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A recent trip to the US provided Perth chef Mark Taylor with a new business that may be the food industry’s most significant outsourcing development, as Julie-anne Sprague reports.

 

WHILE most of us think nothing of hiring a gardener or house cleaner, and regularly visit the car wash, it seems one domestic duty is beyond outsourcing.

But the kitchen’s position as the last bastion of domestic pride is starting to change, according to Gourmet Saint founder Mark Taylor.

“People are eating take-away and eating out because they are so busy,” Mr Taylor says.

“People are looking for the healthy gourmet alternative and many like to cook but don’t have the time.”

On a recent trip to the US Mr Taylor discovered a burgeoning industry of personal chefs, and has brought the concept back to Perth.

“Six or seven years ago a lady (in the US) called Candice Wallace came up with the idea and it was very slow to begin with,” Mr Taylor says.

“It was very new and needed to become part of people’s lifestyle. But it began to take off about five years ago.

“There are now about 10,000 personal chefs with 500,000 customers in the US. There are about 300 personal chefs in Canada and about 100 in the UK.”

Mr Taylor’s business aims to provide a kitchen service on par with other common household duties, such as cleaning and gardening, that are outsourced.

Mr Taylor does the grocery shopping and spends one day a fortnight preparing 10 days’ worth of meals.

“I get all the ingredients in the shopping, which I use the deposit money for. If people want to add the laundry detergent, toilet paper, and whatever else in with that they are more than welcome,” he says.

“On the service day I come to the home and spend a day cooking. All up it’s 10 meals, because people do like to go out on the weekends.

“I have one ready to go when they [the client] come home, three fresh in the fridge, and six frozen.

“For people who want to follow a diet or have medical conditions this is a good way to provide good meals.

“We work in a similar way to the cleaning lady. We have a key that we are very secure about and we leave the kitchen cleaner than when we came in.

“And the next fortnight’s meals are ready to go.

“I have someone working under my name [Gourmet Saint] in Queensland and I’m looking at doing this as more of a cooperative, where I do the marketing side of things.”

Food costs aside, the service charge per fortnight period is $250.

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