Personal chef service offered locally

MARQUETTE — The Serving Platter, a personal chef service owned and operated by Niki Scott of Marquette, is currently accepting new clients in Marquette and surrounding areas.

For over a year, The Serving Platter has offered meal prep and cooking services to busy families, couples, single parents and anyone wanting nutritious homemade meals created in the comfort of their own homes.

“I am passionate about cooking and can give you back hours that you may now spend planning meals, shopping for ingredients, unpacking, preparing food, cooking, and clean up,” The Serving Platter’s website states.

On a weekly basis, Scott prepares a menu based on clients’ eating preferences and choices. As a one-woman business, Scott arrives to her clients’ homes with groceries and cooking supplies on an arranged date to cook a variety of meals made with fresh ingredients. After the meals are prepared, Scott cleans her work space and leaves a list of instructions behind for her clients.

After years of owning a bakery and coffee shop in New Mexico, Scott moved back to the Upper Peninsula with her family. While spending many Sundays planning and preparing meals, she realized how much time it could save other people if they had someone to do that for them. She talked to friends and family about her idea and said The Serving Platter became a reality after a friend said they’d hire her on the spot.

“When I first started out, I did a lot of research and found that in bigger cities it’s pretty common for people to have personal chefs,” she said. “When people hear the words ‘personal chef,’ people usually think it’s an expensive service, and that’s not always the case. Families usually spend more money when they go out to eat.”

The Serving Platter requests that clients order a minimum of three meals. Excluding the price of groceries, which Scott said average from $40 to $80, three meals cost $120, four meals cost $150 and five meals cost $180. Meals provide four servings per entree.

The Serving Platter has a prepared menu that clients can order from, but Scott said she also tailors to people’s needs as well.

“I have some clients who can only eat certain things because they’re on strict diets or they have allergies,” she said, adding that she recently made a non-dairy Alfredo dish for a customer. “I love a good challenge like that.”

Scott said her favorite thing about The Serving Platter is that it allows her to be creative and make people happy through food.

With a wide range of meals, soups and desserts offered, some of the more popular items The Serving Platter offers include a Mongolian beef dish, which is served over a bed of rice or cauliflower rice for clients looking for something low-carb.

Buddha Bowls — which consist of choice of shrimp, chicken, beef, pork or tofu, served with a variety of fresh vegetables over a bowl of rice with peanut sauce — are also very popular, Scott said.

Scott uses some of her grandmother’s old recipes for several items on The Serving Platter’s menu, including pie crust, cheesy enchiladas, and mac n’ cheese, which is a big hit with families who have kids, she said.

Scott has also prepared meals by using up food from her clients’ freezers, making dishes with venison as well as partridge pot pies.

When contacting The Serving Platter, Scott said she has a general consultation with the potential client and goes to their house to see the kitchen.

“I then give them a questionnaire to see what they like or find out if they’re allergic to anything, and then we set up a date and take it from there,” she said.

Eventually, Scott said she’d be interested in hosting a meal prep and cooking workshop.

“I think that would be a lot of fun,” she said.

For more information, visit The Serving Platter’s Facebook page or its website at theservingplatter.com. For specific questions or to schedule a consultation, email Scott at niki@theservingplatter.com or call 575-770-0960.

Jaymie Depew can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. Her email address is jdepew@miningjournal.net.