DUBAI: Fasting families in the UAE can hire the services of private chefs this Ramadan to prepare iftars from a choice of multi-cuisine menus in the comfort of their own homes or chosen venues, thanks to a culinary platform called ChefXchange.
An online marketplace that connects chefs to foodies, ChefXchange has a pool of over 50 chefs from its vast database who are on call this Ramadan to cook up a storm, even at a short notice.
Karl Naim, co-founder of ChefXchange, told XPRESS: “The holy month of Ramadan is a time for personal reflection and bonding with family and friends. Usually, iftar is either cooked at home or at a restaurant, both of which take time out from prayers and bonding with loved ones. So we wanted to offer a solution where one could enjoy the best of both options.”
From planning the menu and buying the ingredients to preparing the meal, serving it in style and cleaning up after the guests leave, the private chefs do everything for the host in what is a complete package.
Naim said unlike traditional catering, “the foodie chooses a chef based on his specialty, experience and reviews.
"The menu is completely customisable and prepared and cooked in front of your eyes. It is much more personal as you build a relationship with the chef, you can learn from him and discover the history and passion behind the dishes. Additionally, the platform offers a completely transparent review system.”
He said: “Every chef on the platform completes a profile and uploads sample menus for which he chooses the minimum and maximum number of people he can cater for, as well as the price per person. Every menu is customisable, and so is the pricing. We’ve had bookings made for one person looking to get healthy meals cooked for the week, to 60 people and more for a buffet style dinner.”
Naim said the diversity of chefs and cuisines available on the platform ensures a wide choice. “We have over 50 chefs approved on ChefXChange and boast the biggest offering of cuisines in the UAE. From Peruvian, Japanese, Middle Eastern to French, Caribbean, Italian, Spanish, you name it, we have it.”
He said the cost varies depending on the number of people (the more people you have, the lower the price), type of event (seated dinner, buffet, cocktai), type of menu (three course or more), and ranking of the chef (professional, apprentice or amateur).
Although each chef commands his own rates, Naim said one can expect the average cost to be around Dh250 per head for a three course meal, all inclusive.
As for the booking time, he said customers should ideally get in touch with the chef a few days before the planned event, as the menu needs to be agreed upon and the chef needs to buy the groceries the same day to ensure freshness and quality.
“That being said, we have had same day bookings too,” he said.
For more details go to www.chefxchange.com.