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Personal Chef Help - Reheating Fish & Roasts?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I fear this questions is going to come across a little strange or uh...duh.. but here it goes. Almost all of my cooking has been to order or served hot. Recently I have been getting into HMRs and personal cheffing by requests from customers.

Soups, cassaroles, pasta, stews, etc.. I get. But some of my clients are requesting roasts. At home I cook meat in small batches to order, when I do do a larger roast I use the leftovers for sandwiches etc..

How exactly do you work it when you prepare fish or roasts for clients. Just cook it, chill it, and sell it. Leaving the re-heating up to them. (personally I would never re-heat peice of fish which is why I am confused.

I tried the Personal Chef Association but it seems you have to be a member to get questions answered. I don't want to be a member unless I am going to commit myself to this route.

Thank you in advance for your help,
"Just can't wait to get on the road again."
Willie Nelson
"Just can't wait to get on the road again."
Willie Nelson
post #2 of 10
I can almost assure you that if they reheat it that they will mess it up and then blame you. The only roast I would do is Pork,It is hard to mess it up.
If I were doing a roast sirloin I would tie it season it have it in a pan and tell them when to put in oven raw and when to take out. Remember some of them dont even know how to turn on an oven.
post #3 of 10
As a REAL personal chef, it is against the law in almost EVERY state in the country to cook at home and if the Board of Health finds out about it, there could be serious consequences. There's a reason you cannot access the United States Personal Chef Association (USPCA) message board - you need to be a professional personal chef.

As a personal chef or certified personal chef, we have spent a lot of time educating ourselves with the proper cooking, cooling, packaging and reheating techniques and we are committed to the highest standards of food safety and sanitation.

People who cook at home and call themselves "personal chefs" are giving truly educated and committed personal chefs a bad name and reputation. And, if (or most likely, WHEN) your inability to properly inform your clients the proper cooking, cooling, packaging and/or reheating techniques results in their getting sick, it will be you personally they sue - and they'll win.
post #4 of 10
Welcome to cheftalk Yummysimmo. I see you've been a member since 2007 and you've finally decided to contribute! Thanks for giving back to the community.

I find no difference between personal chef sanitation standards and commercial kitchen sanitation standards. I don't think BB was implying that she was going to cook at her home, after all, she owns a bakeshop/bistro. This is, as you can see, a pro chef forum.

So, having pushed that aside, do you have any good advice for reheating fish?
post #5 of 10
OK I'll take the moderator's word for it that you're not cooking at home...

Poach fish until just barely cooked. Cool, package and freeze/refrigerate as required by the client. Personal chefs prepare every type of seafood, poultry, beef, bison, pork imaginable and reheating in the oven is never a problem. Many clients will overcook the protein when reheated in the microwave so I never recommend that.
post #6 of 10
Par cooking a breaded fish and storing in fridge for a day is what I have had the best luck with for a fish reheat. I would say its all in how much you can educate your client in cooking that will make you look the best. Your preperation and reheat times have to be precise. :cool:
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Just to reassure....

Just to reassure.. of course I am not going to cook food in my home, why would I when I have a 2000sq commercial kitchen and a wholesale license. I am well versed in food safety and sanitation. Though 10 years of professional cooking is by no means a career, after fine dining restaurants, catering, internships in France, 5 years as private chef, and now a restaurant owner I have picked up few tips along the way. I am certified in my state to teach safety and sanitation and am working with state to require personal chefs (and others) be required to have a food handlers permits.

My questions was regarding quality, not quantity. I am not used to preparing food to be re-heated, nor does my family eat that way.

Thank you for the suggestions and I welcome anymore.

"Just can't wait to get on the road again."
Willie Nelson
"Just can't wait to get on the road again."
Willie Nelson
post #8 of 10
BB - I appreciate your response. I read your post as "cooking at home" and am fighting a losing war against people who call themselves personal chefs who really just cook at home and deliver food. There are quite a few "work at home" organizations telling people they can be a personal chef out of their own home kitchen and many people are now doing that.

To reheat poached seafood - allow container to sit a room temperature to take the chill off. Reheat, covered, in 300 degree oven until warmed through. (Can't tell you exactly how long as it depends upon the thickness of the fish, if it's stuffed or not, etc.) Tell your clients they may have to add a little fish stock, white wine or other liquid as needed. If done properly, the seafood quality, taste and texture are very very good.

If you have any other questions about cooking techniques, packaging or reheating please let me know.

post #9 of 10
sauces make a difference....I've Personal cheffed since 1995.....soups, stews, braises always reheat better. Each client has different cooking preferences.....the ones that will take the time and thaw food in the fridge over night to bake in the oven, to those that just want to scoop and heat in the microwave......each micro cooks differently.

Yesterday's menu for the week....this is dinner/lunch for a priest and his 4-5 person staff's lunch M-TH.

Shrimp and Crab Pasta with a Sherry/cream redux.......served at Monday's lunch

Fresh Halibut with Capers, dillweed and lemon.....pan searred, finished in oven.....will not reheat well, any leftovers nuked at 50%.....

Whipped potatoes

Beef Barley Soup

Shrimp-Andouille Creole, reheats well


Key Lime Pie

dough for anise cookies


Boiled shrimp, cocktail sauce
backups of yogurt, cottage cheese, frozen soups, cheeses/meats for sandwiches

*basically, cost plus salary (insurence).....I've got a credit card to shop, some flexibility on days to cook normally Monday morning.....general outline of likes and dislikes, portions for this group are a bear....sometimes the office staff leaves the priest with nothing for the weekend. He's not into veg. especially all.....

Which is the exact opposite of the essentially vegetarian orthodox jewish man I cooked with (for) for 3 years.....

Which is a mix of what I did for the double surgeons and the CFO of A-B.

Most are looking for low-fat, most are looking for ease.....but there will be a level that some will go to the others won't.

It's an interesting mix.....

Somethings just don't reheat well.....I made sure clients know that. Most eat out 1-2x a that time they'll get whatever their missing. ie steak they don't want to cook themselves or fish or roast.......
cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....
post #10 of 10
please check your private messages when you get a moment... thanks.
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