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Personal Chef Extraordinaire

Chef Ben Winchell Of MyChef STL Creates Healthy Meals For Busy St. Louisans

In today’s world, being busy isn’t a choice for most; it’s an unavoidable reality. The average adult works more than eight hours a day, which leaves little time to cook a healthy meal for one's self or family.

Enter native St. Louisan Chef Ben Winchell of MyChef STL with a new kind of personal chef service: in-home chefs. No more agonizing over menus, grocery shopping or preparing meals. Patrons can rely on a personal chef to prepare and prepackage customized meals that support health goals and dietary needs. City Lifestyle chatted with Chef Ben to learn more about the concept.      

WHEN DID YOU KNOW YOU WANTED TO BE A CHEF?

“From kindergarten on. I was that kid who would come home at the end of the day, and rather than watch cartoons, I would watch the Food Network.”                                       

WHERE DID YOU GET YOUR CULINARY EDUCATION?

“I’m an alumnus of Johnson & Wales University and the University of Missouri.”

HOW DID YOU END UP RUNNING MYCHEF STL?

“I was working at Fit Flavors, a nutrition-based meal prep company when I met Chef Adam Glass, founder of MyChef KC. Adam wanted to expand, and St. Louis was an obvious market, so we developed a plan. In 2021, I started with two clients. St. Louis now has four chefs and we’re looking to hire two more.”

EXPLAIN HOW MYCHEF WORKS.

We discuss the menu the day before we come out. The next day we’ll go grocery shopping for you, get all the ingredients, come back, do the cooking, the cleaning, package all your food, and then be out of your hair. It's as streamlined as possible.”

THE CLIENTS GET A WEEK OF PREPACKAGED FOOD?

“Exactly, we do anything from family style to individual portion meals. It really depends on what each family needs.

HOW MUCH TIME DOES ALL THIS TAKE?

“Sometimes only four hours a week. The same chef comes at a set time so you build an awesome relationship with that chef.”

WHAT ABOUT PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?

“All our chefs have food safety certification. We can definitely work with specific diets and allergy restrictions.”

HOW DO CLIENTS BENEFIT FROM USING MYCHEF STL?

“A lot of families actually save money by using us. Calculate the cost of three nights out per week and two nights of door-dashing, that really adds up. Losing weight is another big unexpected benefit. You get restaurant-quality food, but it's healthier. I'm currently working with a high-performing business owner who’s super busy with kids and travel. He's in good shape but with his business growing, he's not able to be as active. So, I cook family-style for his family, but then cook specific food just for him based on our and a dietician’s guidelines. Within one month, he lost 10 pounds.”

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE JOB?

“You get really close to a lot of clients. You hear about their vacations, new pets, their kids—it's really cool. Networking and meeting so many new people in the last years has completely changed my life.”

IS MYCHEF AFFORDABLE FOR THE AVERAGE PERSON?

“We advertise as an in-home meal prep service. We’ve geared ourselves so that we can accommodate the high-performing, higher-end client, but we’re also priced at a point where we can help growing families that don't have time to cook or just want to spend more time with their kids or significant other. So, it definitely is affordable.”

YOUR COMPANY ALSO DOES EVENTS RIGHT?

“Yes, we can accommodate events of up to 50 people. For the most part, we do brunches, private and company parties, intimate dinners, and small weddings. You don't have to be a weekly client to use one of our other services. If you just want us to cater your Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas dinner, milestone birthday, or another event, we can definitely do that.

SO ST. LOUIS WAS A GOOD CHOICE?

“Absolutely, it's a great place. We have a really nice, widespread market—everywhere from the outskirts of St. Charles and Wildwood, all the way to downtown to the Central West End, South City, South County, and everywhere in-between.”

MyChefSTL.com

“The best part of this job is hearing clients say they love what we do, or a parent saying their kids never liked a certain food until we made it and now they love it."

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