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Secrets of a private chef to the stars
Known for whipping up (secretly healthy) hot dogs for her current client, comedian and Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, chef Vikki Krinsky also clocks in time on Recipe Rehab, where she basically does on TV what she does in real life: finds ways to cut the cals in comfort-food classics while keeping them delicious enough for even the most A list of palates. (And she would know: Previous clients include Tobey Maguire and Katherine Heigl.) We asked the Vancouver-raised Los Angeles-based Krinsky everything you’ve ever wanted to know about a private chef to the stars.
What does a private chef actually do all day?
“I work six days a week; I make breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks. My day starts at the farmer’s market, and then I come up to the house and prep all day. While I make breakfast, I have chicken going in my sous-vide machine, I’m roasting vegetables for lunch and then I’m starting dinner while lunch is being prepped and made. Then I’m onto snacks, which means I’m portioning out nuts, like roasted unsalted cashews with cheese, or dark chocolate. It’s this constant machine in the kitchen.”
Do you get sad mad like our moms did when your client says he won’t be home for dinner at the last minute?
“It crushes my heart! I’m like, ‘Man, that chicken was going to be good too!’ But seriously—I don’t throw anything out. If he doesn’t end up eating it, it goes toward the next day’s meal. If Seth only knew how much reused food he was eating….”
What don’t people know about being a private chef?
“You’re on call—your schedule changes so many times a day and you never know where you’re going to have to serve your food. It might be at home or schlepped to an office for a meeting. It’s also more than being a chef; it’s a well-rounded, nurturing profession. Whether [your clients] are famous or not, you’re in someone’s home and they have to trust you. A lot of clients will have very famous people come over, and you have to keep your shit together. Most kitchens are in the heart of the home, so you’re sort of in their eye line a lot of the time. You can hear everything that they’re saying, so it’s definitely a cultivation of trust and friendship.”
When Seth has had a rough day, what comfort food does he crave?
“The guy loves peanut butter and jelly! I make my own jam and my own almond butter to make a really great sandwich from scratch.”