipment they needed. “We had to make a large investment upfront for the equipment.”, Kathy recalls. “I wanted to use really nice equipment so we made some serious investments. But we shopped smart, and got the job done.”
Fortunately, it all paid off for Kathy. Having the right equipment helps her be that much more effective, which is crucial considering how in depth her classes are. More than recipes, what they really teach are cooking fundamentals that set you up for life. As Kathy puts it, “We teach everything from knife skills to finishing sauces.”
The job, I imagine, is unimaginably taxing but Kathy doesn’t seem to mind. When asked what’s the most rewarding part of running her business, she says it’s those moments when she witnesses those “ah-ha” looks customers give her after they field their questions. That’s the kind of passion you want to see in a teacher.
UPrinting and Fresh Chef Experience
I hope Kathy doesn’t mind me saying this but during our initial exchange, she was quick to clarify that her business was a local one — implying that her company is not worth featuring. At least that’s how I took it which only shows Kathy’s humble nature. But UPrinting has always been proud of partnering with local businesses.
In Kathy’s case, UPrinting got to help brand her business when she printed labels for her cooler and equipment bins. “I needed something that would stick on plastic and not peel.”, she explained. We’re happy that the labels did their job as expected. “UPrinting was awesome… [the labels] were PERFECT and the color is beautiful.”UPrinting was awesome. The labels were PERFECT and the color is beautiful - Chef Kathy Douglas Click To Tweet
Advice for Young Entrepreneurs
I asked Kathy if she had any advice for people who want to start their own business. She had this to say:
Learn from EVERYTHING and change your business to fit what the customers really want. - Kathy Douglas Click To Tweet
“Just be prepared for ups and downs. There are a lot in the first few years. Learn from EVERYTHING and change your business to fit what the customers really want. It’s a very rewarding experience and well worth the time and effort.”
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