CLERMONT — Home-cooked meals take some time, effort and imagination — sometimes more than those coming home from work have the energy to produce.
As a working parent, chef Andy Williams knows the feeling. So, he decided to come up with a solution for those who want delicious, healthy, preservative-free food, without spending hours in the kitchen.
His year-old business, New World Personal Chef Service, was designed and created to provide that service to career singles, two-income families, busy professionals, active seniors and athletes.
“I got into this to share good food,” Williams said. “I’m passionate about cooking, people and service.”
Williams initially meets with his clients in their homes and designs a custom menu to suit their needs.
“We discuss their likes and dislikes and whether they want comfort food or gourmet,” Williams said. “I can cook anything from meatloaf to something more exotic, like sliced and seared tenderloin with a hoisin cabernet sauce.
“My whole thing is to find out what you need and how I can make your life easier.”
Once the menu is decided, Williams does the grocery shopping and shows up at his clients’ homes with his own cooking equipment. Then, he goes to work, whipping up two weeks of dinner entrees that are ready to pop into the microwave or oven.
In his 20 years as a chef, Williams’ resume includes working for Michael Jordan and Walt Disney World, and the opening of eight four-star restaurants. He has also won the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. Williams moved with his wife and two children to Clermont two years ago.
“When I came up with the idea while living in Fort Lauderdale, I originally wanted to work with athletes to help them have the best diet, but I realized people need help,” he said. “I also wanted to have a life and see my kids grow up.
“When you’re a chef in a busy restaurant, it is six days and 80 hours per week.”
Williams’ educational history includes a bachelor’s degree in hotel/restaurant management from Florida International University in Miami. He is also a member of the American Personal Chef Association.
“Personal cheffing is on the cutting edge,” he said. “It is a great service and has become very popular, especially in metropolitan areas.”
Williams’ menu packages vary in options, but start in price from $225 for two weeks of entrees, plus the cost of groceries, which averages about $75.
Williams also offers cooking classes and gift certificates for his services.