For Chef Nathan Davis, the main ingredient in growing his business is relationships. He carefully nurtures the partnerships with his local farmers and growers, pours hours into time with his wine purveyors to choose the perfect pairings, and savors the hours spent with valued clients, from reviewing menus to setting the perfect table.
Sales for his business, The Polished Chef have doubled in the last year, with seven full-time employees preparing and presenting unique menus for multi-course meals to discerning home diners who want a bespoke experience for family and friends. Launched in September 2020, Chef Nathan garnished more than 100 five-star Google reviews, a feather in his cap.
The relationships with growers are paramount to Chef Nathan. “The Freeport  Farmers Market and Terry and Carmen go way above and beyond to make sure they are meeting my standards. We have been able to grow together,” says Chef Nathan who insists on building one-of-a-kind menus around the finest ingredients and fresh seasonal produce. “It’s my job to steer clients in the right direction to get the best culinary experience possible.” If that means exploring a different main course to best utilize what’s seasonal, he finds clients trust him to bring creative and delicious solutions. He says his team prioritizes developing clients’ trust so they will be comfortable with all the choices and ultimately, the entire experience. Through careful and targeted marketing (and valuable word-of-mouth referrals), Chef Nathan finds his clients are educated about the process and his capabilities.
His attention to detail is evident in every facet of what The Polished Chef does. From the exacting placement of silverware on the tables he sets to catering to stringent dietary restrictions, he takes his job very seriously. “We’re the only private chef in the area that has a web page dedicated to allergy and dietary restrictions with choices for vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, keto, gluten-free, and dairy-free options.”
This fall, Chef Nathan is seeing a strong trend back to seafood. People are eating lighter and fresher and want to know more about their food. “I like to include a story behind the food - about the farmers and their lives. For us, it’s important to know where the food comes from because when diners are paying a premium price, they should get a premium product.” Each diner will also have a custom printed menu at their place, designed by Chef Nathan’s marketing company who is successfully helping drive his brand development.
Chef Nathan and his team will arrive at your home two to three hours before the dinner hour to start preparing the meal. “Absolutely everything is made from scratch on-site the day of the event including every sauce and dressing. You want key lime pie? We are making the crust right when we get there.”
His wine dinners are also gaining notoriety. Chef Nathan works with Chef Alan Balthazar at the Destin Ice Market on 30a to chose varietals to suit the menus, providing tasting notes and facts about the region and winemaker for a well-rounded experience.
“I like French whites right now, and can also provide bottles at up to half the price due to relationships I have with California winemakers,” says Chef Nathan. “I will go the distance to find value on wines and pass them along to my clients. Wine [pairing] dinners are a very good value.”