DELMAR — Sustainable Table owner Annie Bronchetti wants to help you answer the question “What’s for dinner?”
“As a personal chef, I’ll come to your house once a week, cook all day and stock your refrigerator or freezer with delicious, healthy meals for the week, with instructions on how to best enjoy them,” said Bronchetti, whose business mainly serves residents within 25 miles of Delmar. “I’ll bring my own equipment and basic ingredients to your home, and I’ll also clean the workspace before leaving. What could be easier?” Bronchetti will also do the grocery shopping — the client would leave a deposit in advance for this — at local grocers and farmers markets where the foods are well-sourced before arriving at the client’s home to make, store and label the freshly cooked meals.
Recognizing a need in the community for locally sourced and convenient home cooked meals, Bronchetti started Sustainable Table Personal Chef Service in January. She typically begins the service by having a preliminary meeting with her client at their home to learn what types of foods they prefer, discuss any food allergies or health issues, and get an understanding of the client’s goals and expectations in engaging a personal chef. The client could also choose dinner options from her sample menu while allowing Bronchetti to get familiar with the client’s kitchen.
Along with the food’s warming instructions, Bronchetti provides her “Taste of the Neighborhood” newsletter, which features information about local farmers and food artisans as well as some unique community events. “I want to leave my client with a bit more than tasty local food. A meal is meant to be enjoyed with friends and loved ones around the table. I want to take that step further and encourage folks to gather and enjoy community events as well,” she said. “Keeping people connected with what’s going on in the area helps them to be part of their community. If there’s a neighborhood street fair, berry picking at a local farm, or a how-to gardening class, I want my clients to know about it.”
Her business stemmed from a menu planning project she did while studying part-time at SUNY Schenectady. She enrolled in the university’s culinary program and became intrigued with the idea of becoming a personal chef for individual clients “because I wanted the opportunity to get to know and cater to my client’s, which is something you can’t do in a restaurant where you’re not face-to-face with your customers.” The project also required her to plan out a menu for her dream restaurant, and decide the menu’s layout and logo; she eventually envisioned a farm-to-table restaurant called Sustainable Table.
Bronchetti acknowledged that people lead busy lives and don’t necessarily have enough time to prepare good food for themselves upon getting home. “As a working person with a family, I know first-hand that life can be busy, and schedules can be full. Planning dinner may be the last thing on a long ‘to do’ list,” she said. “I’d like to help make dinner at home something to look forward to, rather than something to stress about.”
For more information, visit www.sustainabletable518.com.