A personal chef service is launching in Greater Baltimore in January, promising customers five-star dining in their own home.
currently serves Howard County and Washington, D.C. Myranda Stephens, PlateDate's communications manager, says the company is still identifying which areas of Greater Baltimore it will serve, but it will likely include a stretch from Annapolis to Bel Air, as well as Baltimore City.
Based in Baltimore's Mount Vernon neighborhood, the company employs two and relies on about 20 contract workers. It also has office space in D.C. incubator 1776
. Stephens says the company will offer cooking classes and wine pairings in the future.
Riffing on the idea of a kids' playdate, PlateDate facilitates a grown-up get-together. "It's not catering or delivery," she says. "We send a chef to prepare and serve a meal." Chefs bring all ingredients and items necessary for cooking the meal with them and clean up after themselves as well.
Potential diners can browse from 25 different menu options online or can opt for a custom-made meal. Each PlateDate is priced per person, starting at $39 for brunch and capping at around $125 for dinner, depending on the options selected.
"You’re getting a personal chef at your house," Stephens states. "A three-course meal— five-star dining—in your own home."
PlateDate also wants to "keep it local" whenever possible. The company is committed to promoting locally grown produce; a company partner's family owns a farm in King and Queen County, Va. "Two of the biggest crops from [the] farm are sweet potatoes and kale, which we've incorporated in several of our menu items," Stephens explains. She also says that the farm-to-table aspect of PlateDate's operation has several investors "strongly interested" in the company.
Currently, PlateDate has more than a dozen personal chefs on board. "It's a fun concept and it offers a lot of flexibility," Stephens explains. "Some [chefs] do have other full-time jobs. [PlateDate] is a fun way to pick up extra cash and…to do what they love to do in a different way. "
PlateDates are available Thursdays through Sundays for brunch and dinner. Stephens says the company would like to offer PlateDates seven days a week, and that expansion will come as the company's network of personal chefs grows.
"We're always looking for talented chefs," she explains. "Having a system of chefs increases availability [for the consumer], so you're not at the mercy of a single calendar."
Writer: Allyson Jacob
Source: Myranda Stephens, PlateDate