Flavor + Style + Nutrition. Do you dream about creating a unique experience of food that appeals to the senses, inspires, creates harmony, empowers, educates and nourishes YOU in your unique lifestyle? That's my dream too, and I am here to help!
My services are all Vegetarian/Vegan/Gluten Free + Allergy Friendly. I offer Private Chef Services, Small Catering and Classes.
My vision is to marry the nutritional and high quality aspects of food to the aesthetic side (aspiration: Michelin Star) while supporting local farms and businesses, based on your UNIQUE needs and preferences. It's an all around FEEL GOOD experience- for you, your friends, family AND the planet. Plus, I care so deeply to create a wonderful experience for you, I offer a 40% money back guarantee*.
I will be the first to admit that while I would LOVE, LOVE to serve you, my services are not for everyone. DELVE in deeper HERE for more info.
*Money back guarantee for labor on Private Chef Services ONLY.
Fresh, LOCAL, Organic, NON-GMO
Creating flavor with FRESH ingredients is what I am all about! It's also an AMAZING feeling to give back to your community and the earth.
"Plant-based diets are good for the environment, your heart, your weight and your overall health."
— US News & World Report 2017
CHEF COURTNEY HAYES
My career began in the kitchen alongside my mother when I was under the age of 5 in Washington State. I grew up in a large family (7 brothers, 1 sister! ), so needless to say, we were ALWAYS in the kitchen. Some of my favorite memories are handmade berry pies for my Dad, gooey brownies for my brothers, buttery biscuits with vegetable stew on Sundays, fresh strawberry ice-cream in the summers and autumns filled with applesauce, apple butter, pies, and cider-making (it was an entire family event).
My mother taught me the basics of baking and cooking, along with other “lost” arts such as pickling, jam making, canning, freezing and cider-making... and her endless knowledge and love of fresh vegetables and gardening. I was very fortunate to have an amazing garden for most of my childhood to eat and learn from.
After a couple of years attending Art School for Fashion Apparel and Style, my heart started yearning for something different. For an artistic way to serve others that would be necessary for everyday life, focused on nourishment but elevated to art. By this time, my husband and I had been living in Brooklyn, NY for a couple of years, and my husband suggested I take my love and creativity for food to the next level.
I attended ICE (Institute of Culinary Education) in Manhattan, NY. Right away I knew in my heart, this was the place for my new start and purpose! I worked at a creative, forward-thinking vegetable based restaurant in NYC, under Chef Amanda Cohen (Chopped, Iron Chef), and came away with tons of knowledge and experience.
As much as I loved my time in NYC, I wanted to venture away from the restaurant industry and focus on serving and empowering individuals, families and small parties through nutrition, style and flavor. My heart's desire is to create a moment of beauty, nourishment, rest and empowerment for each individual rather than to reach the masses at a mediocre level.
Deciding to move back towards family roots on the West Coast, we landed in beautiful Sonoma County. With all the quality local produce and beautiful scenery--I am inspired daily by the people, beauty and realness of this place. I look forward to serving YOU and YOURS!
How can I Help and Serve YOU?
Are we a "fit"?
(commonly asked questions)
What is a Private Chef? A private chef is a cook who is hired out to prepare artistic and nutritious meals for an individual, family, group or event. Usually the Chef works out of your kitchen to prepare meals in line with your schedule.
What does Vegan, Vegetarian and Gluten-Free mean? Vegan is a diet consisting of NO animal products or by-products (no meat, fish, seafood, dairy, eggs, etc). Vegetarian is a diet consisting of NONE of the animal itself, but it's by-products (dairy milk, butter, cheese, including goat cheese, eggs). Gluten-Free is a diet consisting of NO wheat or wheat-related items or grains that include GLUTEN. (this would be free of wheat, barley, rye, triticale along with anything else tainted with Gluten).
What if I have other allergies? No problem! I take allergies seriously. I am all about serving YOU and YOUR needs. I have great resources and recipes free of common allergies such as soy, dairy, wheat, corn, nut and seeds. My goal is to provide your life with beauty and EMPOWERMENT through healing, Nutritional food that works WITH your body, not against it!
How will you know how to serve me the right food(s) according to my lifestyle? The first time we meet, I interview you and get to know all about YOU and YOUR (or your family's) unique lifestyle including certain allergies, taste preferences, activity level, vitamin or herbal deficiencies or needs. Then, I check in with you weekly, check your progress, and adjust accordingly.
Where do you purchase the produce and items for clients? I source local, fresh and organic, NON-GMO produce whenever possible. I purchase from local Farmers/Farmers Markets and Growers. I often buy other items from Community Markets or Whole Foods when I can't find them elsewhere.
What is the cost to hire a Private Chef? Chef's charge very different across the board, so none are the same. I am not outrageously expensive, nor am I cheap and here's why: This IS NOT about me making TONS of profit off of you- I really want to serve and empower YOU towards becoming a healthier and more creative being! Vegetable preparation takes much more time and energy then the standard diet (meat focused)- because labor is heavier, more intense and more produce is required (thus more time needed). Also, Gluten-Free is a specialty that very few Chefs know how to do well. It is better to invest knowing the result will be a beautiful and desirable one rather than watch everything crumble into sadness and disappointment (NOONE needs that!)! My hourly rate starts at $41.99, and this does not include food costs, shopping time or gas. It DOES however, include clean-up for the first month!
What guarantee do you provide? I believe SO much in my ability to SERVE and EMPOWER you with a beautiful, nutritional and tasty experience, that I am willing to provide a 40% money-back guarantee ONLY for Private Chef services (labor only, excludes food costs) . I have never seen any other Chef or known any other willing to do this. I believe THAT much in my ability to get what you NEED and WANT. I respect and deeply appreciate your willingness and vulnerability to invite me into your life, and I do this is to make you confident AND comfortable with me!
Why do/should I need/want to hire you? People often ask this question: Can't I just do this myself (meal prep & planning)? Sure, you could, but is it going to be the same experience? No. I really work best for those who have a very full and busy life, and for those seeking nutritional plant focused meals. I prepare meals for those who can't, don't want to or are too busy with life to spend hours on research, cooking or baking classes, or time in the kitchen. I empower YOU through adjusting meals to fit you and your family's lifestyle, scheduling and taste preferences!
What is a Small Group Caterer? A Chef who prepares an artistic and nutritionally dense meal for up to 30 people. Works/serves out of your home or at specified event site.
What is/are the expected outcome(s) of your service(s)? The DESIRED and expected results should be that YOU are STRONGER, HEALTHIER, INSPIRED, INCREASED FREEDOM, KNOWLEDGEABLE, EDUCATED and over-all AWESOME!
Are you Eco-Friendly? Yes, whenever and however possible. I recycle everything and find uses for things that cannot be recycled. I compost what I can from leftovers. I prefer my clients either supply me with reusable glass (non-lead) containers, or I will supply some for an extra fee. Not to mention the facts of a PLANT BASED diet are MORE ECO FRIENDLY (less water consumption, no animal waste, less methane gas, etc). I buy local produce (reducing grocery produce waste & mass consumerism) and make the majority of my food from scratch (less plastic & garbage waste).
Do you support local businesses? Yes. I support local farmers, artisans, and other businesses. If you are a local business or artist who would like to partner with me, or just say a friendly hello, connect with me here.